by Patrick Appel

Aaron Mannes's analysis:

[T]here have been innumerable calls for the United States to support the protesters and align its policy with democracy in Egypt. This is probably the least bad course of action. But there should be no illusions on several points. For the vast majority of Egyptians, the United States is inextricably linked to the hated regime. Nothing the White House or Foggy Bottom does can change that in a few days, weeks or months. Also, the ability of the U.S. to influence events is limited. It does appear that Secretary of State Clinton’s call for the Egyptian government to not respond with violence did send a message to Egypt’s generals that the U.S. would not support a violent crackdown. (A not dissimilar message was sent to Iran’s generals as the Shah’s regime was falling.)

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