Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's motorcade faced a barrage of tomatoes, shoes, and protesters in her visit to Cairo, Egypt, July 16. Some Egyptian protesters charged that the U.S. government had supported the Muslim Brotherhood in the Islamic nation's recent presidential election, though it's unclear if the Obama administration did provide support for any party.
Clinton traveled to Egypt with a Santa Claus-sized sack of gifts for the ruling government, including the Obama administration's commitment to “relieve up to one billion dollars in Egypt’s debt” and a new $60-million “U.S.-Egypt Enterprise Fund.” Clinton also promised the Obama administration was “ready to make available $250 million in loan guarantees to Egyptian small-and-medium-sized businesses.”
But it's unclear whether the elected leaders — President Mursi and the Parliament — or the military are the "government" leaders who will enjoy the U.S. taxpayer largesse. Mursi was the Islamic-allied Muslim Brotherhood's presidential nominee, and the Egyptian parliament — abolished by the military in February — is dominated by a coalition of parties allied to the Muslim Brotherhood and even more fundamentalist Salafist parties. Before the elections, the military — which held sway under the Mubarak and previous Egyptian governments — reserved many government powers to itself.
The Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamic party known in Egypt as a charitable organization, but one which has a history in Egypt of violently opposing government dictators. The Brotherhood was actively courted by both the Soviet KGB and the U.S. CIA in the 1950s and 1960s, though it's unclear if either holds any sway over the party in Egypt at this time.
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Photo: People hold signs as they protest the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outside the Four Season Hotel, July 14, 2012, in Cairo, Egypt: AP Images