"The mystique of America's superpower status has been shattered"

“This is really bad,” a senior U.S. official said after Mr. Mubarak’s address. “We need to push harder—if not, the protests will get violent.”…

“The mystique of America’s superpower status has been shattered,” said Steve Clemons, director of the American Strategy Program of the New America Foundation, who has attended two meetings with the National Security Council on Egypt.

At a meeting with outside advisers Monday, four National Security Council officials were pressed on what U.S. diplomacy had accomplished. The officials said their efforts had helped avoid “catastrophic” bloodshed by helping to restrain Egyptian security forces, two participants said.