January 31st, 2011
04:12 PM ET

U.S. role in Middle East political unrest?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With Egyptian protesters hitting the streets for a week now, there is a growing sense of frustration at the lack of response from the U.S.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/01/31/art.egypt.protests.jpg caption="Protestors hold an anti Hosni Mubarek sign in Tahrir Square during afternoon anti-government protests today in Cairo."]
Many point to the speech President Obama made to the Muslim world in Cairo in June 2009.

In it, he spoke about Democracy and warned that governments can't suppress the rights of the people.

So... almost two years later - these protesters want to know why President Obama isn't putting his money where his mouth is - and openly supporting them.

It's a reasonable question.

Some in the Middle East are going even farther. The Israeli newspaper Ha-aretz writes that Mr. Obama will be remembered as the president who "lost" Egypt, "and during whose tenure America's alliances in the Middle East crumbled."

The piece suggests President Obama has been too cautious - sitting on the fence and neither embracing despised leaders nor preaching for Democracy.

But supporters of the administration say that abandoning a key ally in a time of crisis would damage America's interests in the region. What kind of message would it send to other allies?

Also, others see Egypt as a moderate force in a region of Islamic extremists like Iran. They say Egypt has helped keep peace between Israel and the Arab world.

Meanwhile, there are signs that after 30 years, the White House is quietly preparing for a post-Mubarak Egypt.

One former Obama official tells the Los Angeles Times that the administration recognizes it has to be "on the right side of history," and that it can't try to keep Mubarak in power at all costs.

Here’s my question to you: What is the U.S. role when it comes to violence and political unrest in the Middle East?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Lou writes:
There has always been conflict in the Mideast and we will continue to be affected by it as long as we are so dependent on their oil. Our sputnik moment should be making a car that can run on anything but oil. Just think of the peace we could have if we weren't always trying to pacify some oil-rich dictator.

Pete in Georgia writes:
To stay out of their business. We have spent billions upon billions of dollars on corrupt governments all over the globe, and for what? The people of these countries know nothing of our generosity, don't care about it and end up hating us regardless.

P. in Pennsylvania writes:
The U.S. should be very careful not to choose sides but support a more democratic government that gives the people more rights and freedom than they have now. The U.S. has to walk a fine line when doing this. It is like an outsider getting involved in a family argument. You need to watch what you say and do or the whole family will turn against you.

JD writes:
The role of the U.S. in an unstable Middle East is to be "on the right side of history"... These days, being on the right side means giving moral support to a downtrodden populace trying to oust a ruthless dictator, while giving the same dictator financial support to maintain a military for the purpose of putting down his enemies. A brilliant policy really, in its simplicity. Being on both sides of history always guarantees you'll come out on the right side.

Kathie writes:
It is long past time for us to stop sticking our noses in everyone else's business. How would we feel if another country interfered in our affairs?

Peter in Tarrytown, New York writes:
It is time for the U.S. to fish or cut bait. Either we support democracy, civil and human rights and we oppose dictatorial countries or we don't. We have the opportunity now to back the citizens of Egypt or look like hypocrites. What do we stand for if we don't support the citizenry of Egypt now?

Filed under: Middle East
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. A.Singh

    Maybe if we had listened to the likes of Rep. Ron Paul, and at least considered a non-interventionist military foreign policy when it came to the role of the US anywhere in the world, we might or might not have been in the position of "invading" other countries. I am not not sure if I am a Paul supporter, I am just saying. When it comes to Egypt, we must look at our role in the past and see if it was necessary. It's funny because I am sitting in a Political Science class right now and we are discussing this very issue.
    Rutgers University, New Jersey

    January 31, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  2. RB in CA


    Historically, most of America’s foreign policy is dictated by Wall Street, specifically what’s in it for us? If a country has something we need, i.e. oil, gas, cheap labor, real estate for a military base, etc, then the U.S. is there with guns-a-blazin’. But if there is little or no financial pay off for our intervention, we just rationalize the unrest by stating it’s a "domestic dispute" then do nothing aside from offering an obligatory million or two dollars in emergency aid six months down the road.

    RB in CA

    January 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    The US role really should be about "hands off".

    It isn't our affair, and we should not be meddling.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  4. John from Alabama

    Jack: Good question, but no easy answers. The Middle East will have to define itself and not the United States. We will have to protect our friends, and hopifully make new friends down the road. It is in the best interest of the United States' National Security that Israel is protected from its enemies. Prayer and faith that all will turn out for the better in Egypt and the Middle East. Tough question!!!

    January 31, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  5. Pat in Michigan

    make sure we don't allow the suez canal to close. that is probably the target anyway.If that is lost we and all of Europe is a goner.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  6. Carl


    For me, the answer is very simple, we need to stay totally out of it, and any other countries problems. Stop foreign aid to all countries, now, before we are in the same shape as they are. Obama needs to stay here, in the good old U.S.A. and worry about whats going on right here. We, the United States and are corrupt politicians need to stop trying to kiss every countries backside and stop being the police of the world just to gain favor, let some other countries help for a great change, don't you think? I really don't understand how Obama or any of our corrupt politicians can give any advice to any country about what is the right or wrong thing to do, when they don't have a clue as to how to fix our own problems. The biggest joke of all was Janet Napolitano givng afghanistan advice on border security, what an idiot she is, give me a break. Obam and Napolitano's idea of border security is just turn your head and look the other way and let the invaders invade, what a joke the both of them are. What do you call 10 politicians jumping off a high cliff, a good start, that's what?

