Excerpted from Global Affairs – Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) suggested Wednesday that Secretary of State John Kerry bears some responsibility for the Egyptian army’s brutal crackdown on protesters.
“As we predicted and feared, chaos in Cairo,” McCain tweeted after dozens of pro-Morsi protesters were killed when their sit-in camps were raided. “Sec Kerry praising the military takeover didn’t help.”
During a visit to Pakistan earlier this month, Kerry said the U.S.-backed Egyptian military was “restoring democracy” when it toppled Morsi’s freely elected Muslim Brotherhood government. The secretary was forced to backpedal the next day amid accusations that he was taking sides in the face-off between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood.
“The last thing that we want is more violence,” Kerry said on Aug. 2. “The temporary government has a responsibility with respect to demonstrators to give them the space to be able to demonstrate in peace.”
McCain urged military leaders in Egypt to refrain from violence during a visit there last week and has said the United States should consider freezing $1.3 billion in annual military aid if the army resorts to violence. The Obama administration has decided not to call Morsi’s removal a coup, which would trigger an automatic aid freeze but denounced Wednesday’s crackdown.
“The United States strongly condemns the use of violence against protesters in Egypt,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “We extend our condolences to the families of those killed and those who are injured.”
Earnest said that the White House “strongly oppose[s] a return to state of emergency law,” and said the movement by military forces “runs directly counter to pledges” by the interim government to “respect basic rights.”
Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour, appointed by the military following Morsi’s ouster, announced a monthlong state of emergency starting Wednesday afternoon.