Anne Patterson’s Plight

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Keith Lane / MCT / ABACA USA

In Cairo, outlandish accusations and outright insults are common against the U.S. envoy.

A conspiracy theory afoot in Egypt right now holds that Barack Obama may soon be impeached, having been caught sending $8 billion to the now-toppled Muslim Brotherhood government in exchange for Israel’s annexation of much of the Sinai desert. Never mind that Muslim Brotherhood is furious at Obama for refusing to call the Egyptian military’s toppling of president Mohamed Morsi a coup. In Egypt, almost everyone is mad at the U.S. right now.

Which makes it a thankless moment to be America’s ambassador in Cairo. And for Anne Patterson, it’s especially bad, given that she infuriated reformist protesters last month by discouraging them from street protests, instantly making her a personal target of anti-American suspicion and hostility in a country where she had already been branded “the ambassador from hell” and accused of promising the pyramids to Israel.

For more about this lifelong diplomat’s ordeal at the center of Egypt’s latest political crisis–and what it says about America’s standing and influence in the Arab world’s most populous country, subscribe here. Already a subscriber? Click here.