CAIRO - 15 October 2020: The release of State Department emails while Hillary Clinton was in charge has reminded Egyptians of how the U.S. policy favored the Muslim Brotherhood from 2011 until 2013 at the expense of the Egyptian people.
The emails do not reveal something new. But they certainly reminded Egyptians that although the U.S. was seemingly supportive of the secular opposition in Egypt, its policy and its ambassador at the time, Anne Patterson, helped entrench a religious rule in Egypt, which cost the country a lot of money and lives to get rid of and a lot more to mend the damages it left.
Robert Hormats, undersecretary of state for economic growth from 2009 to 2013, sent an email on Aug. 39, 2012 to Jake Sullivan, deputy chief of staff to Clinton, saying he and other U.S. officials met with Hesham Qandil, the prime minister in the governmen of late Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, and other Egyptian ministers. They discussed means of reviving the Egyptian economy.
Patterson did not attend that meeting, but she later joined the official U.S. delegation to meet with Khairat al-Shater, the Muslim Brotherhood's first choice of a president that could not run for presidency because of being a former convict. Especially that the Brotherhood wanted Morsi only in a ceremonial position when they found out Shater could not run for election, Shater and the supreme guide of the Islamist group, Mohamed Badie, were also the rulers of Egypt during Morsi's one-year rule.
Perhaps that was a matter of fact, but Patterson helped acknowledge and entrench the concept, as to why else would an official U.S. delegation meet with Shater to discuss the economy after they had already met with representatives of the Egyptian "civilian" government? Below is an excerpt of the email:
"Anne Patterson, Bill Taylor and I met with Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat al Shater. He discussed broad principles of economic development based on 100 large infrastructure projects (over a billion dollars each) as part of Morsi's Nadah (Renaissance Plan) Plan; ways of cooperating with the US to obtain support for these projects and for SMEs; and, his hope for an IMF agreement and increased foreign direct investment from the US, the West and the Arab world."
There are voices in Egypt that claim the Muslim Brotherhood's rule was not civilian. A militia, an identity that the group was latetr given after an enormous number of affiliated bombings, killings, and quantity of funds in the aftermath of Morsi's overthrow, is not civilian in any way. More so if the representatives of the group did not even belog to the so called "civilian government."
The simple fact that this meeting happened with one of the leaders of a religious fundamentalist group that legally did not represent the government was a slap in the face of an aspired civilian state and the secular opposition at the time.