    January 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  7. Greg, Ontario

    Jack you guys just don't get it. You have no role of any kind in the middle east. You are a customer for their oil and an easy money sorce. Except for being an invading military force, that is where your role ends. The second you tell them to do something they don't want to do you will get told to go pound sand.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  8. Mike from Denver

    It is an internal matter, and we should be hands-off. With the anti-American talk already swirling, the U.N not the U.S. needs to be the referee.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  9. Charles, Lansing, Michigan

    when is Washington going to understand that the U.S. role in the middle east should be limited to flying out Americans from trouble spots. Ever since World War II our middle east policy has been totally dictated by two things, Israel and Oil. This must change.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  10. Kathie

    It is long past time for us to stop sticking our noses in everyone else's business. How would we feel if another country interfered in our affairs??

    January 31, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  11. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    To me it shouldn't be anything at all but with the OIL situation we'll try once again to buy peace to no avail. We'll just give them more money, which we have to borrow from China. What irony.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  12. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think The United States needs to denounce any violence being used by either side. The U.S. should be very careful not to choose sides but support a more democratic gov't that gives the people more rights and freedom than they have now. The U.S. has to walk a fine line when doing this. It is like an outsider getting involved in a family argument. You need to watch what you say and do or the whole family will turn against you.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  13. Phyllis G Williams

    Personally, I think they have been acting wisely and diplomatically
    as a brilliant nation, and will succeed if they continue at the same pace.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  14. Ed from California

    To stay out of it! And let the new freedom movement have it's way. These people want full employment and a democracy! They want to vote their leaders in, and have a job, what's wrong with that? The Suez Canal isn't going to be shut down, that's income and jobs for Egypt's people. This whole deal is about employment and what's fair for all. Sound familiar? While these people have "their" Revolution, Mubarak's kid is toughing it out in Vienna? Life is so tough for some!

    January 31, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  15. Richard from Kansas

    Why would we have a role? It's not our country and there is no invasion from some other country. If this were happening in the USA do you think some other country is going to stick their nose in our affairs. No they are not. We need to simply watch the situation and keep our mouths shut.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  16. bob z fr ,pa.

    untill we get our own house in order we should stay out of it.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  17. Bradley, Portland, OR

    Stay out of it.

    It's an internal matter that they need to figure out for themselves.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  18. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    best option for United States is to keep our nose out of it BUT to let the Egyptian military know thru back channels that IF some radical Islamist group like the Muslim Brotherhood ends up in power, that will be the END of ANY American aid money or support for their country.

    I don't think that they want to lose the 1.3 BILLION dollars of support that were give the Egyptian military every year.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  19. Michael Shea Albuquerque,NM

    I believe that the United States mst not be involved involved with the internal struggles of other countries.

    President Woodrow Wilson made this mistake by sending 100,000 US troops to Russia to adid in the counter-revolution against the Communists in 1919. this led to the Cold War. What happened in Russia was a civil war. We had no business being there. the same is true in Egypt.

    We should support the activities of UN Peacekeeping Troops who are trained to keep the peace. We got involved in Bosnia, Kosovo and Viet-Nam and look where it got us.

    United States troops should not be involved in warlike actions unless it is a threat against our national security or is a clear and present danger.

    As a Viet-Nam Veteran I am speaking on behalf of thousands of veterans who "Don't want to study war no more."

    January 31, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  20. Dave, Orlando, FL

    What it is and what it should be are two entirely different things. It is a role where we meddle in everyone’s business messing things up everywhere, including here at home.

    What it should be is to mind our own business and take care of our own problems – we have more than enough.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  21. Loren, Chicago

    Pooh pooh the violence, and try to direct the political unrest so that the protesters understand that the United States is not their enemy. The truth of the matter is that political unrest leads to a power vacuum which can be exploited by Islamic extremists, since they are usually the most tightly organized political organizations and which are willing to say anything to achieve power. We can only hope for the best (but expect the worst, because that's what's happened in both Iran and Lebanon).

    January 31, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  22. Rich McKinney, Texas

    U.S.- Egyptian relations are aimed at maintaining regional stability, improving bilateral relations, continuing military cooperation and sustaining the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. The United States should remain neutral as Egypt has been it's own democracy for over 20 years. Other then helping to get U.S. citizens out that want to leave the area through the U.S. Embassy efforts we need to do nothing. Egypt's problems are their own and unless they ask for assistance from the west we need to stay the hell out of their business. Any interference from the United States would only appear like an oil grab.

    January 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  23. diridi

    We have enough headache, and enough problems jack...we need to stay away and fix our economy....stay focus on Manufacturing...strengthening dollar, and stringent immigration....o.k...what nonsense you guys speak....middle east...middle east...are they pumping oil to America? we liberated Kuwait....fought for Saudi what did they give....look at oil, it is going up...up...and up....we need to produce more fuel-efficient automobiles till we do public transportation....o.k, Again, GM lobby or buy all Cleveland transportation, lobby to cars and oil dependency...???wake up.....

    January 31, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  24. B.J., Quincy, Il

    To sit off to the side and see what happens.

    January 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  25. bonnie from nj

    Emphatically, NONE! Get American citizens out and that is it. Funny how we had such a problem with Iraq having a dictator but not with Egypt. Or how we are not encouraging the citizens to revolt against a government that will not hold elections. Our government refers to him as "president", I do not think that is the opinion of the Egyptian citizens. Perhaps we should all be taking to Facebook and Twitter to remind our government that we do not want to police the world.

    January 31, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  26. Peg from N.Y.

    To try and keep the peace, at all times, during these times as well as peaceful times.

    January 31, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  27. Ron from NEBR.

    None! We need to get our own house in order before dictating to other governments. Let the Middle East take care of their problems and we can take care of our many, many problems in the mean time.

    January 31, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  28. Joe CE

    We ned to urge Mubarak to impement changes to benefit the general population. Since it is not clear who is the principal force behind the potsts or what thier objectives are, it hard to formulate any respose.

