A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"It Must Begin Now."

Obama's speech did not exactly say Mubarak must go soon, but it certainly showed an impatience with the hang-on-till-September approach, and explicitly called for opposition participation in the transition. I think it was a judicious but firm statement, in a situation where the US is in a dilemma between seeming to be an unreliable ally and seeming to support a leader who has lost legitimacy. As I indicated in the previous post, whether Mubarak leaves now or later may depend on his willingness to accept a real process of change, not having a few constitutional amendments and promising elections in the fall.

His praise of the Army also shows the recognition that they, not the 82-year old President, will decide when he must go.

No comments: