Obama needs to denounce Mubarak, and soon. As of this post Egypt has cutoff all communications except land phone lines (edit: looks like the ISP Noor is still up), deployed anti-terror units, and police are setting fires to cars and public spaces. This has all the hallmarks of being setup for a massacre.
Obviously, the US can’t intervene militarily. But the US can certainly denounce Mubarak, pull US aid money and offer humanitarian aid to the Egyptian population.
This is a pivotal moment. If the US denounces Mubarak it’s a huge blow to his government and sends a message to the entire Arab world that the US supports Arab people over corrupt Arab governments. If we fail to support the protestors, then one of two things happens:
- The protestors are crushed. Lives are lost, the winds of reform in North Africa and the Middle East are snuffed out for decades, and the US loses any credibility with the Arab world for an entire generation. But the US keeps its “stable” “ally” in the region.
- The protestors, with the aid of Islamic Brotherhood somehow succeed. The US, having stood by doing nothing, essentially invites Islamicism into credibility.
If the US truly supports democracy in the Arab world the time is now to show it. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of lives are in the balance, as is the US’ role in the region, the world and history.