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Five years ago, President Barack Obama made a decision that helped topple Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. His policy represented a bet that the democratic surge of the Arab Spring could lead to a stable political transition in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.Obama's embrace of the Tahrir Square protesters' demand for Mubarak's immediate departure was idealistic, popular and understandable at the time. Interestingly, it's an issue where Hillary Clinton was much closer to being right than the president.Clinton narrates the basic story in her memoir: With protesters occupying Tahrir Square, Obama sent Frank Wisner, a respected former ambassador to Egypt, to meet with Mubarak on Jan. 31, 2011 . The message was that Mubarak must pledge not to run again for president and begin a peaceful transition. Clinton and Wisner continued to urge caution, but Obama chided them for sending "mixed messages" that undercut the White House line. The Tahrir protests escalated, the army refused to intervene and Mubarak resigned on Feb. 11 .
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