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Mr. Gingrich echoed those remarks.

“The largest voting bloc in the new Egyptian government is the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said. “The second-largest group [the fundamentalist Salafi al-Nour Party] is more radical than the Muslim Brotherhood. So the Muslim Brotherhood are now the moderates. This is like the 1930s, and this is a mindless capitulation to forces that are contrary to our entire civilization.”

On Syria, the Obama administration has repeatedly called on President Bashar Assad to step down and has imposed a series of financial and economic sanctions against its top leaders. Mr. Obama has rejected military intervention in the 11-month-old rebellion, in which the United Nations says more than 5,400 civilians have been killed.

Russia and China last weekend blocked a U.N. Security Council effort to embrace an Arab League solution to the crisis in Syria.

Mr. Carney said the actions by Russia and China gave “solace” to a regime that won’t last.

“We are going to work with … international allies and partners, and with other friends of Syria — friends of the Syrian people — to continue to pressure the Assad regime so that it ceases this reprehensible behavior,” Mr. Carney said.

Ms. Pletka said the administration is ineffectually following events in Syria rather than trying to manage them with a coherent policy.

“They will not get involved with Syria,” she said, “because they are without principle, they are without policy.”