One indicator to watch for, he suggested, would be "the number of protestors in the streets....in response to a leadership transition," not public anger against high unemployment, extreme poverty, and Mubarack's dictatorship, inspired by mass protests ousting long-time Tunisian despot Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, what some observers thought impossible until it happened and began spreading across the region. More on that below.
US Government Responses
Note: Egypt is the largest, most significant Arab state, vital to US regional interests. After Israel, it receives more aid than any other nation, nearly $2 billion annually. Around two-thirds is for military use, including repressing dissent. The rest is economic for neoliberal reforms, including privatizing state resources.
Washington worries that Egypt's uprising may grow if not stopped. It won't tolerate revolutionary change that potentially could spread globally, including on US streets where millions face depravation levels unseen since the Great Depression.
Yet a January 25 White House press release said:
"As we monitor the situation in Egypt, we urge all parties to refrain from using violence, and expect the Egyptian authorities to respond to any protests peacefully. We support the universal rights of the Egyptian people, including the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly."
A same day PJ Crowley State Department statement said:
"We are monitoring the situation in Egypt closely. The United States supports the fundamental right of expression and assembly of all people. All parties should exercise restraint, and we call on the Egyptian authorities to handle these protests peacefully."