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Posted at 11:51 AM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Obama and Egypt: has he handled it well?

By Sam Sanders
egypt riots
Egyptian anti-government protesters gathered in Tahrir Square, to watch President Obama live on a TV broadcast from Washington DC, speaking about the situation in Egypt, early Wednesday.

The Obama administration has been careful in remarks about protests in Egypt and President Hosni Mubarak's tenuous grip on power in the country. Mubarak has been an ally of the United States, and Egypt has played a critical role in Israeli/Palestinian negotiations.

In a YouTube event last Thursday, President Obama said, "Egypt's been an ally of ours on a lot of critical issues. President Mubarak has been very helpful on a range of tough issues in the Middle East. But I've always said to him that making sure that they are moving ahead on a reform, political reform, economic reform, is absolutely critical to the well-being of Egypt. And you can see these pent-up frustrations that are being displayed on the streets."

On Sunday, a statement issued by the White House called for an "orderly transition" in Egypt to a government that better reflects the aspirations of the Egyptian people. He also spoke on the phone with Middle East and world leaders about the ongoing struggle in Egypt.

On Tuesday, the President took a harder line with Egypt: "It is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful and it must begin now," he said. On Wednesday, the White House said the violence caught Obama by surprise. It is unclear if there will be a further statement from him on the subject today.

Has Obama handled the Egypt situation correctly? What should Obama do?

By Sam Sanders  | February 2, 2011; 11:51 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Comments

Obama's butt must hurt from sitting on the fence so long.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | February 2, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Once again Obama proves what a chicken chit muslim he really is.

Posted by: JimW2 | February 2, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Once again Obama proves what a chicken chit muslim he really is.

Posted by: JimW2 | February 2, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

NO, as usual this dithering doofus total incompetent fool in chief teleprompter reader from Kenya Barack Hussein Obama has once again proven his total incompetence &
complete lack of real leadership in dealing
foreign affairs and so has our pathetic excuse of a Sec of State Hillary Clinton,as
well. And, both Obama and Clinton are the
biggest embarassment and disgusting disgrace to the USA in all our history as
a nation and need to resign or be impeached
here and now. I hope & pray to God,that the
stupid voters will remember all of both
Obama and Clinton's Blunders on Election Day 2012 and Congress lack of leadership as
well.Enough Already! Obama & Clinton Leave!

Posted by: carleen09 | February 2, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Well I think his comments were quite proper and to the point. Obama wants the transition to be done "without violence" and "it is up to the Egyptians to chose their leader the democratic way".Mubarak has been there too long and it is time for a change. Obama wants to keep good business relations with Egypt so he has to weigh his words carefully.

Posted by: pablo2335 | February 2, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I have been reasonably happy with his moves so far.

However with the thuggish violence on the street today, Obama needs to withdraw all support and use strong language to push Mubarak out.

Posted by: Nissl | February 2, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The violence caught Obama by surprise?

Whoa. ANYBODY could have predicted this.

Posted by: solsticebelle | February 2, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Obama has handled this tense and murky situation with consumate skill. He has been right at every step of the way. It is not up to the U.S. to dictate to the Egyptian people how to govern their own country. Obama's call yesterday for Mubarak to step down was clear and appropriate.

It is a tough situation, but Obama has been smart and correct at every turn.

Posted by: dee5 | February 2, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Some of the comments posted here both scare me and remind me why its important for eveyone to be open-minded and receive a proper education.

Posted by: padre123 | February 2, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

So don't meddle in America's business but America can tell the rest of the world what to do? And you wonder why they HATE you?

Posted by: minco_007 | February 2, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

time to act decisively to prevent further bloodshed....that Obama and the Us WILL be blamed for not having prevented.

Posted by: jadler2 | February 2, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

A year ago Obama told the Egyptian Foreign Minister that he is a Muslim which is why he is leading the charge against Mubarak who is a secular leader so that a Muslim government can be installed and an eventual Caliphate headquartered in Cairo led by Sultan Obama II. His real name is Barack Hussein Obama II on his Kenyan birth certificates. For proof check near top of home page at catholicbook dotcom.

Posted by: mascmen7 | February 2, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize there were so many experts on the Arab World (particularly in Egyptian studies) who have such deep knowledge of the subject matter and the capacity to intelligently comment on these matters {deep sarcasm intended} Come on - the vast majority of us have extremely limited knowledge of the situation in Egypt and are basing our opinions on the media outlets' reporting and the pundits' commentary.

Posted by: stuckinacube | February 2, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize there were so many experts on the Arab World (particularly in Egyptian studies) who have such deep knowledge of the subject matter and the capacity to intelligently comment on these matters {deep sarcasm intended} Come on - the vast majority of us have extremely limited knowledge of the situation in Egypt and are basing our opinions on the media outlets' reporting and the pundits' commentary.

Posted by: stuckinacube | February 2, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to handle this in a measured approach.

The Middle East is already a "ticking time bomb" ready to explode at any moment now and much of having to do with our past foreign policies.

I just hope and pray, Obama is NOT goaded by the media into acting like some freaking cowboy from Texas, talking crap, and ready to kick some Middle Eastern butts.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | February 2, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin has posted most of the snide comments here.
Of course she knows better than Obama; she can see Cairo from her front porch!

Posted by: HughBriss | February 2, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

HughBriss soo funny :-))

Posted by: pablo2335 | February 2, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

It's ridiculous to think that the president can demand the ouster of the leader of a sovereign state. He has to set a precedent here. He can encourage the people of Egypt to determine their destiny. However, if he comes in guns blazing it will be not be their revolution any more. The president needs to think long-term. Subsequent copycat uprisings will expect similar support.

