The United States is heavily invested--politically, economically and militarily--in the Mubarak regime. Its reluctance to dispense summarily with the dictator is not an expression of sentimentality. Rather, the United States fears that the too rapid ditching of Mubarak will undermine the confidence of other dictators. In the coming days and weeks the Obama Administration will vacillate, double speak and second-guess what might be the outcome of the Egyptian Revolution.
For the second time in less than 50 years the United States has been caught by surprise by two events that will shape relations and policies and have repercussions all over the world. In 1979 the United States was not prepared for the Iranian Revolution and the military that it had supported, armed and trained under the hated Shah cracked under the weight of people's power.
Now Washington is faced with a similar challenge and it is" for the time being " not on the side of the people but quietly supporting an old friend and ally. But history is on the side of the Egyptian masses and they hold all the cards. For President Hosni Mubarak time is running out and with it his people's patience.
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