DOWD: To me, the big problem is the difference between Egypt and Libya, is that in the history of the world, externally imposed by the military democracies never work. We've basically seen that in Iraq. We're bogged down in Iraq. We've seen that in the history of this country. When the people do it themselves, and rise up themselves, and do it themselves, it works. When it's imposed militarily from the outside, it usually doesn't work.
AMANPOUR: But does it not concern you? And here we are -- and the president has committed himself now. To draw back right at the moment where they could actually break the stalemate, is that smart?
DOWD: Well, I think the president in a situation where he has got our country involved in two wars. He didn't bring him there, but he is involved in two wars. We've now had -- we're exercising the only -- we're the only military power that exercises across the world.
We have very little resources to apply ourselves all over the world in many ways after the discussion we just had about the budget deficit, when the military needs to take on some cuts, it's very hard for him to make a decision to impose the military.
AMANPOUR: So let's get back to the budget deficit. And we heard what Tim Geithner talked about. People who do not vote to raise the debt ceiling, he said, will own the catastrophe that follows. Do you think that it will be raised and there will be some kind of compromise reached on that?
RIVLIN: I do. I think it must be raised for the same reason as the secretary said, it will be a disaster not to. But we do need to come together, the Republicans and the Democrats, around a plan or a plan to get a plan, a plan to force a plan. And I have a great deal of hope for the six senators, the so-called "gang of six" in the Senate, three Republicans, three Democrats, very serious folks, ranging from Dick Durbin from Illinois, who is a serious liberal, to Tom Coburn from Oklahoma, a serious conservative.
And they were both on the president's commission, both signed it. They understand, and their colleagues, and I think a lot of others in the Senate, that we have to come together, and reach a compromise.
AMANPOUR: And on that note, we're going to continue this conversation in the "Green Room." And when we return, we'll take you inside the revolution with a special "Reporter's Notebook" from Terry Moran, on the dramatic changes transforming the Arab world.
AMANPOUR: That was Cairo's Tahrir Square, jubilation just after Hosni Mubarak resigned after ruling his country with an iron fist for 30 years.
I spoke with Mubarak in the final days of his rule. Now he is gone, but how much have things actually changed? Across the region the uprising continue, in Syria, Bahrain. While in Libya, Gadhafi is still hanging on after weeks of NATO air strikes. What does it mean for the future of the region?
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered a sobering warning this week.
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SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: When we meet again at this forum in one year, or five years or 10, will we see the prospect for reform fade and remember this moment as just a mirage in the desert?
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AMANPOUR: So, will dreams of democracy slip into the sand? ABC's Terry Moran filed this dispatch from the revolution.