Posted by: jemoorman | February 2, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse


I'd like to remind the herd of cattle that watches Fox "News" and have written that President is a "doofus" and "chicken chit muslim" that the Bush administration - the administration you seemed to have absolutely no qualms with - compelled 27 former diplomats and military officers to make an unprecedented statement concerning that administration's hamfisted misadventures.

Their prominence and seniority and influence when in their diplomatic or military posts, and their number, were truly remarkable (not that you would have heard about them on a fake news channel).

Iraqui citizens would have ultimately done this same thing, only before they could stand up for themselves the President you dittoheads voted for handled that delicate matter by bombing their infrastructure, their factories, hospitals, schools, and their homes, and allowed their opposition to run away still grasping weapons.

And like adding a cherry on top of the (yellow) cake he half-baked (WMD and "significant quanties of uranium, from Africa" my eye), he also threw many innocent citizens into prison and practiced torture. The Bush administration was responsible not for curtailing dissent and terrorism, heis adminsitration encouraged it.

The diplomats and military officers I'm referring to included Democrats and Republicans. In addition, they were concerned that Bush's foreign policy had also damaged U.S. security.

"From the outset, George W. Bush adopted an overbearing approach to America's role in the world, relying upon military might and righteousness, insensitive to the concerns of traditional friends and allies, and disdainful of the United Nations..."

You dittoheads made no objection when the Bush administration made a mess of everything he touched, when we lost the respect of the world community during that time.

The specious rhetoric you get off a station that does nothing but contaminate our country with sc&mb&g politics is way overdone, most of us are tired of it. It's shameful, and so is the willful ignorance that perpetuates your trash.

Many protestors in Cairo have complained that the US helped to keep Mubarek in power, and some are disappointed in America because of this. In case you didn't notice (and obviously you never paid attention until you obtained invectives from Fox "News" against Obama), that has been going on for decades.

While 81-year-old Mubarek's resignation is inevitable, I noticed a lot of you were claiming he shouldn't step down - that you were predicting doomsday scenarios - as if you actually knew anything at all about the situation. A lot of you don't even read the articles in the paper that you come here to comment on.

I would rather have Barak Obama and his administration find a path to a post-Mubarek era than a man who couldn't chew pretzels and watch a football game at the same time & had his vice pres. run our country into the ground.

And would rather have a man you DIDN'T vote for be handling this.

Posted by: jakrdy | February 2, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama has consistently been too late to the party, always following instead of leading. His entire Rodney King approach to foreign policy is a failure and an embarrassment to our once great nation.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | February 2, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

NO That Incompetent Teleprompter Reader from Kenya Barack Hussein Obama and his also totally incompetent pathetic joke of a
Sec of State Hillary Clinton have BLOWN IT
ROYALLY Once Again! It is time for both losers Obama and Clinton to Resign right
here and now! God how much more total dithering around,total complete incompetence and lack of leadership do the
American people have to put up with out of
Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Clinton?
The Democrats Will Pay A Very High Price
For All This On Election Day 2012!

Posted by: TammyLong1985 | February 2, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Your poll needs another choice - 'too little, too late'. So far I have been impressed by the cluelessness of the whole political class to recognize what is happening. From Clinton's changing responses to Biden's comments. It seems that we have an administration that is totally incompetent to foreign affairs.

Posted by: fcrucian | February 2, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Barack Osputnik,,,,,quick hit that reset button.

Posted by: Defund_NPR | February 2, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Exactly what is he supposed to do? Like it or not Egypt is a sovereign nation so his (America's) options are limited. We should allow the Egyptian people determine their own politcal leadership and destiny. Any substantial action America takes to influence this internal matter, one way or the other, can easily be interpreted as interference and used against us.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | February 2, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Your poll needs another choice - 'too little, too late'. So far I have been impressed by the cluelessness of the whole political class to recognize what is happening. From Clinton's changing responses to Biden's comments. It seems that we have an administration that is totally incompetent to foreign affairs.

Posted by: fcrucian | February 2, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

VERY SAD, WE SUPPORT THUGS
Egypt unrest has proved that America is supporting not only dictators and kings but real thugs who are ready to destabilized their own country and create chaos and civil war only to save his power. Rather than to request and urge the dictator to leave the position, Obama and Hillary should demand that he must leave or he should be arrested and charged for ruthless conduct and crimes against humanity. I can understand why Obama-Hillary and Biden cannot speak out only because our own empire is depending on these thugs and goons, who are controlling their masses ruthlessly so America can get OIL from that part of the world.

Posted by: citysoilverizonnet | February 2, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow.. TammyLong1985 please go outside, take a deep breath, collect yourself and try to come up with a more adult comment. Maybe one that's a little less racist. I realize this may be difficult but I'm pulling for you.

Oh, and please stop listening to Fox News.. Sounds to me like you get a little too worked up about things. Wouldn't want to find out you went all "Mama Grizzly" on an innocent crowd of people.

Posted by: MYBAMA | February 2, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama has acted prudently, but today's events must prompt more decisive action. Yesterday Michael Gerson commented "...the universal desire for self-government does not require a basis in Enlightenment philosophy. It is rooted in the natural human resentment of humiliation. No one wants to be a pawn in the power games of elites forever. Condoning an unjust stability involves the assumption that people will remain in servility, suffering and silence. The pervasive failure of American foreign policy elites is a lack of confidence in American ideals." The ethical dimension must carry the strategic interests with it. Our realpolitik approach reverses this order, making strategic interests paramount. This restricts the arena of action and inevitably leads to scenarios as we see unfolding in Egypt now.

Posted by: alansteeler | February 2, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Earth to Thomasmc1957 and JimW2: I suppose you would support the rest of the world when they denounced Bush's invasion of Iraq based on lies he told Congress, the American public and the rest of the world. Want him thrown out of office? Thought not--people have the right of self-determination without Big Brother stepping in. You are both probably the kind of people who think the government is too big and needs to get out of our business. Hypocrites to a man.

