Posted by lex, on February 8, 2011
The US government was caught flat-footed by the street rebellions in Cairo and Alexandria, with dissonant messages coming from various quarters. In time, we settled on a policy of encouraging a rapid exit for Hosni Mubarak and real democratic reform for the repressed peoples of the world’s most populous Arab country.
That didn’t work either:
The Obama administration has reconciled itself to gradual political reform in Egypt, an approach that reflects its goal of maintaining stability in the Middle East but is at odds with demands of the protest movement in Cairo that President Hosni Mubarak relinquish power immediately.
A week after the Obama administration demanded a swift transition to a post-Mubarak era, it has dampened the sense of urgency and aligned itself with power-brokers such as new Vice President Omar Suleiman, who are urging a more stable, if much slower, move to real democracy.
But U.S. officials privately acknowledged that there is no guarantee that Suleiman, a former intelligence chief closely aligned with the military, is committed to substantial reforms.
Indecisive, foolish and impotent. Not a good combination of characteristics to display in that part of the world.