    January 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  29. Jim


    Anything beyond being a mediator / mediation facilitator is too much. There is already signs of anger towards the U.S. by the people who want Pres. Mubarak out. We don't need to aggrevate it or get mired down in it. We've messed around in the Middle East too much too often.

    Jim in Denver, CO

    January 31, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  30. David

    The US should be pushing the United Nations to take more leadership in promoting modern, responsible government in these member countries.

    January 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  31. Steve, Clifton, VA

    The U.S role is clearly to protect, preserve and sustain U. S national security interest and economical interest. The U .S also has an obligation to it's strategic allies like Israel. In addition, the U.S, as does the rest of the global community, has a role in ensuring that the middle east region is one that is conducive for the peaceful existence of all countries in the region.

    January 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  32. lou

    There has always been conflict in the mideast and we will continue to be affected by it as long a we are so dependent on their oil. Our sputnik moment should be making a car that can run on anything but oil. Just think of the peace we could have if we weren't always trying to pacify some oil rich dictator. We could actually speak with our convictions instead of our pocket books.

    January 31, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  33. Maria Gleason

    What difference does it make, Jack? You don't care what people think. You and your ideological media cronies tolerate different responses based on who occupies the White House. Because the White House is currently occupied by one of your own, any response, no matter how incompetent, will the be correct one in your eyes, and you'll look for creative ways to defend it.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  34. Olga

    We need to recognize that the voice of the people creates the allies of the future.

    Benito Juarez, a Mexican hero, used to say 'Respect for the rights of others, is peace."

    I believe that.

    Austin, Tx

    January 31, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  35. lou

    The u.s. role is to concoct a million reasons for oil prices to skyrocket, not one ounce of oil has been slowed since the uprising, but the u.s. oil companies and brokerage firms will find a way to sqeeze that extra buck from american pockets. and our do-nothing president will stand by and pretend nothing has happened. too bad, I was his biggest fan. I thinks Egyptions are better off than americans. we just think we are doing better. lou in clearwater

    January 31, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  36. Richard35 Canfield, Ohio

    Jack, our country's history suggestion we have rarely been on the side of the main street people. This is principally because we have never learned to appreciative the culturally history of our opponents and its impact on our Strategic interests.It seems our strategic interests are being defined by international corporations.Hence we loose every time.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  37. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    We should let the region decide for themselves. Western Europe and the U.S. have meddled enough and we have the poor results to prove it.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  38. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    The stage was set in 1776. Opposing democracy and the rights of man is not an option. It's unAmerican. It's important to be who you are in this life, in this world.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  39. AB

    The role of the U.S. is to promote political stability, human rights and democracy in Egypt and in the rest of middle east region. To effectively accomplish this goal, the Obama Administration must support the cause of the Egyptian people and nudge Hosni Mubarak to leave his leadership post and Egypt. The U.S. must foster democratic and economic reforms in Egypt.This requires the U.S. to pull out all of the stops and use all tools of influence neccessary to accomplish this agenda–i.e. diplomacy and/or stopping military aid to Egypt, imposing economic sanctions and encouraging U.N. sanctions. Furthermore, the U.S. can and should also broker, support and oversee free elections in Egypt after Mubarak's departure.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  40. Joan

    Indeed, has been intteresting to watch the Obama ADM with their finger to the wind giong from supporting he Dictator to "not knowing what to do". The world looks at Obama ADM as weak and indeed that shows worldwide...partly responsible for what has happened.
    Reading history alot, I wonder what Reagan, Eishenhauer or Truman would of done? They had backbone.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  41. Dennis north Carolina

    we can advise the people in these areas but we have to stay out these areas. the people of these areas must chose their own destiny so they can feel that they decided their future.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  42. Gary H. Boyd

    To stay the hell out of it.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    January 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  43. ken, atlantic city, nj

    The u.s.needs to stop borrowing money to give israel and egypt billions of dollars. Israel and egypt have budget surpluses and we have deficits. We have homelesness, poverty, foreclosures, expensive health care, expensive college tuition, high energy bills, 70 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, high credit card rates, high bank fees, dropping home values, two unnecessary wars, and 16,000 murders per year. Our entire budget is borrowed money which we get from banksters who we bailed out with taxpayer funds. We continue to loan banks trillions of dollars at 0% interest so they can gamble it away on wall street instead of investing in america. Obama and congress are fiscally insane, and have absolutely no concept of budget reality. Where is the stability in the middle east we were promised when we invaded iraq and afghanistan. It is time for politicians to help main street, instead of helping corporations, banks, wall street and countries who don't need our help.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  44. Jenna

    What is the U.S. role when it comes to violence and political unrest in the Middle East?

    Why should the US have any role?

    The US should adopt the Muslim act of charity system.

    1st you take care of yourself
    2nd you take care of your family
    3rd you take care of your parents
    4th you take care of your siblings
    5th you take care of your neighbors
    6th you take care of your community (town, city)
    7th you take care of your nation
    8th you take care of other nations

    If our nation would adopt this charity system we would be doing so much better.

    If you have money after taking care of yourself then you can share it with other. We don't have the money to support Israel, Egypt, or any other nation. We need to take care of us first!

    Roseville CA

    January 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  45. Bill in South Texas


    This is a tough one.

    We claim we want to help the citizens of the Middle East establish democratic governments.

    We support Egypt's Mubarak who is a dictator but paid by the US at a cost of 1 billion 5 hundred million dollars a year so the US can count on him to support our support of Israel.

    The Saudis have oil, lots of clean oil and allow us military bases in their country.