Posted by: commonsense101 | February 2, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@TammyLong1985: Call up Dr. Oz. You have some serious psychological issues. I mean, really. Are you foaming at the mouth too?

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | February 2, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

When will will Americans stop expecting their presidents to gunslinging cowboy. You followed one cowboy into iraq and the country is still paying the price. It might be better in these times that america just sit on the side lines and watch the madness. Every situation does not need an american solution.

Posted by: happyrock101 | February 2, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse


We keep hearing that Mubarak 'played a role in Israeli/Palestinian negotiations."

Good GOD, since those "peace negotiations" are a joke, or worse
and since Israel has never had any intention of giving up Palestine, or any part of it, as Mubarack of course knew

why use that same old, lying line again today? The Washington Post loves to talke about the non existant 'peace process'. The Washington Post is a zionist rag. Speaking of jokes.

Posted by: whistling | February 2, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

The American response, as well as those of our other allies, is as it should be. Measured and careful.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | February 2, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Bush spent a lot of time and taxpayers dollars supporting dictators like Mubarak. Now Obama has to undo all that waste and bring Democracy to the Middle East.

Posted by: Maddogg | February 2, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"On Wednesday, the White House said the violence caught Obama by surprise. It is unclear if there will be a further statement from him on the subject today."

Took him by surprise? Where the heck has Obama been? It's the middle east, they're prone to violence in these things. Obama needs to get off his duff and start being a president. Doubt that will happen though - it's campaign season and everything must be calculated to get as many votes as possible.

Posted by: apdseal | February 2, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

So, should Obama be heavy handed and essentially call for Mubarak's ouster? What will you all think when the Muslim Brotherhood moves into the void and cuts off the Suez Canal and becomes like Iran after Jimmy Carter was heavy handed with the Shah? I'd bet you would all say that it was Obama's fault then too. So, he's damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't. No matter what, the Obama haters will say he did the wrong thing.

Posted by: mencik | February 2, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

This poll exemplifies the MSM's pro Obama bias, the is not one question concerning his destabilizing foreign policy and support of radical Islam. "whistling" , if Israel was opposed to peace with Palestine why did it withdraw under Oslo, offer Arafat n Abbas independent states and why is Abbas and the PA supporting Mubarak with demonstrations and diplomatic support? The Muslim Brotherhood is as democratic as the KKK. Aryan Nation and as bigoted against all Infidels. What is really sad is your brainwashed Orwellian reality that has transformed your positive beliefs into bigoted hate you would inherently reject.

Posted by: djfeiger | February 2, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

This poll exemplifies the MSM's pro Obama bias, the is not one question concerning his destabilizing foreign policy and support of radical Islam. "whistling" , if Israel was opposed to peace with Palestine why did it withdraw under Oslo, offer Arafat n Abbas independent states and why is Abbas and the PA supporting Mubarak with demonstrations and diplomatic support? The Muslim Brotherhood is as democratic as the KKK. Aryan Nation and as bigoted against all Infidels. What is really sad is your brainwashed Orwellian reality that has transformed your positive beliefs into bigoted hate you would inherently reject.

Posted by: djfeiger | February 2, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Who here remembers George Bush I promising to support the Kurds if they rose against Saddam, only to leave them in the lurch when Saddam gassed them?

There are limits to American Omnipotence, even if Michele Bachmann tells her minions that we are "exceptional!" We are only human. We can't promise what we can't back up. And there is only so much pressure we can put on Mubarak without the whole thing exploding in our face. He has after all been our ally for the past three decades.

Yes, America supports dictators when other available options are worse for our foreign policy. Egypt used to be pro-Soviet and switched to our side under Sadat. Mubarak continued on that path after Sadat was killed, kept peace with Israel and suppressed the fundamentalists we so much fear. Egypt also fought on our side during the Gulf War.

The dictator has to go, but do you really want the Muslim Brotherhood taking over Egypt? Let the grownups do their work and maybe we'll get lucky. Otherwise, there's another war coming.

Posted by: alarico | February 2, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

This poll exemplifies the MSM's pro Obama bias, the is not one question concerning his destabilizing foreign policy and support of radical Islam. "whistling" , if Israel was opposed to peace with Palestine why did it withdraw under Oslo, offer Arafat n Abbas independent states and why is Abbas and the PA supporting Mubarak with demonstrations and diplomatic support? The Muslim Brotherhood is as democratic as the KKK. Aryan Nation and as bigoted against all Infidels. What is really sad is your brainwashed Orwellian reality that has transformed your positive beliefs into bigoted hate you would inherently reject.

___________________________________________

If this is the swill they dish on non main street media no wonder the people who drink it are hallucinating.

Posted by: kchses1 | February 2, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

From the various "experts" or at least those that have looked at the Muslim Brotherhood for an extended period of time it does not seem they are a "radical" muslim group. Apparently they promote a secular state, democratic reforms etc. and do not believe in a clerical led State like in Iran, and renounce violence. Further they have been around for some 50 plus years, long enough to get a pretty clear view on where they stand.

What is unexpected about the violence is that it is coming not from protestors but the Government. This is a pretty stupid move on their part. Unless they can control the eventual outcome, they will be sitting on a much more violent situation, with the possibility of them being murdered. Given the liability to them, I would say I was surprised by the government escalation.

A peaceful transition is still possible unless Mubarak decides to go down swinging.

Posted by: sarlat | February 2, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

From the various "experts" or at least those that have looked at the Muslim Brotherhood for an extended period of time it does not seem they are a "radical" muslim group. Apparently they promote a secular state, democratic reforms etc. and do not believe in a clerical led State like in Iran, and renounce violence. Further they have been around for some 50 plus years, long enough to get a pretty clear view on where they stand.

