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Posted by on Feb 11, 2011 in International, Law | 0 comments

Obama’s Tightrope Walk

“Rip van Winkle meets Facebook,” the New York TimesThomas Friedman nails the drama unfolding in Egypt as the White House struggles with the dilemma of how hard to shake Mubarak awake after his soporific speech “from the father to his sons and daughters.”

“The administration has to put everything on the line now,” says an official of Human Rights Watch, who has been advising the White House. “Whatever cards they have, this is the time to play them.”

The pressure grows as an Egyptian Nobel Peace Prize winner, mapping out “a peaceful and orderly transition of power,” writes that we and our allies have been “at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars and countless lives, fighting wars to establish democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Now that the youth of Cairo, armed with nothing but Facebook and the power of their convictions, have drawn millions into the street to demand a true Egyptian democracy, it would be absurd to continue to tacitly endorse the rule of a regime that has lost its own people’s trust.”

Yes, but we are back to the old fable of the mice trying to decide who will put the bell on the dangerous cat and how.