    Great cooperation and compromises will be needed to get us through this point in our relationships in the Mid-East

    January 31, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  46. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York


    The only reasonable action that President Obama can take in Egypt is to declare that all military aid will be immediately converted into humanitarian assistance and distributed to the Egyptian people via international organizations, such as the United Nations or the Red Cross.
    Assisting the people and not military regimes is the best way to ensure Middle East stability. Let the food, water, generators, and blankets be stamped " made in USA" instead of the tear gas cannisters and rubber bullets.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  47. Ralph Spyer

    Ron Paul said it best when he said " The terrorist are over here because we ,our C.I.A is over there. As a country we have innocent blood on our hands.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  48. Bud Rupert

    Not to be flip Jack but maybe we should mind our own business unless it' s clearly a security threat to the United States.
    I don't mean we become isolationists. That did not work in the 1930's when we turned our backs on Europe and the rise of Adolph Hitler. But I think we have spread ourselves way too thin with a presense in just about every part of the world. Let's work on protecting our borders and making things again.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  49. Sean in Michigan

    This is the unfortunate by-product of creating alliances with dictatorships. Now the President is caught between a rock and a hard place. What kind of message does it send to other regime's we are allied with, such as Saudi Arabia, if we jump at an opportunity to overthrow their government?
    What we should be doing is pressuring our existing allies to reform or cut ties, and only make future ties with democracies. We can't continue to stand for one thing and support the opposite. No wonder we look like hypocrites.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  50. Chuck / La Garita, CO

    When the uprising comes to the USA (and it will come) How many Americans will want interference from a foreign government? None I bet.
    We must however keep Egypt form becoming another radical religous
    country, just like we must keep America from becoming a right wing
    only, all christian country. I am glad I am not the President. I could do a
    term in Congress as I have the ability to become an elite jerk overnite too.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  51. David in West Virginia

    The impact of social media is undeniable, but whether it's for good or ill remains to be seen. And therein lies the rub: instant communication, without the "leavening" of evaluation and reflection, can bring instant progress ... or instant doom.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  52. bob in florida

    Watch and adjust, no more.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  53. Viv from NY

    I know we do seem to think we are the police chiefs of the world and now countries are expecting us to continue on as if we are. BUT we aren't – we need to MIND our own business!

    January 31, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  54. Rudy Gomez

    The United States basically should not stick its nose to other country's internal affairs. The whole Middle East historically was ruled by Kings and monarchs. Egypt is an ally, but they should resolve their issue in accordance to what is right and best for them. To take side and play a major role not only emboldens some, but it also brings fear and uncertainty to other allies in that part of the world. We have so much problem of our own here, so stick to domestic affairs and leave them alone.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  55. Renee Peoria,Ill

    We get it, publicly no head of state wants to take a stand one way or the other. Privately, I'm sure they're all saying Mubarik is on his way out. Once upon a time we used to have leaders with real guts, now everyone is so concerned with appearance it's like all the world's leaders are stuck in a high school mentality. Small wonder more and more people feel the need to take matters into their own hands. Obama has, frankly, been a real disappointment in this situation and I voted for him. Where's the guy who spoke so passionately about the rights of people during his campaign? That has to apply to everyone, not just one country, or it means nothing.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  56. Linda in Arizona

    Here’s my question to you: What is the U.S. role when it comes to violence and political unrest in the Middle East?

    Umm... to cause more of it?

    January 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  57. John Blythe

    The U.S. needs to stress the grave concern over the Muslim Brotherhood. We've already seen Lebanon's government collapse and Iran is waiting silently. If Egypt does collapse, which it probably will once Mubarak resigns and the Muslim Brotherhood finds a way into Egypt's new government, this means ALL radical terrorist groups could be one step closer on its ambition to whip Israel off the face of this planet. That whole region of the world will become a war zone.

    – John Blythe
    Lake Isabella, California

    January 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  58. Gerry

    We need to mind our own business. Their culture has completely different values and objectives than ours. We learned nothing from Vietnam. We can't continue to meddle in other countrys affairs and when were not successful in ramming democracy down their throats throw money at the failure. Washington needs a mental enema.

    Ash Fork, Az.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  59. Paul P.

    I feel the U.S. should simply be promoting democracy. Offering resources and finances to help ensure the framework of a monitored national election this year. It would bring organized opponents to the forefront with positions, ideas and mandates and help put some faces to the unrest. It is the most effective method of ensuring real change in Egypt is reflective of the majority of its citizens and avoids leaving any political void.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  60. Curtis McVey

    You can't keep them down on the Farm, once they've seen Paris

    January 31, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  61. Scott Stodden

    President Obama Did Speak About Democracy In His Speech In Cairo, Egypt Back In 2009 But That Doesn't Mean We Should Be In Support Of Removing Anyone From Power! The Obama Administration Is Handling This Situation The Best Way They Can, It Unethical To Just Send Troops Into The Country And Remove Someone From Power That Isn't Hurting Nobody! I Think The Best Thing Anyone Can Do Concering This Issue Is To Offer Our Support And Try To Talk Peacefully And Find Ways Together To Fix What's Broken!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    January 31, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  62. Jamal

    Please Mr, Obama do not put all your money in Mubarak, put all you'r money in the Eygption people they the one wll stay in the end...you have to act now before time is all over, they're looking for a leader jump in and get it, Mubarak all gone it's the time to act.
    we going anyway if you do or not.


    January 31, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  63. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – The US has no good role to play in these events – remember, Egypt is not our country! We must have good relations with the governments, but we do not get to choose those governments, and cannot, without hypocrisy, support despots in suppressing their own peoples. By emulating England in overthrowing popular governments we did not "like", we have made many enemies around the world, in places where we need to have friends. We screwed this up in Iran – lets not screw it up in Egypt too.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  64. Omar from Chapel Hill

    The U.S. on the "right" side of Middle Eastern history? When has this ever happened?

