After sending mixed signals, the administration has appeared to settle on supporting a measured transition for easing Mubarak out of power. That strategy, which remains the subject of vigorous debate inside the administration, calls for a Mubarak crony, Vice President Omar Suleiman, to lead the reform process.
According to experts who have interacted with the White House, the tactic is favored by a group of foreign policy advisors including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, national security advisor Thomas Donilon and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who worry about regional stability and want to reassure other Middle East governments that the U.S. will not abandon an important and longtime ally.
The American power structure has been set reeling by something that is simply outside the boundaries of their mental universe: a non-violent, non-sectarian, non-ideological, leaderless revolution by ordinary people. Our power structuralists know only one thing: violent domination. Since that is what they seek to impose, they believe that anyone who opposes them must seek the same. They cannot conceive of anything different. They don't know how to react to such an incomprehensible event. There's no one to demonize. There are no armed groups to flex their muscles against -- or to make a cynical deal with, if necessary. ... The poltroons on the Potomac are dumbstruck as they look at these crowds of people who have freed themselves, who just walked out into the streets and claimed their human freedom -- on their own, individual by individual, with no "authority", no leader, no armies to "grant" them what is already theirs by their birthright, our birthright, on this our common planet.
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah told U.S. President Barack Obama that his country would prop up Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak if the United States withdrew its aid programme, The Times said on Thursday.
Abdullah told Obama not to humiliate Mubarak, who is under pressure from protesters to quit immediately, in a telephone call on January 29, the newspaper said, citing a senior source in Riyadh.
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