With this, we’re now officially past the “orderly transition” phase of nudge-nudging.
Last night, Obama issued a brief public statement that included just one line about a prospective deadline for Mubarak’s exit from power: “My belief is that an orderly transition must be meaningful, must be peaceful and it must begin now,” Obama said.
But White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was more explicit Wednesday.
“‘Now’ means ‘yesterday,’” Gibbs explained. “When we said ‘now,’ we meant ‘yesterday’… that’s what the people of Egypt want to see,” Gibbs said, adding that a process that begins one week, one month, or many months from now won’t suffice.
That’s fine, but there’s no going back from it. If Mubarak cracks heads and clings to power, we have no option now but to cut him loose and continue to politely pound (tap?) the table in the name of reform. In fact, if the crackdown is bad enough, replete with uniformed Egyptian troops shooting at protesters, Obama will have little choice but to cancel U.S. foreign aid. Listen carefully at the beginning of the clip below and you’ll find Gibbsy trying to leave a tiny bit of space to maneuver on that point, condemning the violence today as “outrageous” but suggesting, preposterously, that he’s not sure if the government is behind it. That’s necessary spin, I guess, but it’s pathetic all the same. Nicholas Kristof, who’s on the scene in Tahrir Square, says there’s no doubt:
Read the Rest at Hot Air.
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