Washington's Pickle

by Zoe Pollock

Mark Thompson serves it up:

[N]ow that the protesters -- and the international community, led by Washington -- have convinced Hosni Mubarak it's nearly time to leave, they've displeased both sides. Mubarak is ticked because he's being forced out by a putative ally. The opposition is upset because it's not happening immediately. ...

Instead of joining in full-throated support of the protesters, the Obama Administration has helped take the wind out of their sails. That may be smart if, as some in the U.S. military believe, the great bulk of the Egyptian population is apolitical and only wants a job that can put food on the table. In which case, good move. But if the flames of democracy we saw last week flicker into embers as the fire is banked, to the detriment of nascent Egypt's democrats -- and to the benefit of Osama [Bin Laden] -- maybe not so much.