U.S. handling of Egypt protests alienating pretty much everyone


The new timeline for a transition, according to a senior administration official, is … “over the medium term,” whatever that means. So what happens when you go from calling the regime “stable” while protesters are in the streets, then demanding an immediate transition while Mubarak vows to serve out the rest of his term, then falling back to “gradual” transition language when your new would-be client, i.e. Omar Suleiman, proves uncooperative? Well, this happens:

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From Curt’s link:

Here’s today’s trainwreck clip, in which Gibbsy is forced to gently scold new U.S. ally Omar Suleiman for refusing to make any meaningful concessions, including and especially the lifting of the country’s dictator-enabling emergency law.

What could be worse? Biden telling Suleiman to lift the emergency law. Suleiman responded that they wouldn’t they had over 17,000 criminals on the streets that has escaped from the prisons. Biden may not have been embarassed at that point, but we are.

I saw this at Gateway Pundit, pathetic, isn’t it:

On Tuesday the Obama Administration asked Hosni Mubarak to step aside.
On Wednesday they said that transitioning power “now means yesterday.”
On Saturday morning the Obama Administration said Mubarak must stay.
On Saturday evening the Obama Administration said Mubarak should step aside.
On Sunday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Mubarak must stay in power.
On Tuesday the Obama Administration said that political reform will be a gradual process.

Now Mubarak steps down, Obama is watching it all on television aboard AF1, what an idiot, did that need to be publicized? Makes him sound like an out of the loop, little geeky voyeur.

Hope the military holds and then we rinse and repeat, Tunsia, now Yemen and there’s a bit of noise starting in Saudia Arabia, nothing too big yet:

Pro-reform Saudi activists launch political party

RIYADH, Feb. 10, 2011 (Reuters) — Saudi Islamists and opposition activists have launched a political party in a rare challenge to the absolute monarchy, asking King Abdullah for a voice in the Gulf Arab state’s governance, its organizers said Thursday.

The move was apparently prompted by popular revolts in the Arab world that toppled Tunisia’s president last month and have loosened the grip of Egypt’s autocratic leader.