But what about the Muslim Brotherhood? Should President Obama dangle a carrot and brandish a stick in their direction as well? Unfortunately, Washington has far less leverage with the movement than is often assumed by anti-Brotherhood partisans in the United States and Egypt. Egypt’s best hope is that the Muslim Brotherhood would respond more pragmatically and maturely than it has in the last two years if given another opportunity by the Egyptian military to participate in governing Egypt.
As President Obama said, America cannot determine Egypt’s future. The United States cannot coerce or compel Egypt into liberal democracy. But it can apply both pressure and relief to incentivize an Egyptian political order in which factions can feud without relying on street violence, massacres, imprisonment, and coups-that-never-were.
Ryan Evans is the assistant director of the Center for the National Interest.
Image: Flickr/Violet Paradise. CC BY-SA 2.0.