US reportedly preparing for an Egypt without Mubarak

Los Angeles, Jan 31 (ANI): In the wake of the current unrest in Egypt, the United States is reportedly preparing for an Egypt without President Hosni Mubarak, pushing the 82-year-old leader to meet the demand for greater political freedom.

The Obama administration is not yet ready to abandon Mubarak, fearing that openly supporting calls for Mubarak's removal would alarm other US allies in the region.

The Los Angeles Times quoted current and former US government officials as saying that the days of autocratic government in Egypt are over with or without Mubarak.

"They don't want to push Mubarak over the cliff, but they understand that the Mubarak era is over and that the only way Mubarak could be saved now is by a ruthless suppression of the population, which would probably set the stage for a much more radical revolution down the road," said a former senior US advisor.

"They recognized that change was coming," said the former official, adding that the administration recognized as early as Wednesday that it could not try to save the Mubarak regime at all costs.

In TV interviews on Sunday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared to raise the bar for the new Egyptian government to satisfy the demands of protesters for greater freedom, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Clinton said, "I want the Egyptian people to have the chance to chart a new future. It needs to be an orderly, peaceful transition to real democracy, not faux democracy."

Clinton's remark was a sign that the administration may be laying the groundwork to distance itself from Mubarak.

An Obama administration official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said that one thing is certain: Mubarak can no longer preside over an authoritarian government.

Even if Mubarak is able to withstand the protests, he can't continue the leadership style he had before the protests erupted, the official said. (ANI)

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