Mustafa Bakari, an Egyptian politician, issued a brutal assessment of U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson. Bakari stated, “In my opinion, she [Patterson] is a member of the sleeper cells of the Brotherhood, likely recruited by Essam al-Erian or Muhammad al-Baltagi.”
In a June 18 speech, Patterson made the following statement in a speech about the turmoil in Egypt:
“Some say that street action will produce better results than elections,” Patterson said. “To be honest, my government and I are deeply skeptical.”
John Hudson at Foreign Policy wrote of her reluctance to criticize Morsi:
Patterson in particular resisted opportunities to criticize the Morsy government as it implemented increasingly authoritarian policies. In a memorable May interview with the Egyptian English-language news site Ahram Online, she repeatedly dodged pointed questions about Morsy’s leadership. “The fact is they ran in a legitimate election and won,” she said. “Of course it is challenging to be dealing with any new government. However, at the state institutional level, we are for instance still liaising with the same military and civil service personnel, and thus have retained the same long-established relations.”
In response to Patterson’s statements, and President Obama’s policy decisions on Egypt, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also wrote in Foreign Policy that the U.S. had become a “partner” to the Muslim Brotherhood government:
Tragically, America has been relegated to the sidelines. The number of U.S. Embassy personnel has been reduced, and a travel warning has been issued for Americans in Egypt — and for good reason. The people protesting in the streets were not only carrying anti-Morsy signs. They were also carrying signs with slogans like “Obama Supports Terrorism” and “Obama Supports Morsy,” as well as pictures of the American ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, with a large red “X” through her face. Some of these were set on fire. On Friday, Andrew Driscoll Pochter, an American college student who was in Egypt to teach English to schoolchildren, was stabbed to death as he took pictures of the protesters.
In what has to be one of the most stunning diplomatic failures in recent memory, the United States is — in both perception and reality — entrenched as the partner of a repressive, Islamist regime and the enemy of the secular, pro-democracy opposition.
As a result, Patterson, who is reportedly in line for a promotion as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, has been increasingly viewed, according to Hudson, as the “key implementer for a policy that at least offers tacit support to the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The State Department has embraced Patterson’s statements and approach. Spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in early July, “The ambassador has very much stated U.S. policies.”
Indeed, Patterson, who met with senior Muslim Brotherhood officials–an act perceived by Morsi opponents as sleeping with the enemy–has had the total support of the State Department all along. She was awarded the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award twice, in 2010 and 2008, and the Ryan Crocker award for expeditionary diplomacy in 2010.
As Raymond Ibrahim at Gatestone Institute observed, the reasons Egyptians dislike Patterson run deeper.
Ibrahim pointed out that last week El Fagr reported that Patterson demanded the release of all Muslim Brotherhood members currently being held for questioning from Supreme Commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces, General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi:
And when Sisi rejected this order, the American ambassador began threatening him that Egypt will turn into another Syria and live through a civil war, to which Sisi responded violently: “Neither you nor your country can overcome Egypt and its people.”
Previously, Ibrahim wrote that Patterson was reported as “meddling” in the affairs of the Egyptian people when she attempted to “communicate with General Sisi, demanding dialogue with the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, and concessions to them,” to which Sisi reportedly responded: “Stop meddling in our affairs… the Egyptian people are capable of looking after their own welfare.”
In addition, Al Nahar reported that Patterson had incited the Salafi Nour Party, a fundamentalist group that withdrew from negotiations with Egypt’s interim government, to “tamper with the political scene and the road map and to threaten to withdraw from political participation if Dr. Muhammad Baradei becomes elected as Prime Minister…”
Ibrahim wrote that “Patterson’s ‘meddling’ in Egypt’s affairs is not limited to General Sisi and the Egyptian media.” He noted that several of Egypt’s revolutionary forces, including Tamarod, which played a major role in the recent revolt, are planning a protest in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, and will be “calling for the ejection of ambassador Anne Patterson.”
Earlier in July, Ibrahim reported that even Muhammad Heikal, a respected political commentator of the Arab world, said that during an interview, Patterson had assured the Muslim Brotherhood’s Hisham Qandil, Egypt’s Prime Minister under Morsi, that “there are many forms of pressure, and America holds the keys to the Gulf.”