News / USA

After Mubarak Resignation, US Policy Assessed

The sun sets on protesters as they demonstrate and celebrate in Tahrir Square in Cairo February 11, 2011
The sun sets on protesters as they demonstrate and celebrate in Tahrir Square in Cairo February 11, 2011

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +

President Hosni Mubarak's resignation Friday set off joyous celebrations in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt. The Obama administration was caught off guard by the news and scrambled to craft a response. But behind closed doors, officials assessed their policy toward a new Egypt.  

Thursday he wasn't. Friday he was. Within 24 hours of saying he wouldn't go, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned.   

That brought jubilation to Tahrir Square. And, here in Washington... "And finally he stepped down, so I’m so excited, I’m so happy," said one person following the events.

The news left the U.S. assessing its foreign policy.

"The word Tahrir means liberation. It's a word that speaks to something in our souls that cries out for freedom. Forever more it will remind us of the Egyptian people," said President Barack Obama.

It's a clear message from the president after US policy flip-flopped over two weeks, at times supporting the protesters. Other times leaning toward the government. And frustrating analysts and legislators.

Now, experts say the administration has much work ahead. Khaled Elgindy, with the Brookings Institution, said, "They have a lot of policy-making catch-up to do in terms of how they approach the region now, because this is a complete game-changer. And they're going to have to formulate, re-organize their priorities in the Middle East and adapt to this very, very different reality that exists on the ground now."

A big transition for Egypt will be "free and fair" elections.    

So far, no one has emerged as a leading presidential candidate. Prominent voices include Nobel laureate Mohamed El Baradei, Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa and Google executive Wael Ghonim, held by the authorities for more than a week.

Elgindy said Egypt - as the largest and most influential Arab state - will be a model for the region. So U.S. policy is key.  

Already, several countries have enacted reforms proactively to maintain calm.  

Although the survival of the Egypt-Israeli peace treaty was a concern for US policymakers, Elgindy said the demonstrators simply want a better life.

"They want to be able to have a say in shaping their future. They want what young people everywhere want. And I don't think that includes initiating a war. And that's essentially what abrogating the peace treaty would mean," said Elgindy.

Analysts say the Egyptian activists and their successes could change U.S. policy.

Stephen McInerney, with the Project On Middle East Democracy, said, "These uprisings will make the opinions of the people in the region more important strategically to the U.S. The U.S. has been able to not value as much of the opinions of the populations because they were headed by non-representative governments and not accountable to their populations”"

For 30 years, change was not a word associated with Egyptian politics. Now that it is, analysts are anxious to see how deep that change will go - and how the US will support it.

NEW: Follow our Middle East stories on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid