Ordinarily, the answer to this question should be simple: The US being a bastion of freedom and self-determination should, as they have done in other countries, side with the popular demands of Egyptians and press Mubarak to resign. The difficulty with this position, however, is that the US is unsure what would happen to its interests when Egypt is run by a different administration. By its calculations, the chances are that the new government would not be as friendly as this one has been.
This has led to a compromise of principles, for whereas in countries like Zimbabwe the US and Britain have been quick to call for Mugabe's resignation, they are reluctant to do the same under quite similar conditions in Egypt.
Mugabe and Mubarak are both octogenarians; they have both been in power for unusually long periods: Mugabe for 23 years, Mubarak for 29; they have both allegedly rigged elections to continue staying in power; they have both stifled dissent by ruling with a strong hand. One difference, however, is that the US does not have any strategic interests in Zimbabwe like it does in Egypt. To wit, the calls for democracy by the United States is not based on principle, but on convenience. If we like you we keep you, otherwise, we axe you.
I wish Obama could be courageous enough to state a principled stance on the issue, but barring that, he should quietly, but firmly convince Mubarak to leave so the people of Egypt can have their peace.
- New York Times: Democracy is Bad for US Foreign Policy (redantliberationarmy.wordpress.com)
- Obama Now Supports Change In Egypt, And That Means Mubarak Is Toast (businessinsider.com)
- "Mubarak Resign!" calls of the Egyptian reform leaders (genzpad.com)
- Analysis: Is Mubarak's time up after 30 years in power? (reuters.com)