What is unexpected about the violence is that it is coming not from protestors but the Government. This is a pretty stupid move on their part. Unless they can control the eventual outcome, they will be sitting on a much more violent situation, with the possibility of them being murdered. Given the liability to them, I would say I was surprised by the government escalation.

A peaceful transition is still possible unless Mubarak decides to go down swinging.

Posted by: sarlat | February 2, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

NO carleen09! You leave and take your racial spewing hatred friends with you. 4 more years, 4 more years come on carleen09 said with me 4 more years. People like you who spew hatred will make me vote for him for the first time. 4 more years, 4 more years !

Posted by: 3doubleu | February 2, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Obama's approach was measured and, therefore, reasonsable. But now it is time for the U.S. to put Mubarak on notice that he will resign and leave...or the U.S. will pull out all aid and support to Egypt immediately.

Posted by: jjedif | February 2, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Your 3 options are too few for this type of situation. No one can handle this just right - especially a non-Egyptian. No one has a crystal ball. We all (if we're not nuts) deplore the loss of life. Suffering and Stability are not easy things to balance. We (USA) need to be ready to lend a hand if need be - towards those waging a just opposition or defense. We need to be very wary of being taken advantage of. The Egyptians will solve their own issues - eventually. We'd best use what clout we have to see that outsiders do not take advantage of the situation. Mubarak, if he does love his country, will take the high road and bow out. If the country needs him later - they'll ask.

Posted by: nestmaster | February 2, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I have to laugh when I read the comments from the conservative crowd who think that the President "hasn't done enough". These are the same critics who want him to do LESS when it comes to health care and gun laws in his OWN country. According to their logic, a good president is one who rules the rest of the world, leaving our own citizens to fend for themselves.

This president has consistently proven that he is a cautious and patient man, who takes a considered and respectful approach with leaders of other countries - leaders of sovereign nations who respect him and who call on him for his advice. This is what I expect and admire in a president, not a cowboy who feels it's his duty to impose America's will on the rest of the world.

Egypt must work out its own problems, and we must be patient with them as they do so. What we cannot do is set them up with a puppet regime that answers to us - that has never worked out well in the past, and we must learn from history.

I agree with the majority. President Obama is taking a measured approach, and it seems to be the best path for the moment. Move along, trolls, and find some other website to terrorize.

Posted by: borntorun45 | February 2, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Obama turned his back and a ally and it now teying to have input?The pro protesters should destroy every US news agencies equitment.I would view us as traitors.BO backed the brotherhood.how is that handing it right?

Posted by: MightyWhitey | February 2, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

President Obama has played the cards he was dealt with this crisis perfectly.
Who knows?
We might have sometime in the future to take some action against those racist, spittle-casting, gun-toting bullies and pitiful old nuts who were aroused and spurred to surround the steps of the Capitol building during the health-care crisis.
The last thing we would tolerate is some outsider from another country calling us up and telling us what we should do.
The big differences between those people and the Egyptians are two:
The Egyptians represent the majority and are comporting themselves with dignity and love of country.
Our group, on the other hand, is in the clear minority, don't know what they are talking about and treat people who disagree with them despicably.
Big difference.
This is internal civil war in Egypt and we must let it play out as it will.
I'm very impressed with the Egyptian pro-democracy demonstrators, just as I was with a similar movement in Iran.
They came into this activity peacefully, just asserting their right to demonstrate their opinion, when they were brutally attacked and they heroically and valiently defended themselves.
In the long history of Egypt, these men and women will be held up as heroes and champions of true Egyptians who love their country and treasure its history.
They can be so proud of their behavior this day.
Mr. Mubarak is destroying his legacy for the sake of a few months additional reign in office.
It's really quite sad.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | February 2, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Our bureaucratic and slow-moving government (regardless of president and regardless of party) is (1) incapable of reacting quickly to fast-moving events, and (2) inherently thinks authoritarian figures are 'strong'. America's 'elites' favor the elites of other nations, even when they're corrupt, because both American and -- in this case Egyptian -- self-styled 'leaders' think themselves 'in charge' of the rest of us. Washington's mindset is pretty similar to Mubarak's: we rule, you obey.

Posted by: tbrucia | February 2, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree Pres Obama is doing the right thing. As someone previsoulsy stated the conservatives want the Pres to have a hands off approach when it comes to domestic policies, but rule with an iron hadn in foreign affairs so that they can receive the spoils from yet another war. They want to see the day when the naming rights to the Egyptian Pyramid are sold to Blue Cross Blue Shield or Mastercard.

All I have to say is THANK GOD FOR SARAH PALIN!! She will never be the Rupublican party nominee so the tea party will branch off and run on their own ticket, dividing votes in both parties, thus giving Obama a landslide victory in 2012! Take care of your own house Repubs, let grown folks like the Pres show you how it's done!

Posted by: ansieb | February 2, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

He has had to play it safe out of regard for long-standing US policy in the region dating back to the Camp David accords. But from the first, Clinton's admonitions to Mubarek spelled out on no uncertain terms that we support him only as long as it takes for him to walk out the door.
The President's comments last night are echoed among the other world leaders, none of whom have tried to be out in front on this. Our role must be passive in the face of the disrespect past actions by the US have brought upon us. The inevitable change must now be welcomed and nurtured, the will of the Egyptian people respected at all costs, and a world of equals recognized by all.

Posted by: dannyboy3 | February 2, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse


What a bogus poll. How about some realistic answers--like:

He's handling it wrong because he's in over his head and doesn't have a clue how to respond.

Posted by: FredChatard | February 2, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

If we lose access to the canal, BUSH DIDIT!!

