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Who do you root for?

Egyptian soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint during a dawn-to-dusk curfew in the Zamalek district of Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. Elsewhere, an Egyptian journalist working for a state-run daily was shot dead early Tuesday by soldiers at a military checkpoint, security officials said. Tamer Abdel-Raouf from Al-Ahram and a colleague were on the road after finishing a late-night interview with the recently appointed governor of Beheira province in the Nile Delta north of Cairo. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Here we are again, watching a fight in the Middle East, and having no idea who to root for.

The Egyptian army has obviously overthrown a democratically-elected government and has killed hundreds of protesters in the process. But President Obama can’t call it a coup because that would require him, by law, to cut off aid, and so he’s in a state of perpetual consultation – and those poor White House reporters.

“It’s not been suspended and it hasn’t been halted. It’s just in limbo,” one reported.

Reporters are in a state of perpetual dog-paddling.

But the president’s critics aren’t much better – especially conservatives, who’ve been pushing for him to declare a coup even though that would put the U.S. squarely behind the Muslim Brotherhood, which has apparently been burning hospitals and Christian churches, and ambushing security forces.

And it’s doubly strange considering one of the more familiar conservative talk show rants is to accuse the president of being a closet Muslim in league with the Muslim Brotherhood. And let’s not forget our ally, Israel, which sees the Brotherhood as a group of Israel-haters and Holocaust deniers, and points out that its members include Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current head of al Qaeda.

Which brings us to Egypt’s interim military government. Its leaders can’t believe we’d even think of cutting off aid, not because Egypt needs our help, but because it would contradict what America stands for.

CBS’s Charlie D’Agata talked to Egypt’s interim foreign minister, who seemed baffled, “I can’t understand how you could be silent about the terrorism because I know your values. I’ve lived in America. And your silence is abhorrent in comparison to what you stand up for in your own country.”

Makes you think twice, doesn’t it? He may be part of brutal regime, but he’s not part of some jihad, and his English is perfect.

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