Obama & Mubarak & the Age of Incrementalism

From The BAZ File:

For the Obama administration catching up with the uprising in Egypt is like chasing a runaway locomotive on a bicycle. From its initial public support for doomed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak to its need to appear to be hands-off, the White House is saddled with an event it fears will end in a train wreck.

President Obama had a chance tonight to outright derail criticism that the U.S. and it’s ally in the Middle East, Israel, are acting in their interests before those of the repressed Egyptian people. Instead, not long after Mubarak announced only that he would not seek re-election this fall, Obama chose to speak in the language of diplomats and D.C., leaving it to his aides to tell us in the press that the President is being much more forceful in private.

“After his speech tonight, I spoke directly to President Mubarak. He recognizes that the status quo is not sustainable and that a change must take place,” Obama said at a White House lectern, where two glasses of water were placed in case he went dry.

“Now, it is not the role of any other country to determine Egypt’s leaders.  Only the Egyptian people can do that.  What is clear — and what I indicated tonight to President Mubarak — is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now,” he added.

It sounded like a big build-up to Obama finally calling for Mubarak to toss in the towel immediately, but the U.S. Leader fell short of that mark, essentially saying only that the transition “should lead to elections that are free and fair.”

Read the Rest of  Kenneth R. Bazinet post at The Baz File: Obama & Mubarak & the Age of Incrementalism.

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