Bob's Blog: Meltdown in Egypt and much more


Egypt is unraveling.

The most influential country in the Arab world is teetering on the brink. The military, which deposed Egypt's democratically elected president last month, has launched a crackdown against its political opponents. These efforts came to a head in the streets this week, and hundreds are dead as a result.

This situation puts 80 million Egyptians in limbo - and many in danger - as the country tries to forge a path forward. The ongoing crisis doesn't bode well for the United States and its interests either.

And the biggest question at this point is, does the Obama administration really have an Egypt policy?

President Barack Obama has tiptoed around Egypt like he's in a ballet. What his administration has managed to do, wherever that fault may lie, is alienate both sides. The U.S. upset the generals by holding back from unequivocally condemning of former President Mohamed Morsi for his undemocratic antics. And Obama lost the Muslim Brotherhood's tenuous support when his administration repeatedly refused to call a spade a spade and describe last month's military takeover as a coup d'etat.

Obama's most valuable bargaining chip is the $1 billion in foreign aid that the U.S. sends Egypt every year. The annual aid stems from the Camp David Accords, the 1978 peace deal between Egypt and Israel. That being said, Obama has made no indication that he is willing to revoke the U.S. funds and threaten that fragile relationship that in many ways keeps the Middle East in relative order.

There are many reasons why we got to where we got right now, but we seem to be on the sidelines in a roped-off area, unable to influence the situation. That's not for lack of trying, though, and I'll talk on Sunday with Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who just returned from a trip to Cairo.

This has been a busy week with lots of news, and we'll cover it all this Sunday:

I'll talk with Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a longtime advocate for victims of sexual assault in the military, about new rules issued by the Pentagon this week aimed at addressing the very concerning problem.

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly will also be on the show this Sunday. I'll ask him about his controversial stop-and-frisk policy, which has made the streets safer but was also ruled unconstitutional earlier this week. Also, many insiders consider Kelly a top pick to become Obama's next Secretary of Homeland Security, a job he very well might be interested in.

Finally, Reps. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Bobby Scott, D-Va., will be in the studio to talk immigration and NSA surveillance. Goodlatte chairs the House Judiciary Committee and Scott is the ranking member on the terrorism subcommittee. There's been a steady stream of news this summer on both fronts.

We'll also have our weekly roundtable. Lots of news, but that's what we do. Check your local listings.