Posted by: erodrik | February 2, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse


Has Obama's administration bungled its response to recent events in Egypt?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


He's been too WIMPY-handed. He's not sure if Egypt's affairs are his business.

He's taking a STRADDLE THE FENCE approach and handling it as business as usual.

He's handling it wrong. He SHOULD BLAME BUSH AND BE DONE WITH IT.

Posted by: erodrik | February 2, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

It's very complicated and thre are no simple answers. Our President is trying his best to work out a peaceful solution to a very difficult problem. That's all any reasonable person should ask of our President. It's so easy to just sit and criticize, without knowing all of the facts and without understanding all of the issues. Those who just call the President and the Secretary of State names would be saying the same insults no matter what course of action the U.S. Govt took. You are just full of hate and nobody has any respect for your hateful remarks.

Posted by: 6157 | February 2, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

It's very complicated and thre are no simple answers. Our President is trying his best to work out a peaceful solution to a very difficult problem. That's all any reasonable person should ask of our President. It's so easy to just sit and criticize, without knowing all of the facts and without understanding all of the issues. Those who just call the President and the Secretary of State names would be saying the same insults no matter what course of action the U.S. Govt took. You are just full of hate and nobody has any respect for your hateful remarks.

Posted by: 6157 | February 2, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

This poll proves that acorns are still voting.
It is a wake up call for the next US election.

Posted by: dottydo | February 2, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

The teabaggers are all over the place on this one. Y'all need to get your talking points straight. Hasn't FOX/Beck/Rush told you what to think yet? Oh well, you still have the Muslim/Kenyan/racist ranting to fall back on.

Posted by: mack1 | February 2, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Sad to say, at the risk of being percieved as arrogant, there is no point in trying to make a three dimesional observation about a complex geopolitical event to a two dimensional thinking crowd. However, I, unfortunately, must say as a person who KNOWS that a house divided against itself, as in the case our own country, WILL NOT STAND! For we are presently, via our exploitative news media, so obsessed with events in another country that we fail to understand that our ultimate security hangs on our ability to be strong from within, which WE ARE NOT! Everything in this universe, despite any illusory expression of form, is pure energy! However, we, in our conglomerate of cultural crossed purposes, seem to be presently held together only by our consensus to fight among ourselves at every opportunity; all in the name of "freedom". Yes, Mubarak is a dictator. And like all delusional people, he is letting the narcotic of his own ego ignore the counsel of common sense! But here in America, while, in self rightousness, we debate the struggles of others coming into their own, do we really think that a dictator can only exist within the embodiment of a ego-personality? No, a dictator can be anybody, or ANYTHING, that would make us slaves against our own best interests! And that can be ideology, ignorance, collective arrogance, untempered self interests, materialism without purpose, or any number of things that put limitations on our potential.

We have everything going for us. But like the rest of Man, the (impersonal truth) of it all, like a mother who anxiously awaits her child to come home from school, is waiting for us to show up!

Posted by: D-0f-G | February 2, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

They have millions of
Protesters in the streets. Our OBAMA president is clueless. It time to use the
Phone (be careful do not press the red button or the Internet kill button) and
Tell the dictator (he is a dictator do not listen to Biden he is a loser) to get out of the way. !! Please!!!!
Do not be so careful with the words. Just say “Get OUT NOW” will simply do.

Show leadership …!!! ….Show "cojones"

To start fire all your advisors. They have no clue. If we pay so much money to the military then we have what it is called leverage. Use it replace the guy with some person that is not from the military and it is middle ground not an extremist. A person the people can relate to.

Do it fast, now we have a blood bath.

Posted by: rffernandez | February 2, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

The majority of Americans couldn't locate Egypt on a map and prior to the recent coverage couldn't have named President Mubarak. The president's approach is on target and diplomatic. The US does not and should not dictate world policy. We have many, many issues of our own that we've yet to address.

Posted by: 12345leavemealone | February 2, 2011 9:15 PM | Report abuse

The protesters while admirable in their goal appeared to have overplayed their hand. Should they prevail, it is unclear they have the unity and organization to govern. And it is clear from the images on the news today that the current government is not going to go away that easily. The best thing that can happen is for Mubarak to step down now after appointing a caretaker government, and free elections in the Fall. But it must be an Egyptian solution and not an American brokered one.

Posted by: nysteveo2 | February 2, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama,

Incompetence from day one! Stimulus failure and waste of a trillion dollars. Obamacare a failure that unnecessary divided the country, will not improve healthcare in the country. He is weak and disrespected President on foreign affairs. He is an incompetent leader in Washington who has not met one on one with six of his cabinet members that begs the question as to whom is in charge. Spends a vast majority of his time flying around the country campaigning instead of doing the work he is paid to do.

Posted by: georgiarat | February 2, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

It'll be hard for the U.S. to overcome the deleterious effects of 30 years of support for a repressive regime merely by mouthing the same old platitudes in private.

Been there, tried that.

Posted by: Itzajob | February 2, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

You gotta love how people who can't even find Egypt on a map are suddenly expert enough to criticize our political leaders on what is the 'right' thing to do. It would be refreshing if commenters would just humbly admit that nobody knows what will happen. But it's too much to hope for.

Posted by: Pupster | February 2, 2011 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Mubarak's going to go one way or another, and in the very near future. He's in his eighties. He's an old fool. He is no longer in our interest. We owe him nothing. This is no time for compassion: he had none; he deserves none. If others among the dictators whom we support at the expense of our own people and our standing in the world learn that we will abandon them if their misbehavior threatens our interests, good. They should know that. They will behave better if they know that.

Posted by: morphex | February 2, 2011 11:34 PM | Report abuse

@MightyWhitey: Perhaps you should learn how to spell before giving advice on how to handle complex international situations?

