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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 9, 2013 at 7:30 AM

The Egyptian coup

Extremism does not fit well in democracy

Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi demonstrate at the Rabaa al-Adweya Mosque in the Nasr City district on July 8, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. Egyptian health ministry officials are reporting at least 50 people were killed and more than 300 injured when the Egyptian military aledgedly opened fire as pro-Morsi supporters attending a sit-in were performing dawn prayer. The demonstrators were demanding the release of Morsi, who they believe is being held inside the Republican Guard headquarters. [Ed Giles/Getty Images.]

Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi demonstrate at the Rabaa al-Adweya Mosque in the Nasr City district on July 8, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. Egyptian health ministry officials are reporting at least 50 people were killed and more than 300 injured when the Egyptian military aledgedly opened fire as pro-Morsi supporters attending a sit-in were performing dawn prayer. The demonstrators were demanding the release of Morsi, who they believe is being held inside the Republican Guard headquarters. [Ed Giles/Getty Images.]

I am 100 percent in agreement with David Brooks about the need to support the removal of fanatical Islamists from office in Egypt. [“Defending the Egyptian coup,” Opinion, July 7.]

Even if a majority elects a religious extremist, that doesn’t mean that “democracy” has triumphed. I only wish we had some way of dealing with the tea-party fanatics who have been destroying constitutional government over the past few years here at home.

James Freudiger, Seattle

Obama administration has acted strategically

Sometimes the Obama administration gets it wrong, and sometimes, as in the case of Egypt, they get it right.

The zeal with which conservatives rush to criticize any course of action (or non-action) would indicate not dishonesty, but probably a lack of common sense in understanding the nuances of our stated position.

Any observer should realize that if the United States chooses sides in any conflict in the turbulent Middle East, then that automatically poisons the position of our chosen ally.

Columnist David Brooks predictably criticizes Obama for expressing disapproval of the military coup and for defending Morsi’s legitimacy as president. This was a calculated move; the disapproval was relatively mild, and with a wink, we can say we supported democracy.

If we like the result of the coup, then we have it, no need to crow about it and further galvanize Islamist extremists. The lack of support as perceived by the secularists is easier to resolve than a justifiable outcry from Morsi supporters that the United States approved and abetted the overthrow of their democratically elected government.

Tony Chin, Bellevue

Comments | More in Politics | Topics: coup, democracy, Egypt

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