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‘Monica, Monica’: Hillary Clinton’s Visit to Egypt Seemingly Falls Flat Amid Harsh Protests

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"The Arab Spring is raining on Hillary"

(The Blaze/AP) -- The head of Egypt's military took a tough line Sunday on the Muslim Brotherhood, warning that he won't let the fundamentalist group dominate the country, only hours after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged him to work with Egypt's elected Islamist leaders.

(Related: Hillary Clinton Pledges U.S. Support for Newly-Elected Government in Meetings With Egypt's Islamist President)

Clinton's visit to Egypt underscored the difficulty Washington faces in trying to wield its influence amid the country's stormy post-Hosni Mubarak power struggles. Protesters chanting against the U.S. - sometimes reaching several hundred - sprung up at several sites Clinton visited this weekend.

On Sunday, protesters threw tomatoes, water bottles and shoes at her motorcade as she left a ceremony marking the opening of a new U.S. consulate in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

"Monica, Monica" some chanted, according to Reuters, while others yelled, "Leave, Clinton!"

Here is video of some of the protests, via the Gateway Pundit:

Reuters continues:

A tomato struck an Egyptian official in the face, and shoes and a water bottle landed near the armored cars carrying Clinton's delegation in the port city of Alexandria after she gave a speech on democratic rights.

A senior U.S. official said neither Clinton nor her vehicle, which was around the corner from the incident, were hit by the projectiles, which were thrown as U.S. officials and reporters walked to the motorcade after her speech.

The United States is in a difficult spot when it comes to dealing with post-Mubarak Egypt - eager to be seen as a champion of democracy and human rights after three decades of close ties with the ousted leader despite his abysmal record in advancing either.

This has involved some uncomfortable changes, including occasional criticism of America's longtime partners in Egypt's military and words of support for the country's Islamist parties.

Walking a fine line, Clinton called for religious tolerance and respect of minorities in the new Egypt - a major concern among the Christian minority, women and secular liberals who fear restrictions if the fundamentalist Brotherhood wields power.

"Democracy is not just about reflecting the will of the majority," she said. "It is also about protecting the rights of the minority."

“Real democracy means that no group or faction or leader can impose their will, their ideology, their religion, their desires on anyone else.”

But after talks with Clinton on Sunday, Mubarak's former defense minister Tantawi made it clear the military will not allow the Brotherhood to hold sway, though he didn't specify the group by name.

"Egypt will never fall. It belongs to all Egyptians and not to a certain group - the armed forces will not allow it," he warned in comments to reporters after a handover ceremony for the transfer of command of the armed forces' 2nd Field Army in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia.

"The armed forces will not allow anyone, especially those pushed from outside, to distract it from its role as the protector of Egypt," he said. "The army will never commit treason and will continue to perform its duties until Egypt reaches the shores of safety."

The military and the Brotherhood have bad blood since the 1950s, when then-president Gamal Abdel-Nasser jailed the group's leaders and hundreds of its members. He ordered another crackdown in the early 1960s, jailing some again and executing a few. Mubarak spent most of his years in office chasing after the Brotherhood, jailing thousands.

One commenter mocked the administration's support for "Arab Spring" in Egypt, writing: "The Arab Spring is raining on Hillary."

Another said, "Ah, Obama's great 'Arab Spring' begins to pay off...Kinda like his 'Summer of Recovery.'"

EdMass at the Daily Kos sarcastically concludes: "Guess the Arab Spring [is] about done now?"

 

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