The Obama administration appears to be walking a fine line on the current turmoil in Egypt, and what it’s doing publicly and what it’s doing privately may be two separate things.
On Monday’s airing of “Parker Spitzer” on CNN, Time magazine editor-at-large and host of the network’s weekly show “Fareed Zakaria GPS” explained to host Eliot Spitzer the difficult hand the United States had been dealt and what it should be doing, at least behind the scenes.
“There aren’t great options,” Zakaria said. “And part of it is people who want the United States to be much more forthright in supporting the demonstrations have to realize. Imagine the alternate scenario. The United States were to take ally of 30 years that had made peace with Israel, fought al Qaeda, fought other Islamic terror groups, brokered deals for the Palestinians, tried to moderate Hamas, and say to him, you know what, there are street protests, we’re dumping you unceremoniously. What message does that send to other American allies? All that said, I think that I have one principal suggestion to the administration.”
That suggestion according to Zakaria, regardless what is said publicly, would be for Obama to insist Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak voluntarily step aside.
“Which is — what they’re saying publicly I don’t care about,” he continued. “There is a balance they have to strike and maybe they can shade it one way or the other. Barack Obama needs to pick up the phone and make one phone call and that phone call should be to Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egypt, and tell him, it’s over. You have to go. How you go, you can choose the manner of your departure. You can try to construct a process by which you leave but there is no circumstance in which you can continue to be the president of Egypt.”