Egypt Watch: Is the Army Staging a Coup?


American and Arab media are buzzing with late-breaking rumors that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will announce his resignation tonight, almost surely in anticipation of massive rallies planned for tomorrow after Friday prayers. If true, this would be a significant victory for the hundreds of thousands of protesters who have gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo and throughout Egypt throughout the last few weeks.

What comes next, however, is not clear. The military has been threatening a coup since yesterday, with the Egyptian Army Chief of Staff Sami Enan telling the masses in Tahrir today that "all your demands will be met…it ends tonight." Although that statement is similar to ones made by other regime officials throughout the last few days, the mood among the protesters in Tahrir suggests that they expect the Army to be more receptive to their demands than Mubarak and his intelligence chief and newly-minted Vice President Omar Suleiman.

The big question now is who exactly will take over, and how temporary his rule will be. Speculation is changing rapidly, but the predominant theory that's being pushed on Al Jazeera English right now is that the military was troubled by the possibility that Hosni Mubarak would try to hand over the reigns to Omar Suleiman, and that is why they've effectuated what appears to be a coup. Suleiman is Mubarak's dyed-in-the-wool intelligence chief, and few have faith in him to carry out real reforms, with even his American backers expressing doubts about his commitment to change.

Al Jazeera English's live feed is the place to watch for the latest information, with their live blog here.

NEXT: When it Comes to teh Gays, Palin Clarifies; Heritage Not so Much

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I won’t pretend to be an expert and I can’t predict the future, but since the military and their cronies already run things in Egypt, and there is no opposition party to speak of, a military coup appears to be the probable outcome. They’ll promise to hold elections, eventually.

  2. I wonder how much money we’re secretly throwing their way to get them to pull this off.

    But the best news of all is that it appears more and more that the army has absolutely no intention of letting the Islamist animals take over the country, thank goodness.

    1. how much money
      hundreds, literally hundreds.

  3. A big blow to American Empire.

    1. The Chinamen will pick up the slack.

      1. I think I’m turning Chinese, I think I’m turning Chinese, I really think so…

        1. I think I’m tonguing the Chinese, I think I’m tonguing the Chinese…

          1. Woody Allen, stop commenting here!

      2. Iran will pick up the slack.

    2. If America had a centrally-planned economy, Egypt would be a centrally-planned ally under American control, working for the glory of the Empire. All the models confirm this.

      1. For a guy pretending to be so truthy, you’re awfully full of shit.

    3. Did you know that all Mexicans actually are, and always have been, secret Red Chinese agents? Not only that, but for years the US has been fighting a secret war with China on the far side of the moon.

  4. Restore the Ptolmeys!

    1. Ptolmey? I hardly know ye!

    2. How about Obamasirus?

  5. better the devil we know than the devil we don’t.

  6. RE: VP Suleiman.

    Hopefully the military will not allow him to succeed Mubarak. That would really be Putin one over on the Egyptians.

    1. is it getting hot in here?

      1. YOU MUST LET MUBARAK LEAVE WITH DIGNITY (this has nothing to do with our fears of our own people)



      2. You spelled “here” wrong.

  7. Believe it or not, having the military run the transition may be the best-case scenario. Assuming that they keep the transition short, and hand over the government after elections.

    The likely alternatives are either (a) a Putinesque puppet government still run by Mubarak (b) the Iranian scenario: a brutal struggle where the best organized and most savage (read: Muslim Brotherhood) win.

    1. Nothing to see here. Move along.

    2. ” and hand over the government after elections”

      I wonder how you say “not an ice cube’s chance in hell of this happening” in Arabic

  8. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced he is handing his powers over to his vice president, Omar Suleiman, and ordered constitutional amendments Thursday. But the move means he retains his title of president and ensures regime control over the reform process, falling short of protester demands.

    It ain’t over ’til Cleopatra sings.

    And again with the reports of linking labor union strikes with the protesters. NPR reported that labor unions are largely pro-government and staunchly pro-mubarak.

    I think we need more detailed reporting on these relationships.

    1. I suspect that there’s a difference between (co-opted) union leadership (and thus the official policies of the unions) and the rank and file. Just like in Tunisia.

      And, with lower stakes involved, in the US.

      1. The reporting NPR had was rank and file union members were largely backers of the Mubarak regime.

        I honestly don’t know what to make of any of it. But the MSM keeps making the suggestion that the strikes are in sympathy with the protesters as a fait de’ compli.

  9. I tell ya, I get no respect. The other day a tourist came up to me and asked me if my camel was for rent. That’s not a camel, I said, that’s my wife!

    [rim shot]

    I made the camels run on time!

    [rim shot]

    I tell ya, I get no respect!

    1. don’t worry, I’m here to take over, pops.

  10. “Hosni Mubarak would try to hand over the reigns to Omar Suleiman” Please. He will try to hand over the reins so that OS may reign. It’s raining tears in Egypt.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.