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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

U.S. Struggles For Footing In Egyptian Crisis

Egyptian protesters shout anti-Muslim brotherhood slogans as they hold posters depicting U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson and President Mohammed Morsi in Tahrir Square, the focal point of Egyptian uprising, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, June 28, 2013. (Amr Nabil/AP)

Egyptian protesters shout anti-Muslim brotherhood slogans as they hold posters depicting U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson and President Mohammed Morsi in Tahrir Square, the focal point of Egyptian uprising, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, June 28, 2013. (Amr Nabil/AP)

Almost all the sides in the Egyptian conflict have one thing in common — deep mistrust of U.S. power and intentions. The U.S. meanwhile is struggling to find a role as the crisis deepens.

Two details capture the U.S. position in Egypt: The crowds gathered to demand the ouster of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi carried pictures of U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson smeared with a blood-red X or insults — they said she was too close to the president and his allies, the Muslim Brotherhood and wanted her to leave the country.

And Morsi’s aides mockingly called the U.S. “mother” and believe that the army would never have removed an elected president from power without the approval of the U.S.

Each side blames the U.S. for favoring the other, while the Obama administration finds itself with limited leverage to influence events on the ground and in the halls of power.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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