THE INDEPENDENT : By Rupert Cornwell
US has been a powerless spectator in this uprising
If Egypt has exposed anything, it is the myth that Washington can make events in the Middle East dance to its tune.
Edited :S W T Read:Sat: 12: Feb:2011
The the world’s superpower has been a powerless spectator at the greatest and most momentous popular uprising in the modern history of the Middle East.
The US has been reacting to events – and then not very consistently, first supporting Mr. Mubarak, then urging his swift departure.
Then calling for and orderly transition, before finally throwing its weight unequivocally behind the pro-democracy movement.
Only at the end, it seems, was President Obama in the know.
By luck or good judgement, the crisis has worked out more or less the way Washington probably wanted.
The end of an ancient regime and the assumption of power by the military, with which the US has close ties, and of which it is a key supplier.
If the Obama administration has any leverage to exert, then it is probably under the current circumstances.
Though it is only a spectator. It has no better idea than anyone else of what will happen now, whether Egypt will indeed progress to free and fair elections.
Whether there will be a new constitution or whether reforms will be mostly cosmetic, with one military-backed strongman and his supporters ultimately replacing another.
Of course, the CIA will still be trying to divine the future, but with scant likelihood it will do any better than in the past.
There has been many complaints about how the US intelligence establishment failed to see what would happen in Egypt – just like every Joe on the street.
Perhaps the CIA's divining skills should be taken a close look at, for it to is an ancient machine also and may need a overhaul.
They have made the US look very limp and needing a dose of Viagra during this interlude.
THE UNITED STATES
WHEN ITS UP ITS UP
IN THE MIDDLE EAST
IT'S NOT BEEN UP FOR QUITE A WHILE