Is there any coherent, consistent thought going on behind our policy toward Egypt?
Let me ask you a question: What do the majority of Egyptians want? Do you know? Does Obama?
Here’s what veteran observer Edward Luttwak writes today in the Wall Street Journal
The few journalists who speak colloquial Egyptian Arabic report that among the poor majority of the population—those who wear the traditional robe (djellaba) and depend on bread subsidized by the state—many still support Mr. Mubarak.
Israel and our Arab allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, think we are making a mistake by pushing Mubarak out right away. They know their region.
And yet, in a remarkably blunt American intrusion into the internal affairs of another country, we have the president of the United States bowing to the mob in the street, trying to force Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak out of power.
The Obama administration has no consistent policy other than to take the temperature in Tahriri Square. And to throw a longtime friend to the wolves. Not that Mubarak isn’t himself the king of the wolves, but he is our ally. And to “avoid violence.” Allies, shmallies.
Here is how our policy started out Sunday. Hillary Clinton suggested Mubarak should stick around and have a “dialogue” about the future.
What we’re trying to do is to help clear the air so that those who remain in power, starting with President Mubarak, with his new vice president, with the new prime minister, will begin a process of reaching out, of creating a dialogue that will bring in peaceful activists and representatives of civil society to, you know, plan a way forward that will meet the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people.
Monday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said it’s not our place to figure out who should rule Egypt.
That is not for our country or our government to determine. I don’t think that people that seek greater freedom are looking for somebody else to pick what and how that change looks like.
On Tuesday, Obama decided that, oops, it is U.S. policy to interfere, telling Mubarak to start getting the Hell out now.
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.
By Thursday, the message to Mubarak had evolved from start getting the Hell out now to GET THE HELL OUT NOW.
From a New York Times article this morning titled, “White House and Egypt Discuss Plan for Mubarak’s Exit.”
The Obama administration is discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately and turn over power to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military, administration officials and Arab diplomats said Thursday.
Does Obama think the Egyptian people will tearfully, gratefully thank us for our help in shoving Mubarak aside? After we supported him for 30 years?
Nobody can replace a man who has ruled a country for 30 years and have the same credibility he would – the same base of support – to oversee an orderly political transition. Without Mubarak, the chances for chaos go way up.
Once Mubarak gets on a plane and heads for the Ritz Carlton Doha, an immense power vacuum is created, the giant sucking sound of which will be animated by every fundamentalist America-hater who can be found in Egypt.
The people of Egypt will never love America. They won’t – it’s shocking for the White House – even love Obama. And once the Muslim Brotherhood is running Egypt, they will suffer, and so will we. And Egyptians will get plenty of violence.