Update: Caroline Glick calls the Ob-optimists "clueless":
What has most confounded Israeli officials and commentators alike has not been the strength of the anti-regime protests, but the American response to them. Outside the far Left, commentators from all major newspapers, radio and television stations have variously characterized the US response to events in Egypt as irrational, irresponsible, catastrophic, stupid, blind, treacherous, and terrifying.Update: Pessimist-realist Barry Rubin writes:
They have pointed out that the Obama administration's behavior - as well as that of many of its prominent conservative critics - is liable to have disastrous consequences for the US's other authoritarian Arab allies, for Israel and for the US itself.
The question most Israelis are asking is why are the Americans behaving so destructively? Why are President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton charting a course that will necessarily lead to the transformation of Egypt into the first Salafist Islamic theocracy? And why are conservative commentators and Republican politicians urging them to be even more outspoken in their support for the rioters in the streets?
Does the US not understand what will happen in the region as a result of its actions? Does the US really fail to understand what will happen to its strategic interests in the Middle East if the Muslim Brotherhood either forms the next regime or is the power behind the throne of the next regime in Cairo?
Distressingly, the answer is that indeed, the US has no idea what it is doing..
(T)he White House is now calling for a smooth transition in Egypt. In other words, after one week of not-so-gigantic demonstrations, President Barack Obama is openly calling for the downfall of a 60-year-old regime that has been allied with the United States for about 40 years in the most important country in the Arab world.
It’s one thing for the president to urge moderation, no violence, and efforts at compromise. It’s another to push the Egyptian government out of power and possibly usher in a new era of catastrophe for the Middle East and the world.
Couldn’t the U.S. government wait a bit and see what happens? Couldn’t it express public support for the regime and privately urge reforms and a change of personnel? Doesn’t it have any sense of the danger of anarchy or anti-American forces coming to power in Egypt?
Remember, it doesn’t have to be an Islamist regime. It can be an Islamist-radical nationalist government with a moderate front man. The outcome could make Iran’s revolution look like a picnic...