Obama Abandons Egyptian Democracy Demonstrators’ Demand to Oust Mubarak

Egyptians Demand Democracy in Tahrir Square. Creative Commons/Ahmad Hammoud.

With the political crisis unresolved in Egypt, the volume of U.S. media coverage continues to dwindle -- but remains considerable. For the first time since the protests began, not all three networks led with the story, which continues to receive coverage on the front pages of major dailies.

Reports and analyses agree that the Obama administration, after what the AP describes as "several days of mixed messages about whether it wants to see [Hosni] Mubarak stay or go," yesterday "conceded Monday that it will not endorse the demands of Egyptian protesters" for the "embattled" president Mubarak "to step down immediately, saying a precipitous exit could set back the country's democratic transition." The administration "coalesced around a position that cautiously welcomes nascent reform efforts begun by newly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman that may or may not result in Mubarak's resignation before September."

The CBS Evening News reported that President Obama "said ... Egypt is making progress on a transition to democracy. But the administration is easing the pressure on ... Mubarak, saying forcing him to leave immediately could threaten that transition." The New York Times reports on its front page that:

Two weeks of recalibrated messages and efforts to keep up with a rapidly evolving situation, the Obama administration is still trying to balance support for some of the basic aspirations for change in Egypt with its concern that the pro-democracy movement could be "hijacked," as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton put it, if change were to come too quickly.

Under the headline "U.S. Eases Off Call for Swift Egypt Reform," the Los Angeles Times says the 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 ... Mubarak relinquish power immediately." Fox News' Special Report similarly reported, "It appears ... Obama's insistence that the transition in Egypt begin immediately does not, in fact, require ... Mubarak to step down."

NSP Analysis: De facto, Obama has opened the door for Mubarak's regime, led by Egypt's CIA head and now VP Suleiman to a) repress the demonstrators if they don't give up soon, and b) install a phony process of "consultation" with the protesters that will in fact lead to an election in which the military dictatorship which installed Mubarak will remain in power with some changes to the names of the people at the top but little change in the economic suffering and political oppression of the Egyptian people.

This is just the first betrayal from Obama from today. To learn about the second one, read my post on it here.


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