The recent wave of anti-Western protests come at the worst possible time for Egypt's new government as it looks abroad to bolster its shattered economy.

Even as demonstrators -- furious over a U.S.-produced film's depiction of the Prophet Muhammad -- took to the streets in Cairo last week, calling for Egypt to sever diplomatic ties, President Mohammed Morsi was in Europe looking for loans. It is estimated that the Egyptian government needs some $3 billion a month for the next eight months or more just to stay afloat.

Meanwhile, the violence against the U.S. embassy and the fact that Cairo was slow to condemn it has left some in Washington wondering if Egypt is still a friend.