The US position on Egypt continues to evolve, but President Obama is increasingly caught in a vise between advocacy for “regime change” in Egypt and less disruptive “regime adjustment.”
Regime adjustment is not what the protests in Egypt have been about. They have been about dislodging Hosni Mubarak and his clan — who must be among the most privately successful structurally corrupt national managers in the world today.
But thus far the Obama team is beginning to acquiesce to the notion that Mubarak may stay, at least through September, and that “reform” of the government needs the active participation and cooperation of the incumbents.
This is a mistake. Those holding power today — particularly Omar Suleiman — will have the ability to legally neutralize reforms if they are the ones driving the political machine.
A short while ago, Vice President Biden issued the read out of his call with Suleiman and noted that he pushed these four points: