A region’s unrest scrambles U.S. foreign policy

WASHINGTON — As the Obama administration confronts the spectacle of angry protesters and baton-wielding riot police officers from Tunisia to Egypt to Lebanon, it is groping for a plan to deal with an always-vexing region that is now suddenly spinning in dangerous directions.

In Egypt, where a staunch ally, President Hosni Mubarak, faced the fiercest protests in years on Tuesday, and Lebanon, where a Hezbollah-backed government is taking shape, the administration is grappling with volatile, potentially hostile forces that have already realigned the region’s political landscape.

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