Rich Galen

Reuters writes that "Mursi's critics have dismissed U.S. calls for restraint as a sign of Washington backing Mursi, just as it backed Hosni Mubarak before he was deposed by people power in early 2011."

Given Vice President Joe Biden's support for Mubarak in 2011, their fears are well placed. On the PBS program "NewsHour," Biden did not "consider him to be a dictator," but, said the "time has come for President Mubarak to begin to move in the direction of being more responsive to some of the needs of the people out there."

The U.S. State Department is concerned enough to "pull non-essential staff out of Egypt," and, given the continuing questions over the Obama Administration's reaction to, and explanation of, the events last year in Benghazi, Libya, its concern for the safety of the U.S. Embassy and other official offices in Egypt is legitimate.

Egypt will be yet another test of President Obama's ability -- or desire -- to exert any influence on the direction of difficult situations overseas.

The President did get some good news over the weekend, although he had nothing to do with it.

NSA leaker Edward Snowden, apparently still a resident of the transit lounge at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, cannot travel to Ecuador without a passport which was revoked by the U.S. State Department.

According to the Associated Press, President Rafael Correa said of Snowden:

"He doesn't have a passport. I don't know the Russian laws, I don't know if he can leave the airport, but I understand that he can't. At this moment he's under the care of the Russian authorities."

It was thought that Correa might issue Snowden the equivalent of Casablancian "Letters of Transit" to travel to Ecuador from Moscow where he would be granted asylum.

That will not happen -- not because of anything President Obama said or did, but because Correa is angry with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for attempting to usurp Correa's power by preparing travel documents for Snowden from his gilded prison at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

This could be the end of a beautiful friendship.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.

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