In 1978 the Iranian revolution gained momentum. Iran under the Shah was a dictatorship, but so were all the Middle East countries, except Israel. Iran was a trusted ally of USA equipped with the latest American military technology. Iran did not threaten any nation in total annihilation and had diplomatic and military ties with Israel. In the delicate balance of power in the Middle East - Iranwas a stabilizing power. The demonstrators in the street, a familiar coalition of modern democratic pragmatists and Islamists did not call for Islamic Iran but for political freedom and the removal of the Shah.
Jimmy Carter's iron logic was that, eventually, it is much better to talk with your enemies then fight them. Jimmy Carter directly threatened the Iranian Shah of cutting military supply and imposing sanctions on Iran if the Shah will not use more democratic methods confronting the revolution in the street as if there are such a thing "democratic methods" anywhere in the Middle East (accept Israel) (see - Righteousness.).
Eventually the Iranian unrest led to the Islamic Republic of Iran, to three bloody wars, to over 1 million casualties piled up and ongoing instability which still tear apart the Middle East and with Iran, with military nuclear ambitions, a driving force against USA and the existence of Israel.
In many aspects nowadays Egypt is in similar position as was Iran in 1978. Egypt is a close ally to USA, equipped with the latest American military technology and ties with Israel and a stabilizing power in the region by all means. The riots in the streets are not directed by Islamists but by more secular democratic pragmatists and they call not for the Islamisation of Egypt but for the removal of the President Hosni Mubarak and his family and political freedom. At the same time the only organized civilian political power in Egypt is the ISLAMIC BROTHERHOOD.
Like Jimmy Carter in 1978, President Barack Obama urged, on Wednesday 01/26/2011, to lift a ban on demonstrations and undertake reforms, as if something alike exists in the Middle East. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters aboard Air Force One that it was important for the Egyptian government of President Hosni Mubarak to demonstrate “responsiveness” to its people. Asked whether the Egyptian interior ministry ban on demonstrations should be lifted, Gibbs said: “Again, yes. We’re supportive of the universal rights of assembly and speech. Those are Universal-Values.”
So far, unlike Jimmy Carter, USA does not threaten Egypt with sanctions but nevertheless they weakened the Egyptian regime and encouraged the protesters in the streets leaving the impression they abandoned their longstanding close ally Hosni Mubarak.
There is a question whether USAever leans from its own history which seems so familiar.