    The problem for the U.S. with this particular Egyptian uprising is that Mubarak is not overtly tyrannical like others the U.S. has made it's foreign policy very clear with. He is, in fact, the worse kind of tyrant, a soft, hidden one depriving his highly educated population of a fair chance at social mobility. Obama, step up, and support the Egyptian people, they are LITERALLY fighting for the words you spoke about in your recent State of the Union.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  65. Sam Dallas

    Jack, if America talks the talk of democracy, she must be willing to walk the walk as well. For the past 30 yrs, with 2 Billion dollar taxpayers money annually, American Govt has supported the Dictatorial and Anti-democratic regime in Egypt, Is this a role we the American people should be proud of?. Our true ally are the Egyptian people who are calling for an end to dictatorship and entrenchment of democracy, and it is their voice we must listen to.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  66. Randy

    The U.S. role in the middle east is simply anything the israeli lobby (AIPAC) tells us to do. From the orchestrated financial collapse around the world to the local school board appointments, every thing is being micro-managed to the benefit of the overlords.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  67. HURRICANEPAUL from Hawaii

    Jack, the role the U.S. has is to speak softly and carry a big stick, same as it has for years.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  68. Willie, Mississippi

    Dear Jack,

    I wish democracy, freedom, and justice for everyone but why is it that everyone point's fingers at President Obama when another country has problems? Not just Egypt who I am praying for but any country or nation. Our country has its own problems and we're still working on that right now while making steady progress. Bush made a mistake by interfering when we invaded Iraq to take over and look at how that ended. A lot of people expect the US to act as the big brother for other countries out there and take over. I understand that what other countries do can sometimes affect us but what they do is really none of our business to a certain extent. This is between the people of Egypt and their government. Obama is the President of the United States, not the World.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  69. Karen Manhassett NY

    Unfortunately, the US always comes to the rescue, whether or not it's appreciated. We are damned if we do, and damned if we don't.
    Logically, we really can't do any different than what we've always done, and that is to help.

    Obama has already developed a rapport with Mubarik.. they are waiting for us to help. Eithery way and as always, The US loses.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  70. J.D., Vancouver, British Columbia

    I know this one, Jack. The role of the U.S. in an unstable Middle East is to be "on the right side of history." Every politico and pundit worth his or her sound bite says so. These days, being on the right side means giving moral support to a down-trodden populace trying to oust a ruthless dictator, while giving the same dictator financial support to maintain a military for the purpose of putting down his enemies. A brilliant policy really, in its simplicity. Being on both sides of history always guarantees you'll come out on the right side.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  71. Peter in Tarrytown, NY

    It is time for the U.S. to fish or cut bait.
    Either we support democracy, civil and human rights
    and we oppose dictatorial countries or we don't.
    We have the opportunity now to back the citizens of Egypt or
    look like hypocrites.
    What do we stand for if we don't
    support the citizenry of Egypt now?

    January 31, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  72. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    Pleaseavknowledge the ongoing talks between the Obama administration and Mubarak, which most likely are suggesting he leave the country. At the same time, the Obama Administration is working with leading members of the opposition to assist in their rise to power. He is serious in his assisting the oppressed. In the end, our president will be embraced by the protestors, as well as most of the world. I would guess, that no matter what the outcome, that conservative Americans will find fault with Obama's actions.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  73. Gigi Oregon

    The same as it should be here in the States when it comes to violence and political unrest. If we are truly tired of the bickering in the nations capital. Maybe we should protest and demand our leaders to straighten up and do what's right for "We the people". If we can spend 1.3 billion on Egypt and not knowing how many other countries. We can surely trim back here and pay off our nations debt for the two wars in the wrong countries and other projects unknown to the tax payer. Before we have even more political unrest.

    Oh yes, your question, let's clean up our own country first and put it back into order.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  74. Tim in Texas

    We would, of course, all like to have the President come out and speak strongly for the people and the ousting of Mumbarak, but the President has to act responsibly and resist the urge to do so. To do so would be a self-glorifying act, it would make him 'look good' but would not BE good for anybody. He should not be criticized for not seeking his own glory. He should be praised for working diligently behind the scenes to get the Egyptian people to the democracy they seek with as little violence or risk of a 'crack-down' as possible.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  75. Anne

    The US is caught in the middle on this one. I say butt out and let things take their course. Obama is doing the right thing.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  76. Mary Steele Yorktown VA


    For Obama to talk about a government "not" trampling on the rights of its citizens is like Janet Napolitano going to another country to give advice on securing their borders while proclaiming "our borders are as secure as they have ever been". Neither of them walks the talk!! Our borders are still wide open and Obama's attempt to take away our freedoms such as the internet and guns, says all there is to say!!

    York VA

    January 31, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  77. Susan from Idaho

    Stand in one spot and quiver.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  78. Glenn

    One scenario bothers me. So Obama says it's time for Mubarak to go. In response Mubarak mows down the protesters, says to hell with the Israeli peace treaty, and keep your 3 billion dollars. We will get our weapons and aid from Russia and China. Two countries that have no problems dealing with the worst despots on the planet as long as they can make a buck. What do we do then Jack?

    Haymarket, VA

    January 31, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  79. Blake

    Our role in Middle East unrest? Nothing. Because of our foreign policy (and tax dollars,) the Egyptian people are oppressed. For once, couldn't we keep our nose in our own business?

    January 31, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  80. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    It is the same as it always should be Jack, protect America's best interests. Make no mistake, due to Obama's lack of action, our country just got weaker. Where we had a dictator sympathetic to our and Israel's interests, we will have a dictator rise to power who is sympathetic to Iran's interest. When a democracy would promote the Muslim Brotherhood to power, who are decidedly anti-western and anti-Israel, it does not benefit us. The whole region is crumbling and I hope people like the idea of paying high energy prices. With Obama's anti-commonsense domestic energy policies and him sitting idly by and watching more of the world's oil supply fall into anti-American hands, we are all going to be in a world of hurt.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  81. Agnes

    if USA gets involved they blame us, if we don't they blame us too, can't the countries take care of their own government and well being of their own region? We got enough problems here in USA to take care of, no matter the importance of the conflicts all over the world, we can't babysit everyone!

