The Associated Press is reporting that the United States led an international push on Sunday to force President Hosni Mubarak to yield to Egyptians' demands for democracy. But there was little sign that the army was about to end his 30-year rule — just yet. Egyptian diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei, claiming a mandate from disparate opposition groups to negotiate a handover of power with the military, called on Washington to "cut off life support to the dictator."
Six days of unrest have killed more than 100 people, pushed the Middle East into disarray and rattled global investors. But President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with European leaders, stopped short of urging the immediate departure of the 82-year-old Mubarak, who has made the most populous Arab state an ally of the West in its conflicts with Soviet communism and, now, with radical Islam.
For many, however, the writing is on the wall. "Mubarak's time has run out," an Obama adviser told the New York Times. The White House said that Obama spoke to British, Israeli, Turkish and Saudi leaders, allies in a U.S. strategy for the oil-rich Middle East, which has been plunged into uncertainty. It said, "The president reiterated his focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, association, and speech; and supporting an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people." Making good on such a transformation would spell the end for Mubarak and, potentially, for the military establishment that has run post-colonial Egypt since the 1950s.
Many now see it as just a matter of time before the president steps down. The people aren't going to look toward a dictator who has oppressed them to help lead them into democracy. President Obama and Clinton are walking a tightrope because they must speak to the interests of the oppressed while maintaining diplomacy with the rest of the Middle East, especially because Egypt is considered to be an ally of the West. The State Department has urged Americans living in or visiting Egypt to return home. Clinton has convened an unprecedented meeting with all 200 ambassadors to figure out next steps in the Egypt crisis. Will democracy prevail over diplomacy and politics?
Read more at Yahoo News.
In other news: Activist Mohamed ElBaradei Joins Egyptian Protesters.