The Fake Moderation of America's Moderate Mideast Allies
Foreign Policy In Focus / Asli Bali and Aziz Rana

As the Mubarak regime turns to violence in a vain attempt to repress the peaceful protests that have swept Egypt's streets for over ten days, the risks associated with current U.S. strategy for Egypt and the wider region continue to grow. In its response to the events, the Obama administration has subtly shifted its message, incrementally increasing pressure on the regime over the last week. But the more important story is the remarkable continuities reflected in the administration's approach.

Indeed, Washington's response has departed little from its original script. This script involves repeatedly invoking the language of "moderation" and order and stability. Such language defends a wait-and-see approach and encourages protesters to accept incremental reforms in place of the peaceful democratic revolution that ordinary Egyptians have created and, against all odds, sustained. The call for orderly transition and managed reform is, in fact, a call for more of the same.

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