    January 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  82. Steve

    See who wins their election, call and congratulate them..Same as you would do any other country? Why is it even a question?

    January 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  83. Nick, Longmont, CO


    Apparently, President Obama is not only making good on his Cairo Speech w years ago, he also is not making good on his Nobel Peace Prize. It seems that our president is more concerned with the benefactors and Big Oil money that put him into office, than to see the Arab oil company supported dictatorships go down like a house of cards.

    Can we say Iran, 1952 and 1979?

    January 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  84. Paula W

    There is no right side history on this one. Egypt is a complex situation.
    Does anyone really beleive that some of the faces, some of the current organizers that we see on TV are not radical muslims from Iran or elsewhere.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  85. Liz Mossad

    Mubarak has robbed the youth and future of Egypt through his greed and corruption. The government housing is falling apart and they won't fix it because it might take a few pounds out of his pocket. Put him on the talk-show and lecture circuit and I guarantee he'll consider leaving by the end of the week.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  86. dave in nash

    Let me ask this: What role should Egypt play when rioters take to our streets in Detroit, or DC or Nashville?

    January 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  87. Lucas Perie

    Obama was too quiet on health care reform. He was too quiet on the oil spill. He was too quiet on financial regulatory reform. He was too quiet on the DADT repeal.

    Quiet is President Obama's style, Jack.


    January 31, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  88. James Riggen

    We should stand up for ANY demonstrations that are peacefully demanding Democracy. We are the United States. That's what we do! We lost a great opportunity last year to take a greater stand during the Iraninian demonstrations, we should stand up firmly on the side of the demonstrators this time, and not let this opportunity pass us by....grow a spine President Obama!

    January 31, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  89. Alexander Oricchio

    Im 14 and am interested in this, i thing that obama should support the protestors fully. And preach democracy to the protestors. In my opinion he isn't doing enough and is embarrassing the U.S.A

    January 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  90. bondfiles inc

    when the American Media can put this much interest in American democracy and freedoms it would be warranted.. But its kind of hard to spread democracy when the people at home dont have it.. But just like the American media lookin for the Best ratings story.. Not Whats best for America.. So Americans will never be truly free. Keep playin IRAN'S game. they been working the American Media for years.. Its a shame...

    January 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  91. Girard B.

    There's a great divide between what the US role should be and what is being practiced. Right now, the US is looking for a stable and relatively unchanging leadership that's relatively friendly. We should've gone about promoting our ideals – democracy and fair elections – but we didn't. Now, in the eyes of the Arab people, we are the enemy, and they are certain to vote against us. That's a risk that the US just doesn't seem to want to take, so they continue down the path of old instead of making real changes.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  92. Suzanne (Colorado)

    What IS the role? Or what SHOULD it be?
    The role of the US Govt and security forces has seldom been on the side of the angels since Reagan in South America and maybe before.
    It has propped up dictators and embraced oppressors from Egypt to China and back.
    What it should NOT be doing is giving MONEY to said dictators! In fact, foreign aid should be suspended everywhere until we recover financially assuming we ever do.

    What it SHOULD be going is standing for something, standing for democracy, standing for civil rights, standing for individual freedoms. Period! End of report!

    I know diplomacy is a matter of inches and intrigues but we have never become befriended for either our diplomacy or our billions. Perhaps we would do better to simply stand for what we used to believe in (and most Americans still do).

    January 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  93. Hugh Cowart

    It's time to stop providing support to these ungrateful, terrorist nations. It's time that the muslim world step up and quit taking handouts and spend some of their oil money.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  94. Sandi, Asheville

    Jack, I see the role of the US in handling this unrest as a of peacekeeping in Egypt, IF the UN requests our intervention. We all know what happened when we went into Iraq without the agreement of the UN. Personally, I'm getting tired of the world always asking the US to intervene and save them, while at the same time degrading us. Smartest thing this Administration could do?... do nothing unless the UN requests it. Bottom line...we're screwed either way.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  95. Joe


    Why do we think we are the sole country in the world who should dictate our politics upon foreign states? Let's get out of the Middle-East period, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and all other states including any foreign aid for Israel.

    I am tired of the US trying to police the world, when we cannot take care of ourselves. Look at our homeless, our people dying in need of transplants, etc. Leave the rest of the world alone and take care of trade, econonmy, health, welfare, etc.
    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    January 31, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  96. Marty from Michigan

    let's be honest Jack,regardless of how the president responds to this crisis,he is going to get slammed by someone in the media.His response has been absolutely correct.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  97. Nancy, Grand Ledge, MI

    We started a war in Iraq to establish a democracy there, we need to be consistent. We are either pro democracy in all cases or we should stay the hell out of things that are none of our business!! We have enough political unrest here at home. Maybe we should clean our own house before we tell others how to clean theirs!

    January 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  98. Maria

    The Million dollar question: Walking the thin line between supporting natural pro-Freedom and Islamists totalitarians who'd like to see another (Gaza style) Hamastan, or Iran oppressive regime...
    How about some clarity from the W.H. Supporting "mainstream" Egyptian Arabs and denouncing the fascist 'Muslim brotherhood' who was established in the 1920s inspired by European fascism and started its Jihad already against the Brits, and has been the main source of radical Islam, the mastermind of the massacre of 3,000 innocent people by radical Islam – Khalid Sheikh Mohamed was a "Muslim brother." Simply put the atrive for an all oppressive Sharia dominated Caliphate "dream."

