Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: President Obama is clearly calculating every day how to address each new development in Egypt. I’m calculating how much sleep I’ll get if I can finish this letter in the next fifteen minutes. Ha!
Dear Mr. President,
Our dog has been in a wonderful mood lately. Can’t say exactly why. For that matter, I can’t guarantee that I even know what her “mood” is, it just seems that way. Lots of prancing around, barking, and giving us those adorable looks that say “Hey, I feel great. Want to go out back and bite sticks?”
Not sure why I am mentioning it to you, other than the fact that it is very late as I write this and she is curled up at the other end of the sofa.
I suppose you don’t have a lot of time for considering such things, what with Egypt still boiling around. It’s been interesting to watch the standoff over there. A real test of wills, wouldn’t you say?
I was talking to some Middle East experts and asking them, “So what do you think the government of Egypt will look like once all of this is over?” Most of them seem to share the apparent view of your White House - that Mubarak and company are done like a piece of chicken fried steak. But beyond that it gets murky.
Will the next regime be pro-American? Maybe a bit, but not likely to the degree that we’ve known in recent years. Will it be willing to go along with past deals on the relationship with Israel? To a point. The Egyptians, these experts suggest, realize that all sorts of things from American aid to tourism hinge of some kind of passably peaceful co-existence with Israel, so while they will undoubtedly toughen up their stance, they might wisely avoid full-on provocations.
But like I said, the further you get into it, even the best minds end up saying, “Who knows?” I’m sure all that just makes your job tougher. So my advice is to play it like chess right now: Don’t make any move without considering the move after it, and the move after that. That won’t show you necessarily what is coming next, but like the folks in Tahrir Square these days, you have to prepare for a lot of contingencies.
Good luck with that, and hope we can talk sometime today. I’m around, give a buzz.
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