February 11, 2011

Two Questions on Egypt

The first is silly, but in my paper edition of the Washington Post this morning, David Ignatius says Hosni Mubarak's nickname is "the smiling cow" while Jim Hoagland, on the same page, says his nickname is "the laughing cow." Who is right, readers?

Hoagland. Egyptians joke that their president looks like the cow on this package of cheese. (Ignatius is probably ashamed his French is so rusty, which might be why his error has been removed from his op-ed online.)

The second question is one the Obama Administration should be asking itself but does not appear to be: Where do we want Egypt to be six months (one F.U.) from now?

Thus far, all of the focus on Egypt has been on winning the day: making sure the administration does not appear to be caught lagging behind momentum. But a better strategy would be --

HOLY %$#@, as I write this, Hosni Mubarak resigns!!! Holy la vache qui %$#@ing rit.

-- figuring out how we want this to end. Do we want a transitional government? Do we want a Turkey-style republic? Figure that out, and we can then figure out what needs to happen for that to take place -- and how we can support the process. Maybe it's election monitors, maybe it's through constitutional lawyers, maybe it's through more aid for the military. But figure out where we want Egypt to go. I don't see that yet from the administration.