Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mubarak Struggles to Maintain Power — Obama Struggles to Stay Relevant

Lots of news coming in.

At New York Times, "
Egyptians Defiant as Military Does Little to Quash Protests," and Wall Street Journal, "Chaos, Looting Spread as Mubarak Names Key Deputies." And at Politico, "President Obama Inches Away From Mubarak":

The Obama administration Saturday continued inching away from the besieged government of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as observers in Washington and Cairo began to conclude that the autocrat has little chance of restoring his authority.

Key American officials spent Saturday morning in a two-hour meeting and another hour briefing President Barack Obama that afternoon.

Obama “reiterated our focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights and supporting concrete steps that advance political reform within Egypt,” according to a White House description of the later meeting.

But in terms of officials words on the spiraling crisis — one that holds enormous stakes for U.S. foreign policy — administration officials spoke only in a Twittered whisper, allowing Obama’s Friday night call on Mubarak to move swiftly toward political reform to set the tone.

“The people of Egypt no longer accept the status quo. They are looking to their government for a meaningful process to foster real reform,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley wrote Saturday morning. “The Egyptian government can’t reshuffle the deck and then stand pat. President Mubarak’s words pledging reform must be followed by action.”
A similar report at New York Times, "Obama Presses Egypt for Change, Without Calling for New Face at the Top." No doubt the fear inside the White House is that should revolution come, the administration will look hapless after the fact. To be fair, it's certainly not an easy situation. Mainly though, Obama appeared way too restrained during his brief comments last night. It's going to be quite interesting to see how the political opposition views the United States if Mubarak is deposed. I can't see the army handing power over to a bunch fanatical ruffians and Islamists, although a government of national unity behind Mohamed ElBaradei sounds like a good possibility. The Muslim Brotherhood could have a major voice either way, although good leadership could maintain secular rule and the transition to democratic elections. Then it's the will of the people.

Expect updates ...

RELATED: At Politico, "
Ex-officials urge Obama to suspend aid to Egypt" (via Memeorandum). And Peter Feaver, "Egypt's unrest reveals Obama's Middle East strategy is all wrong"


Reaganite Independent said...

Politico says he's "inching away" from Mubarak? LOL

He planned the whole thing behind his back, playing his typical duplicitous double-game... please

Obama secretly schemed with Egyptian opposition for "regime change" for years...