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In State of the Union, Obama fails to recognize Egypt’s admirable work promoting extremism

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt's reluctant leader who will definitely be reluctantly running for president, and then being leader reluctantly until he dies, did not get any credit from President Obama for his success at eliminating all political outlets for Islamists in the country--forcing them to take up an armed struggle instead. Really terrific work, Sisi. Keep it up!

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt’s reluctant leader who will definitely be reluctantly running for president, and then reluctantly be leader until he dies, did not get any credit from President Obama for his success thus far at eliminating all political outlets for Islamists in the country–forcing them to take up an armed struggle instead. Really terrific work, Sisi. Keep it up!

During his State of the Union address this Tuesday, President Obama touched very lightly upon U.S. foreign policy—celebrating the removal of all troops in Iraq (which has freed up some much-needed space in town for Al Qaeda), and the fact that Afghans are now overseeing their own security, as well as acknowledging that Al Qaeda and its offshoots have spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Probably a good idea to mention that last one. He also mentioned Syria in one sentence, which seemed unnecessary since the chemical weapon circus that he and Vladimir Putin have been jointly managing has been such a resounding and meaningless success.

What the president failed to discuss, however, was the hard work our trusted ally Egypt has been doing to check radicalism inside its borders—first and foremost by labeling as a terrorist organization the Muslim Brotherhood, which until recently had functioned as a more or less functional political branch of Islam for the country, and subsequently hunting the group’s leaders down and then killing or imprisoning them; and crushing all dissent pretty much across the board throughout the entire country. The result of these extraordinary measures? Well, as it turns out, if you destroy the sole political outlet for Islamists, they find other ways of affecting change—like bombing things, and attacking the police. As The New York Times pointed out, it’s quite nice to know that the Islamist militants suspected in orchestrating recent bombings may be drawing influence from the very same Al Qaeda militants who got their start in Egyptian jails under the rules of former Presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Hosni Mubarak.

None of this made it in the president’s speech on Tuesday. This could, of course, be rooted in embarrassment that the U.S. supported General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi after he overthrew the democratically-elected government of Mohammad Morsi this past July, but it could also be due to the fact that he was a bit exhausted after spending 142 words profiling a ridiculous woman named Misty DeMars, who from the sound of it probably shouldn’t have had two children if she didn’t have a long-term employment plan.

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