Posted by: dirktazer | February 2, 2011 11:42 PM | Report abuse

@FredChatard (or FredRetard): and I suppose you do have a clue? Inform us please?

Posted by: dirktazer | February 2, 2011 11:49 PM | Report abuse

We need to remind Mubarak that shooting unarmed demonstrators is a crime against humanity, and international charges should be drawn up if he doesn't get out.

Posted by: newageblues | February 2, 2011 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Enough Already! Obama & Clinton Leave!

Posted by: carleen09 | February 2, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

_________

Why don't you leave Carleen. Obama was elected by a healthy majority of voters. If you can't handle that or if you can't wait until Nov., 2012, then leave.

Posted by: antiquepaper1 | February 3, 2011 2:03 AM | Report abuse

What Obama says on TV and what is going on behind closed doors are two different things. Anyway it isn't for Obama to decide, Exxon and BP are yanking Mubarak's leash.

Posted by: glenglish | February 3, 2011 2:18 AM | Report abuse

Why isn't "IMPOTENT" an option?

No one overseas takes this guy seriously, or that other celebrity dope the media pushed on us, Hillary.

Hey, but the "adults" are in charge. The ones who put the "adult" in "adult films", apparently.

Posted by: NoDonkey | February 3, 2011 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Obviously the big O has much more important things to do like have parties for Axelrod who is leaving his white house post never to be seen again, oh wait, that's right he is running Obama's reelection capaign. Well that's still no reason not to fiddle while Egypt burns/

Posted by: LadyChurchill | February 3, 2011 3:26 AM | Report abuse

We are not their Mom. There is only so much the US can do, mainly to be supportive of the people of Egypt without shooting ourselves & them in the foot.

Posted by: Nymous | February 3, 2011 3:27 AM | Report abuse

Hello, antiquepaper1. You talking about Obama having "a healthy majority" cracks me up. The One just led his party to the biggest Congressional defeat in history.
The American majority isn't fickle. We know that Obama isn't helping us. We know the Dems raided the Treasury. He's a 1-term president and if the Dems nominate Hillary, they'll lose because HRC and BHO are two Commies in a pod. We're not snowed by CNN, WaPo or NBC polls or a 1996 rebound. There will be another rout in 2012.
The Democrats then could back to being a party that is patriotic, capitalist, anti-UN, and Constitution-loving.
You have to hope the GOP RINOs screw up and the Dems climb up from the cellar.
If the GOP nominates Governor Sarah Palin, the Dems are screwed. The country doesn't want Commies or RINOs or country clubbers or the Bushes.
The American majority just voted for the Tea Party, patriotic, hard-working, trustworthy and ready to say, God we trust.

Posted by: GodofHellfire | February 3, 2011 3:36 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I don't agree with any of your answers. I voted that Obama should have been more aggressive and pushed harder, not because I think doing so could have ended it or forced Mubarak out (which I don't view as a completely good thing anyway) but because I believe it is inevitable that Mubarak's time is coming to a close and we need to try to get on the side that will replace him so we have some influence with them (or, at least, so they don't become outspokenly anti-American).

America's billions in aid mostly go to the army and the army seems likely to survive this with its prestige intact--our real alliance should be with them, not with Mubarak.

Posted by: BTinSF | February 3, 2011 3:40 AM | Report abuse

Your choices are idiotic. A freshman polling student could come up with a better range of options.
--The Washington Post is the best paper ever in the whole universe, written by geniuses and edited by wordsmiths.
--The Washington Post is an execrable rag which reads as if it were put together by homeless drug addicts.
--The Washington Post has infantile reporters and could do better if it hired some (intelligent) editors.

Pick one of the above.

Posted by: tdiaz | February 3, 2011 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Reagan sends troops to Lebanon. They get killed in a bombing and he pulls the troops out. So. Does that make Reagan an incompetent person? georgiarat says that Obama hasn't met with six of his cabinet members. Reagan walked up to the token black from his cabinet and said, hello Mr. Mayor," thinking that this black guy was mayor of a big city. Hummm all of the consertives that worship Reagan should be reminded that all Presidents are just human beings. They do the best job they can.

Posted by: Ralph_Indianapolis | February 3, 2011 7:29 AM | Report abuse

So, would Barry be so vociferous in pushing Hu Jintao out the door if the riots were taking place in Tiananmen Square? If think not. What a two-faced weasel.

Posted by: jpost1 | February 3, 2011 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Might as well flip a coin. Support Mubarak and his dictatorship and really tick off the protestors (who will probably prevail) and show that "spreading democracy" is something for only certain areas and keep Israel safe - or support the protestors and take a chance that the new government won't be as friendly to Israel, the US BFF.

One thing he could do is cut off all funding to Egypt. The majority of that funding is for military aid and not humanitarian aid, so the people of Egypt do not benefit from our tax dollars.

Posted by: Utahreb | February 3, 2011 8:06 AM | Report abuse

You can't back democracy and dictators at the same time. Eventually doing so will undo any "security benefits" you might've gained in the first instance. The Middle East is going to sort out its own future and the U.S. will have little effect on the outcome. The entire region is now boiling with pent up anger and indignation, anything America does now will go wrong. You make the bed you lie in.

Posted by: icurhuman2 | February 3, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

We need to stay out of mideast politics....period!

Posted by: SeniorVet | February 3, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Right, you Obama-haters, like what did your hero, George Worst, do when North Korea tested nuclear bomb, when Russia invaded Georgia Republic, and China cracked down on the Tibetan independence protesters? NOTHING, except shoot his stuttering mouth off in protest.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | February 3, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh,my it sure looks like I must have hit a
very raw nerve with all the Obama White House Staff,Every Democrat in Congress and
every Liberal Loser on earth,based on all the nasty personal attacks my previous post has received so far here..However they
are not even worth commenting on or even
bothering to comment on as I shall simply
report every one of them as abuse as well.

