(FOREIGN POLICY) As the violent standoff between the Egyptian military and President Mohamed Morsy continues, U.S. ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson has become a lightning rod for critics of U.S. policy in the country.

The tip of the spear for U.S.-Egypt diplomacy, Patterson’s June 18 speech discouraging street protests has come to symbolize the administration’s inability to recognize the potency of Egypt’s liberal opposition. “Some say that street action will produce better results than elections,” Patterson said. “To be honest, my government and I are deeply skeptical.”

Now, with the Egyptian military’s 48-hour deadline for Morsy to yield to protesters demandspassed, observers fear the outbreak of widespread violence between Morsy’s Islamist supporters and moderate critics, and many wonder if the U.S. could’ve taken a harder line on the Brotherhood during its 10-month rule.

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.