    January 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  99. christopher

    A little honesty and integrity by the U.S. would go along way to minimizing unrest and curbing violence in the Middle East. Why do you think there are people who burning old glory and scream death to America. Encouraging real democracy, instead of brutal dictators, would help too...along with stopping the prosituting of America to the military industrial complex.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  100. jeane

    Our role is to remember we don't have a vote. It is up to the Egyptian people. This is what we would tell them if they tried to influence the USA.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  101. Marsha from Kansas

    We have no role in this revolt. Every time we pick a side that we think is the democratic force we wind up sorry. Backing the rebels in Cuba gave us Castro. Helping out the Shaw of Iran gained us the Ayatola and his puppet Amanutjob. Sticking our nose into Iraq wound us up with the very strong possibility of fat guy in the black turbin.
    Obama is right. Stay out of it and set up a relationship with whichever side comes out the winner.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  102. becky - Las Vegas

    The US should assist Egypt toward a more democratic state so that any power transition will go more like the Philippines when Marcos left and not like Iran when the Shah left. How to do that is for the diplomats, not twitter or facebook or the world media (that's you, Jack).

    By the way how can it be said that Obama lost Egypt if Mubarak leaves or the power structure changes ? It wasn't his to lose. Now if Maine decided to leave the US and become part of Canada... THAT would be his loss.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  103. Richie Diggs

    Let us Note Jack, that POTUS warned against the repercussions of the activities of such regimes as we've seen in Egypt, how unrest tends do become the ultimate fate for repression. What he infact did not do was threaten governments and peoples with drastic US policy towards them when they did things that weren't favorable. Hello, did you see the inauguration and the new strategy not to lecture of countries?


    January 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  104. David

    This is what happens when you make a deal with the devil you know. The US government always seems to support Democracy abroad, but we get squeamish when we think the people may choose a form of government that could be anti-American. It's just another variation of support for the dictator's of Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and on and on....

    January 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  105. Nazek

    The U.S. can do what it has long been preaching the world on. Democracy for the people...

    January 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  106. Richard

    The US has (and is) supported / supporting Middle East dictators and totalitarian states for decades, as Condi Rice critically phrased it "for the sake of stability". We have an opportunity to dramatically improve our image (and ultimately, our security) if we will more vocally support the uprising. We had this opportunity in Iran many years ago, and sat on our hands. The result has been plaguing us ever since. We should not pretend that these events will end with Egypt.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  107. Frank Sylvester

    Whats going on in Egypt, and other places around the world that we the United States always seem to stick our nose into , will happen and we should as Obama is doing, watch and see. The last thing we need is to piss off more of our "allies". Our influence has worn out its welcome . We talk about free society and let the people decide ,, well let em decide. Enough Americans have given there life to push our agenda across the globe. Bring em home to protexct our borders, but I suspect that makes too much sense.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  108. Birddog in Mississippi

    A democracy is a bottom up process. We can not and should not attempt to impose it. The US is doing exactly what it should do – working privately with key players to assist in pushing Mumbarak toward a peaceful transition toward a real democracy. The risks are far too great for the President to get ahead of this, he needs to keep doing what he is doing and keep pace with it. I am glad we have a President who doesn't risk the fragile peace of the region just so he can look like a hero.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  109. Ms. Tseday

    President Obama has to do the right moral thing, which is to side on the democratic aspirations of Egyptians .... do Americans know that their government gives $1.3 billion a year of taxpayers dollars in military aid to the Mubarak regime? that should stop first.
    (from Toronto)

    January 31, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  110. Bill from Michigan

    Stay out of their political business and just try being good trading partners. We live in a world where controlling countries, people, and their resources just will not fly anymore.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  111. Laith F. Gulli

    Hi Jack:

    The role of the US is simple. As reported on CNN we now know that several US Presidents including Ronald Reagan supported President Mubarak knowing in full force he is a Dictator since he NEVER had an opposition party. So the role is simple; US policy cares about the government politicians they deal with, not the people of the country. What I despise so much is to see our leaders talk about the people of Egypt. Where were they for them for 30 years.

    Laith F. Gulli, Columbus, Indiana

    January 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  112. Hisham Elmanzalawy

    As an Egyptian American, I and many like me see the US as a beacon of freedom and justice. People kill themselves trying to come to this country for the opportunites it provides and freedoms it affords.

    If the US decides to abandon the plight of the Egyptian people for a better life and future in favor of a dictator then it will have truly lost the souls and minds of freedom seekers around the world. The US should shock and awe the nay sayers and side with the people of Egypt. Other wise Al-Qaida will have a recruiting bonanza.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  113. Bruce Marshall

    Jack we need to do what the French did and give support to the people. when those crazy Brition's had the guts to stand up and say no more. You may remember them George Washington,Adams, Jefferson to name a few. The U.S. Government will not suffer from this we the people will and I think if you check American's are for the freedon of the people. And I am ready to suffer a little for them. Hell oil prices are going up and there is no interruption of the flow, but hey someone has to get rich out of this. What happened to the price control laws?? I think Our government needs to look into why oil is going up and support the people in their fight for freedom. But I bet they will screw it up again by not doing what is right.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  114. Jerry

    I believe that the US should provide the only the influences that we would accept in the same situation.

    How receptive would the US population be if the United States were in a similar national debate, and Russia or China attempted to influence the outcome?

    January 31, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  115. james

    Anything we do will be wrong. If we do nothing we look weak or indifferent. If we take action we will be seen as taking over the country for aour own purposes and we will be stuck in another quagmire just like we are in Iraq.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  116. Michelle from Naples, Florida

    The US administration has not only to protect our own interests in the Middle East, but also to support and protect our Allies, like Israel ! If we lose these Allies, then we will lose the only door to any potentiial peace in the Middle East.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  117. lynnej in north carolina

    Looking at our history of dealing with the Middle East after WWII, we should stay out of it. Meddling gets us nowhere. We pay for it sooner or later. Recently it took 50 years before we paid for it...with lives..precious lives.

