The third way in Egypt

being fanned by the Mubarak regime. An example of this was the “pro-Mubarak” protesters who confronted Christiane Amanpour, of ABC television, which shouts of “We hate America.” Really?

The United States should help the Egyptian army to maintain the public order and move to establish an interim government. Two issues must be considered carefully: first, formation of a provisional government and, second, the modus operandi of such government.

Any interim government in Egypt should be headed by a council composed of three members: the current vice president, Omar Suleiman, a representative of the Egyptian army, and a civilian appointed by the army. There are reasons to suggest that this body could reasonably function as the head of the interim government of Egypt.

First, having years of experience concerning various administrative issues, Suleiman could be in charge of the management and the day to day issues regarding various bureaucracies. He enjoys the trust of the Egyptian government and, to date, has handled the crises in Egypt rather adroitly. So far there has been no major demonstration in Egypt against him. Whether or not he admitted so publicly, Mubarak was no longer able to run the country single handedly with any credibility. President Mubarak was right to inaugurate the transitional government and then leave the political scene. Such a departure should provide him a face-saving opportunity to leave power with dignity.

The interim government should last no more than one year.

The representation of the Egyptian Army in the council is crucial. The confidence, the respect, and even the public affection that the Egyptian Army currently enjoys will place the army in a pivotal position. During the transitional period the Egyptian army should be in charge of the law and order.

No doubt there will be tensions, disputes, infighting, and struggles over power and turf. In such events the army should effectively assume the role of the arbiter. The provisional council’s task should end upon the completion of a permanent constitution, public election, and formation of the government based on the new constitution. This should not take more than a year.

Public opinion and the current democratic wave in Egypt will support U.S. policy based on the proposed plan of action. Such planning will further offset the Muslim Brotherhood propaganda, portraying the United States as supporting corrupt Arab autocrats.

It is true that the Egyptian Army has not produced a hero with the stature of Turkey’s Mustafa Kamal Ataturk. Still,