Via Daily Beast:
On paper, Patterson seemed like the ideal diplomat to guide U.S. involvement in Egypt during its transition from six decades of military rule to democracy, given her experience in politically volatile countries such as Colombia and Pakistan. An unusually influential ambassador, she played a major role in forming the U.S. approach to the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party led by Mohamed Morsi, the elected president who was arrested and removed from office by the Egyptian Army a week ago after tens of millions of Egyptians took to the streets to protest his rule.
But while her American defenders credit Patterson with taking a realistic approach to a volatile situation, many in the Egyptian opposition regard her as the person responsible for America’s close embrace of Islamists in Egypt. During the protests that led to the fall of Morsi’s government, her face, crossed out with a red X, became the symbol for many Egyptians of what they saw as U.S. discouragement of their efforts.
“Some say that street action will produce better results than elections,” Patterson said in a June 18 speech. “To be honest, my government and I are deeply skeptical.”
To many in Egypt and some in Washington, Patterson’s comments were only the latest example of her failure to recognize the Morsi government’s bad behavior and her reluctance to use her office to publicly press it to address the grievances of the Egyptian people. [...]
“She was pushing for a tight embrace of Morsi. Her view was we need to lock this relationship down. Meanwhile, she alienated the opposition. It was both unwise and unnecessary,” one former Obama administration official told The Daily Beast. “She was telling a lot of people that the opposition was useless, that there was no point investing time in them, that the Muslim Brotherhood was the only game in town.”
In internal discussions, Patterson downplayed the steps the Morsi government’s authoritarian tendencies and failed to respond forcefully to abuses such as the Egyptian government raids on American NGOs, many critics said. Plus, she didn’t foresee the street protests scheduled for June 30 leading to the dramatic events of the past 10 days, leaving the U.S. unprepared.