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Iran and Egypt both had US-supported 'strong man' governments, violently oppressing their people.  And the problem is, when that kind of regime falls, the longer your country supported him, the more enemies you've made among the People, as the old regime's strongest allies become the enemies of the new regime.  

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt today is both peaceful and weak -- a minority player eager to hang back and let credible secular voices like ElBaradei stand up for the people.  They will only grow strong if the regime keeps fighting the Egyptian people and the US never suspends military support.  Secular Egypt can only attract fundamentalists and jihadists if the US continues its financial, military, and political support for the regime.  Say, by continuing to provide lethal weapons to a regime that isn't at war with neighbors but is clearly using them to intimidate and kill its own people.

I need your help here.  Act like going along with Mubarak's departure was my big move of support for the democracy movement.  Then of course Suleiman must clear the square.  Eventually protesters will get tired, or retaliate.   Meanwhile, Suleiman will never run out of tanks and tear gas -- I've seen the shipping orders.  

You have to understand.  I have been working with Mubarak and the Palestinian Authority for two years as two of my 3 most powerful allies in the Middle East.  Surely you don't expect me to suddenly betray them now just when things are toughest for them.  That's not what friends do.

I am gently fighting to assure the slowest, least amount of change possible.  Last week when I said "the Egyptian military should do nothing" the context was security forces violently attacking unarmed civilians, after all.

It's bad enough that just last month the Palestine Papers revealed that for years we have demanded concessions from the Palestinian Authority, promising peace, and they have made them all -- dozens of deep ones -- but that Israel has made none and has, even privately, rejected every effort at compromise and peace.  The news confirms and exceeds every suspicion that the official Palestine government is a passive puppet of the US -- that that's why there has been no path to peace.

So it's a really bad time for America to break up with the government of the largest uh democracy (sure wish Biden didn't keep repeating "dictator", what a gaffe!) in the middle east, the largest nation in both the mideast and Africa.  Hey, sure it's flawed -- but we need to keep it a democracy by relying on people we trust.

Actually, Mr Suleiman is even more cooperative than Mr Mubarak when it comes to interrogating people before we've had a chance to assemble evidence or charge them.  With his help, sometimes we don't need to charge them at all.  I wish I could tell you all the good things he's helped us with.  It's like having an Alberto Gonzales when you need him, but overseas.  If our CIA had more friends like Suleiman, I could keep my promise to close Guantanamo - and send people like Manning and Assange to those countries.

So please stick with me and let's make replacing Mubarak with Suleiman out like a huge concession to the protesters.  Join me in telling them they won and it's time to cheer, suck it up, and disappear till election time.

Also, now that this is over, stop watching footage from Aljazeera English!  As you've suddenly seen, the news the rest of the English speaking world gets is totally different -- aimed people who don't mind explanations of complex issues, and who value the lives of arabs and Egyptians.  With everyone watching that, my job gets much harder.  Americans should be hearing White House announcements on American networks.  You can't watch Aljazeera English on Comcast anyway, so just avoid it on the internet -- don't make me install that kill switch!  (Hosni just explained to me how an internet kill switch works.  What are friends for?)

Don't mention withdrawing military aid!  Trust me.  Act powerless -- the standard drill.  Repeat after Plainsman: There's Nothing Else The President Can Do.  I bet there's even a way to blame the Republicans.  You'll find it.

I knew you'd understand.

Originally posted to Not Barack Obama on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 01:27 PM PST.

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