I Stand By My Previous Comment That It Is
Time Both Incompetent Clueless Losers To
Resign,As We Cannot Afford A Total Lack
Of Leadership At The Top! So, Just Resign
Barack Hussein Obama & Hillary Clinton Now!

Posted by: TammyLong1985 | February 3, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

jakrdy says: "I'd like to remind the herd of cattle that watches Fox "News" and have written that President is a "doofus" and "chicken chit muslim" that the Bush administration - "
-------------------
How do you know this? Do you have TV cameras installed in everyone's living room or, ahem, bedroom, so you know what they are watching?

I don't agree that Obama is a chicken chit Muslim, but he may be a doofus. He is always one step behind. And I do not watch Fox TV, and in fact I do not watch TV at all.

Posted by: rjpal | February 3, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Mascmen7, it cannot be denied that the Obama birth certificate issue was initially ginned up by some on the far right to raise suspicions about then Senator Obama. The rumor regarding his place of birth was coupled with the rumor regarding his religion i.e. he’s a Muslim (even though he got in trouble during the campaign for attending a black Christian church for 15 years or more because of statements made by the then retired pastor). Many on the far right were determined to paint a picture of then Senator Obama as exotic, somehow different from most Americans e.g. mixed raced parentage, Kenyan father, Hawaiian childhood, a few childhood years in Indonesia, who is this strange creature. Unfortunately, these type of smear tactics can be quite effective with certain people who are already predisposed to thinking or believing in a certain way. At some point common sense has to prevail! Can any fair thinking person truly believe that the McCain campaign, the Republican Party, the Bush Administration (CIA and FBI at its disposal), the Clinton campaign and the news media (especially the right wing media empire of Rupert Murdoch i.e. FOX News), did not unearth every rock and stone and search every nock and cranny for incriminating or damaging information regarding Mr. Obama. Let’s please be real, the U.S. government knows practically everything there is to know about all of us and I cannot imagine anyone, certainly not a black man, rising to the Presidency if there was truly an issue regarding his place of birth. Just imagine such a hoax being foisted upon the governmental apparatus of the United States, amazing. Even after a copy of Obama's "Certification of Live Birth" was posted on his campaign website and Republican officials of Hawaii vouched for their authenticity, some people claimed the certificate wasn't real and demanded more, namely a long form birth certificate. Below is an explanation from the Hawaii Dept. of Home Lands that both forms are official and the longer version isn't even offered any longer. "The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands accepts both Certificates of Live Birth (original birth certificate) and Certifications of Live Birth because they are official government records documenting an individual’s birth. The Certificate of Live Birth generally has more information which is useful for genealogical purposes as compared to the Certification of Live Birth which is a computer-generated printout that provides specific details of a person’s birth. Although original birth certificates (Certificates of Live Birth) are preferred for their greater detail, the State Department of Health (DOH) no longer issues Certificates of Live Birth. When a request is made for a copy of a birth certificate, the DOH issues a Certification of Live Birth."
You don't have to like President Obama, but at least be rational and fair.

Posted by: youngjo381 | February 3, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

It really doesn't matter what he does. It simply will have no effect. Saying the U.S. is Pro-Mubarak or Pro-Protester isn't going to stop what's happening.

It is, however, a bit egotistical thinking his reaction is of much importance to the Egyptians. The U.S. has interests in the outcome and hopefully this outcome will be Pro-American & Pro-Israeli.

.

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | February 3, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The Egytptians have had our support for over thirty years, and they should have become the model Arab democracy in the Middle East by now. However, since its main role is to be the buffer between Israel and the rest of the Arab and Islamic world as far as the U.S is concerned, then being a true democracy is out of the question. Take Israel for example, it has been saying that it is the only democracy in the Middle East for over sixty years, yet half of its population lives in two of the largest encampments in the world, and the rest are second class citizens. So, the best thing that our country can do for now is to let the Egyptians sort this out for themselves, and then we can go in and deal with the leadership that remains. We already have our hands full with nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we definately cannot assume that role in Egypt at the moment, especially since we can't seem to build our own nation these days. Let the Israelis and the Egyptians fend for themselves, especially these Israelis, who constantly tell us to mind our own business, so we should do just that.

Posted by: hared | February 3, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Obama's Foreign policy is non existent and only relies on doing the exact opposite from Bush right or wrong. In the case of Egypt Obama took the wrong path from the start of his Presidency . When things started to fall apart in Tunisia if he was doing his job he would have made contingency plans for Egypt if the same thing might happen there. He had no plan set up and has been a day late and a dollar short ever since. He is now a non factor in Egypt and has lost most of the influence America had in the world. A great man is proactive not reactive like we are seeing coming out of the White House.

Posted by: thasam | February 3, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

His handling of the Egyptian crisis. He has had horse face kerry demand Mubarak leave. Hilly has demanded he implement all kinds of changes. The messiah has claimed he has always pushed Mubarak towards, who knows. Why doesn't the Messiah listen to the will of the American People, i.e. election results of November, 2010? He ignores that. Why doesn't obama tell the radical Muslim Brotherhood to butt out? In his book, Imam Barry said he would side with the Muslims. Wake up you stupid leftist fools. Obama should be impeached

Posted by: nomobarry | February 3, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Reading WaPo's comment section, I sometimes get the impression that there are paid agitators in this country who are stirring up hatred with the sole purpose of splitting the US in half. They might even be from outside the country.

Posted by: clairevb | February 3, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

For nomobarry: Please show the page in Obama's book and the exact quote that you claim that Obama said he would side with Muslims. I'll bet you can't because it doesn't exist except out of context and in your dreams.