    It is time that we realize that our actions have consequences. We're dealing with those consequences now with some in the Middle East mistrustful of us and extremists from there attacking us.

    Stay on the fence and let those folk govern as they see fit whether it is democratic or not. We may not like it, but we must respect it.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  118. Frank from CA.

    The United States and Israel have no business trying to influence another country's internal affairs. We talk about promoting democracy but the minute a country begins the transition, the US and Israel are the first to raise concerns about who the new leaders of that country will be.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  119. Jim Parker, Sr.

    If we are asked for help we should do as much as we can. If we are
    not asked then we should mind our own business unless we are
    threatened . During the Yom Kippur war Egypt lost 250 tanks, Israel
    lost 25. Egypt can not make tanks planes, helicopters or any kind of
    military equipment. Whoever ends up on top they need us. Jim Parker
    Brandon, Florida

    January 31, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  120. Jaffer

    The U.S.'s role in Middle Eastern politics is right about where it should be. The US should not try to influence the direction in which politics run in the world directly, but the US should be present enough to prevent another dictator from grabbing hold no matter their political alignment. If the US does decide to back a leader who ends up declaring Marshal Law for another three decades, it may not be viewed as the country that lost Egypt, but when another revolt arises, no one wants it to be their fault.
    Unlike all the "extremist" theories you here, Egyptians just want a leader who listens and acts, not someone who will sit around and line his pockets with money and continue to let people suffer.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  121. martin

    The problem, Jack, is that while we've been happy with him, most Egyptians are unhappy among other things with Mubarak's support (and ours) of israel. No need here to get into Israel's treatment of Palestinians. We pushed Mubarak to help our ally and we're going to suffer for that support in Egypt as elsewhere in the Arab world.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  122. Ali

    The U.S. should have no role in Middle East politics. We have lost all credibility in the region with double standard policies. Isreal can have nukes but Iran's cannot have a civilian nuclear program. The Shah was a dictator so he had to go. Saddam was a dictator who was supported by us in the war with Iran yet when time came this dictator too had to go. Now it's Mubarak, U.S. supported him for 30 years even though he betrayed his people and all Arab countries. Now it's time for this dictator to go. Shame on the architects of our foreign policy as we have lost all of our credibility and respect around the world.

    Novato, CA.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  123. thomas

    send in da CIA....start r back ..if 1 there already..a usa friendly allie to power

    January 31, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  124. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    Very simple. The US need to tell Mubarak to step down.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  125. Jim Carroll

    Don’t just stand there, President Obama, stand
    up for the people of Egypt. Tell the dictator of
    Egypt to go. Send a message to the world!
    Read more at the Internet Free Press.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  126. Bassel Ibrahim

    Mr. Cafferty, the USA has a great opportunity to win the hearts and the mind of the Egyptian people in particular and the Arab world in general.
    The Egyptians have decided to bring Mubarak's regime downe. This is historical moment of the Egyptians history and is going to be documented,
    so Mr. Pres. which side you want to be; whether black or white ! it's a decison that will affect a nation of 80 million people.

    B. Ibrahim

    January 31, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  127. Gbenga

    What the heck is the right side of history? Why should we get involved in the way every country is run? Egypt is a sovereign nation and the way the people and the leaders decide to run it "Yes" is our business but not our responsibility. Have we forgotten Iraq so soon? Whatever US interests need to be safeguarded within the arab world need to be done within diplomatic circles when Jullian Assange is not listening.

    Couple of things we need to get into our psyche:
    1. Democracy is not the best way of governance for all peoples
    2. The US cannot intervene in every country because their leadership or system of governance does not agree with ours.
    3.We need to get ourselves together first. Hello? We just had one of most uncivilized elections in history!

    January 31, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  128. Jude, Ca


    Anything that President Obama says will only serve the right wing. What a world we live in today. So.... I guess we stay silent.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  129. Isauro

    It is very easy for someone to criticize as to why President Obama has not made a decision on supporting either Presidendt Mubarak or the Egyptian people. Many factors to be considered, you cannot go in and take over making decisions prematurely. If President Obama would have chosen sides already, he would very likely be criticized for the decision made, as being premature and possibly wrong. It's one of those cases that you're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't. Give him a little bit of time, and I am sure that he will make a good decision, and a wise decision.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  130. aguizi

    Mubarak has been your ally and had your support for 30 years, you can't just turn out on him when everyone is against him!...
    i've been anti-mubarak since the day i was born, but he still is my president Egypt is his responsibility and not yours!
    you can't turn against him and force him to step away for he hasn't abandoned his country and ran away from his people
    Egypt belongs to the Egyptians and they so can take care of their country it's their business not yours and all you can do is STAY OUT OF IT.
    being on the right side of history is to support the people and you're already doing a great job using the media, i think that is support enough and you can't physically take any actions against either Mubarak nor the People.

    And i think that Mubarak is leaving he knows that... he has no intention to stay as the acting president anymore. For the first time in a 30 years he's assigned a vice president and a whole new government..... kind of telling the people that he is leaving but he's not going to run away and leave the country to burn with no one in charge!

    January 31, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  131. Connie in KY

    We have meddled in Egypt for so long now that the Egyptians are looking to us for the support they have earned over these past 30 years. We need to make sure they get a shot at democracy. We should see that Mubarak steps down, and then make sure free and fair elections take place.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  132. D. Watson

    As a professor of international relations I sum up the issue of promoting democracy simply to my students: the US sees democracy, especially in other countries, as an outcome of the political process, while most states see it as a process itself. If we knew for sure that the Muslim Brotherhood or a similar faction wouldn't gain power we would be more vocal in supporting the movement. Truth is, democracy will always be second to security and so Mubarak will always be attractive to US foreign policy.

    January 31, 2011 at 7:00 pm |