Workers clear debris outside a Vodafone branch following a blast, in Cairo February 26, 2015. (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters)
The Obama administration’s decision to engage Egypt is “a case of realpolitik over idealism,” concedes one official. But it’s also the right policy choice.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi certainly doesn’t make it easy. His repression of dissent now rivals that of deposed president Hosni Mubarak. His campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood has broadened to include suppression of secular activists, some of whom helped bring him to power in 2013. Sissi’s subversion of democracy adds another sad chapter to the vexed modern history of Egypt.