According to a Yahoo News report http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110204/ap_on_re_us/us_us_egypt, the Obama administration is currently in talks with President Mubarak’s regime, in an attempt to persuading him to resign immediately, as tensions continue to rise in Egypt.
A number of alternatives to Mubarak’s rule are being fleshed out, including a proposal that a military-backed caretaker government could prepare the country for elections later this year.
“The president has said that now is the time to begin a peaceful, orderly and meaningful transition, with credible, inclusive negotiations,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor, said Thursday night. “We have discussed with the Egyptians a variety of different ways to move that process forward, but all of those decisions must be made by the Egyptian people.”
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton condemned “in the strongest terms” the pro-government mobs that beat, threatened and intimidated reporters in Cairo in addition to peaceful demonstrators, human rights activists, foreigners and diplomats. This behaviour she continued “is unacceptable under any circumstances.”
Clinton has stated publically that the Egyptian government must hold accountable those responsible for attacks on Western journalists saying it “must demonstrate its willingness to ensure journalists’ ability to report on these events to the people of Egypt and to the world.”
The attraction to the US and European governments of a military based transitional government is clear. The only force outside of the existing regime respected by nearly all of the Egyptian people is the army, made up for the most part of the fathers, husbands and sons of ordinary people. The strategy is however a risky one. It should be remembered that the current regime started with a coup led by a group of Colonels back in 1952 and culminated in the thirty-year reign of Mubarak. If another strong, charismatic army officer emerges in the next few weeks to lead a transitional government, Mohamed ElBaradei [unofficial spokesman for the Tahrir Square demonstrators] and Mohammed Badie [Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood] could be in for a big surprise.
At the present time, the imposition of a government led by secular, military men might be seen as preferable to one led by a nonaligned liberal or the leader of a religious party.