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February 8, 2011 / Political Fluency

Obama Has the Right Strategy on Egypt

That may surprise many who feel the President hasn’t done enough – and in a way, they’re right too.

It seems as if it took two wars in predominantly Muslim countries – both of which have gone on way longer and were way less successful than initially hoped – to make us concede that the best way for the Middle East to reform itself through its own citizens. We thought they needed our external assistance, whereas internally may drive the strongest change. The fear that places like Egypt may turn into another Iran with a government run by extremist Muslims is an enormous risk we must take going forward. Military intervention is no longer an option for an America that’s been demoralized by its two current occupations.

Some conservatives have criticized President Obama for “throwing Egyptian President Mubarak under the bus” so quickly in the few public statements he has given about Egypt. But Obama may have made the right move.

President Mubarak is will be out of the picture soon, regardless of what Obama would endorse. He will definitely be gone by Egypt’s September elections, or be forced to relinquish his role even earlier. And power will not stay within the family, since Mubarak’s son has no chance of winning the popular vote.

By positioning the United States against Mubarak’s continued power, our President was attempting to align us with the majority of Egypt. They want their president ousted – so Obama made it seem like we did too. As recently as 3 weeks ago, we were the friend of the Egyptian rioters’ enemy. But by showing we are their enemy’s enemy, we can hope to become the friend of the future cabinet.

Even if we are not and our worst fears come true – we don’t have the willingness to do something about it militarily. We’ve already done that twice in this past decade and that’s not a risk we’re ready to take again.


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