Reports from earlier in the day indicated that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had left Cairo for Sharm el Sheikh. Now the latest word from Egypt is that he has resigned. Interestingly enough, the news comes not from Mr. Mubarak himself, but from Vice President Omar Suleiman. Considering that the president insisted in a televised address last night that he would not resign, it seems that the military may have eased him out of power.
Here’s the brief report from the USA Today blog:
Update at 11:05 a.m. ET: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has resigned. Vice President Omar Suleiman said in a brief televised statement. His statement in full: “Hosni Mubarak has waived the office of presidency and told the army to run the affairs of the country. “
Update at 11:08 a.m. ET: Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators erupted in jubilation in Tahrir Square as vice president Omar Suleiman announces that President Mubarak has resigned and called on the army to “run the affairs of the country.”
I disagree. The West clearly wasn’t offerring Mubarak the kind of deal that he wanted to go (guarantees of safety, non-prosecution, non-freezing of assets) so yesterday he called their bluff.
“I know I have to go. But when is still up to me. If you want it to be bloody you’re putting me in a situation where I’ve got nothing to lose.”
A long phonecall for Mrs. Clinton overnight to assure him that his conditions forleaving will be met, and off he goes, in a way that suits everybody.
I Dont know? I think lasts nights speech was a last ditch attempt given to him from the military out of respect. He hoped if he threw the Egyptians one last bone there may have been a slim hope he could hold onto power? And after seeing the reaction he knew as well as the military that it was truly over.
Remember dictatorships are never one man. They are always a whole authoritarian bureaucracy (it is not Mubarak himself who wielded the thumbscrews or disappeared people) who have just as fear from the future as the leader.
Zimbabwe’s Mugabe is a case in point. He is senile and has shown dementia for at least 5 years. But he persists, becase of the apparatus that wants to survive. N. Korea is the same.
If Mubarak had been keen to hold out, there are many who would have been happy to do so with him. And they’re the ones in Egypt with the really big guns.
Quite possible. The truth (More or less) will trickle out in the coming weeks. Until then everything is just educated guessing.
I’m eerily indifferent to this seemingly huge event. First off, if they just end up with a different person on top of the, ahem, pyramid, little will change anyway.
The problems of poverty and unemployment are not fixed by getting rid of Mubarak.
The risk of a Brotherhood takeover is obviously great – I know smart minds are working so hard on presenting that danger that even the White House might notice.
The great hope of this is that the uprising is based on grass roots efforts, Internet, and young people standing up and getting organized. That cannot easily be reversed.
What needs to be implemented is citizens’ rights. Fundamental civil liberties like freedom of expression, protection of property, freedom of conscience etc. That requires a common philosophy to support and uphold it, and I doubt it exists, given the majority of Egyptians looking towards Sharia as their preferred law…
Well, that’s two presidents forced out in less than two months.
Might 2011 be an Islamic version of 1848? We shall see.
Let’s see who grants him asylum, Saudi Arabia might not be too keen and Switzerland is freezing his assets.
In hoc signo vinces
If established democracies such as the U.K. have difficulty countering jihad, then Egyptian democracy built on Western wishful thinking and the foundation of islam has no chance.