Mubarak's apparent decision to try and preserve his rule by cracking down in spite of the administration's calls for transition to representative government to being now puts the White House in a difficult position, since while it certainly has more influence over Mubarak than it did over the Iranian regime, it still isn't in a position to simply impose its will, and if Mubarak manages to prevail, the administration will still have to work with him. The sort of outcome faced by the Bush administration, where strident calls for change ultimately gave way to awkward "congratulations" to Mubarak for winning rigged elections, seems more likely than it did yesterday.
But the use of force against the protesters following such an immense popular outcry against Mubarak will make such an outcome far more embarrassing for the current administration than it was for the last one. MORE...
UPDATE: Sadly, and all too predictably,"McCain and Gingrich Lash Out At El Baradei, Accuse Him Of Secretly Being In Cahoots With Radical Islamists" (ThinkProgress).
Al Jazeera English, live streaming audio and video:
The world's first English language news channel to have its headquarters in the Middle East; covering the world, bridging cultures and setting the news agenda.Howie P.S.: I am reposting this coverage of the breaking news events in Tahrir Square in Cairo.