10 February 2011

Breaking News: Mubarak Angers Protesters As Saves Face, Justifies Rule, Long Goodbye

Hosni MubarakImage by robertxcadena via Flickr


From Denny: Mubarak seriously ticked off the thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo as they just heard him speak to the nation. He did not quickly capitulate to their demands to leave immediately.

Mubarak tried the argument of how the economy and "the little people" will suffer if they don't quit with the protests and come back to his style of law and order.  He attempted to sway any Egyptians sitting on the fence who have yet to side with the protesters.

Mubarak pointedly told "outside powers" that he will not give in to their demands. There must be more foreign countries calling than we know, pressuring him to leave. Interesting. Saudi Arabia is just as obnoxious. They threatened President Obama they will prop up Mubarak if Obama comes out in favor of the protesters. Like that would work at this juncture.

Mubarak is known for being a very stubborn man and so I certainly did not expect a former general to state precisely he would give in to them and leave now. What I did expect is exactly what he did. He did the usual military leader dance, detailing how he has been a true patriot for decades, how he loves his country, how he paternalistically always had their best interests at heart even if they are too stupid to understand. His one mild concession was to tell the protesters they had "legitimate demands and they were just."

Mubarak went on to try and sell "free and fair elections in September" and that's when he will make his graceful exit. Like most military leaders, Mubarak is tone deaf to his people. He repeatedly spoke about his grand vision for Egypt. Clearly, no one else shares his vision among his countrymen.

Mubarak claims he will give - let's see, maybe "share" is a better word - some of his presidential powers to  the newly created Vice President position. No one believes that either. Unanimously, the protesters rejected his speech and his vision.

What is clear is that Mubarak will leave, what he thinks is his own timing: September. The protesters do not trust him to keep his word for free and fair elections. Nor do they trust him to properly investigate and punish those security forces who killed hundreds of protesters.

What Mubarak has accomplished is to strongly unify the protesters and increase their numbers by the hour.  Government workers have thrown in with them, especially those on the almighty money maker, the Suez Canal.  Mubarak is worried about his economy now?  After that disastrous speech, the whole country will now refuse to come to work tomorrow.  He can't last until September.

Western journalists keep pounding the message that Mubarak is not stepping down. Yes, he is. He is doing it with his own version of the truth and trying to save his dignity. This is what every former general does and how he does it. Write it on a rock and take it to the bank. Stubborn or not, proud or not, resistant or not, Mubarak is out.














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