Posted by: clairevb | February 3, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

WOW! So you can always sure tell when and how badly WAPO is way off base on anything
as Rasmussen Poll shows only around 40% of
people think Barack Hussein Obama is doing
a good job on handling this middle east
mess and means close to 60% do not think so.

Also, the Thursday 2-3-2011 Rasmussen Poll
also show 41% Strongly Disapprove of Obama
Job Performance & only 26% Strongly Approve
for a MINUS 15 and Overall 53 % Disapprove
while only 47% Approve and that bears out
how off WAPO Polls always are as well.

So, I agree Barack Obama Should Resign!

Posted by: Sue1980 | February 3, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately for the Obama haters, he was elected into office. That's how we do things in this country. Come up with your favorite "Taxed Enough Already" candidate, whether it's Bachmann or TPaw, and run them for office. See just how many citizens actually support your view rather than claiming that polls are voting booths. Polls are just polls and only represent a tiny sampling of voters and can be manipulated for the preferred results.

Posted by: clairevb | February 3, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

You should have asked if we were pleased with his response instead of the leading questions you asked. No, we don't think this person could ever be heavy handed. No, we don't think he has handled it just right. And no, he shouldn't put more pressure on Mubarak. He should have been a lot more cautious about siding with a bunch of rioters, about whom he knew nothing. As a result of his actions, we are most likely to end up with the Muslim Brotherhood ruling Egypt. Bad move for the US. Bad move.

Posted by: William18 | February 3, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

You should have asked if we were pleased with his response instead of the leading questions you asked. No, we don't think this person could ever be heavy handed. No, we don't think he has handled it just right. And no, he shouldn't put more pressure on Mubarak. He should have been a lot more cautious about siding with a bunch of rioters, about whom he knew nothing. As a result of his actions, we are most likely to end up with the Muslim Brotherhood ruling Egypt. Bad move for the US. Bad move.

Posted by: William18 | February 3, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr President, you and your administration cannot play another exercise in diplomacy, carefully evaluating the political pros and cons.
This is about supporting fundamental principles of liberty in the world. Our Nation was founded over those principles and we always promised to support those principles anywhere in the world.

We need a sharp, clear and unequivocal position in favor of the people of Egypt and their demand for freedom and Democracy.
Let's do it today: No more political correctness, no more diplomatic risk management. A clear statement that shows were we stand.

Have the courage to do so and write history, Mr. President.

Posted by: pguggia | February 3, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

You should have asked if we were pleased with his response instead of the leading questions you asked. No, we don't think this person could ever be heavy handed. No, we don't think he has handled it just right. And no, he shouldn't put more pressure on Mubarak. He should have been a lot more cautious about siding with a bunch of rioters, about whom he knew nothing. As a result of his actions, we are most likely to end up with the Muslim Brotherhood ruling Egypt. Bad move for the US. Bad move.

Posted by: William18 | February 3, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Folks, on this one, it is not what we think of Obama -- it is what our allies think of him as a leader.

QUESTION: What is the chance of ever have real Mid East Peace Talks while Obama is president?

ANSWER: Zero! Who will trust him????

Posted by: wheeljc | February 3, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

First, lets stop pretending that the US is neutral in all of this- we provide massive amounts of foreign and military aid to Egypt and have done so for decades. We aren't neutral and we can do more to puch Mabarak out. I don't know how much more proof the US administration needs that he is a thug as he has clearly demonstrated in the past 24+ hours. The people of Egypt are right to want to be rid of him and we should stop pretending to support democracy and actual do it this time!

Posted by: victorines17 | February 3, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Although my response was that the President is handling the situation wrong, I say this as I believe that more political pressure could be applied on Mubarak and his lackeys. We, the US, are giving this country out of hand over 1.5 billion dollars per year and that should be enough to say to this man 'step down right now!' The longer he stays in office the more bloodshed by innocent Egyptians regardless of their faith. We need to keep our religious/largely Christian mentalities out of this matter. Egyptians like most in this part of the Middle East and Africa are largely Muslim. The US needs to support the people of these countries and not the ruling monarchs, oligarchs, or dictators - however they may label themselves. As the people have seen Mubarak is a corrupt man who has but one interest in mind and that is to line his own pockets with the money that we send to him w/o passing any on to his people as it was meant to.

Posted by: davidmswyahoocom | February 3, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Why does the poll say he is handling it right, but the posts say otherwise? He is wrong as he always is. An empty suit!! Who does he think he is to tell Mubarek anything! Just take their money away and the Egyptians will come begging to be our friends again!

Posted by: annnort | February 5, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

So,as usual this WAPO poll is way off here,
since the Saturday 2/5/2011 Rasmussen Poll
is showing 40% Strongly Disapprove of how
Obama is handling it and just 23% Strongly
Approve or a Big MINUS 17 and Overall Obama
only has a 46% Approval Rating & 53% Disapproval Rating for Minus 7 here...So
it definitely is time for our Glorius Leader Barack Hussein Obama & Sec of State
Disaster Hillary Clinton To RESIGN NOW!

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | February 5, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

So,looks like WAPO must had all of the DNC,
and Obama White House out in force today in
an open attempt to rig this phony WAPO Poll
as well. Since other polls including the
Saturday Feb 5 2011 Rasmussen Poll show quite the opposite results,in that it has
revealed Barack Obama's Approval Rating has
dropped to 46% and Disapproval Rating has
climbed to 53% or a minus 7% here. So WAPO
are back to stacking the decks with your always very inaccurate WAPO & WAPO/ABC Polls or what here anyhow WAPO ?

Posted by: sandy5274 | February 6, 2011 3:40 AM | Report abuse

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