"Mubarak must be removed."


He can knock down those pillars through sheer legal expertise.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is clearly not going down without a fight. With last night's late speech, in which he refused to leave office immediately and vowed to spend the rest of his life in Egypt, Mubarak embarrassed his American patrons and made it clear that he just won't take a hint and just leave the party. So what happens next?

Reason contributor Chibli Mallat, chairman of the NGO Right to Nonviolence, says the next stage is clear: "Mubarak will not step down, he must be removed."

Mallat, a Beirut attorney and one-time candidate for president of Lebanon, points to the failure of Lebanon's own nonviolent resistance to the Syrian puppet Emile Lahoud, during the battle over Lahoud's illegal term extension. In March 2005 and February 2006, vast numbers of demonstrators in Beirut (more numerous as a percentage of Lebanon's population than the Cairo demonstrators have been as a percentage of Egypt's) tried to force Lahoud out, and the resistance overcame a very high body count that included former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, the journalists Gebran Tueni and Samir Kassir, the politician Pierre Gemayel,  and many others. But in the end, as Mallat notes, "we failed to unseat Lahoud, and so lost our ways in the Byzantine alleys of Lebanese politics." In an article for the Beirut Daily Star [pdf] he cautions Egyptians against missing the momentum this time:

So the Cedar Revolution's message to the brave, nonviolent colleagues under the whips of the Mubarak Cossacks is that their anger, which the world of decent peoples share, must be directed more purposefully: Mubarak will deceive, waver, even grovel as he did by suggesting he is too old to flee, and will exhaust all possible tricks, which he actually used in March 2005. One episode deserves to be recalled. Our colleagues of the Kefaya movement were demonstrating in Cairo's Tahrir square because they were galvanized by our much larger demonstrations in Beirut's Hurriyya square. Then, Mubarak offered to open up presidential elections under the pressure of our combined marches. We know what happened: the only candidate allowed to stand, Ayman Nour, ended up in prison.

Mubarak is at it again, and believes that time is on his side, hiding behind the presidential elections planned for September, and on obscure articles of the Egyptian Constitution that would not allow him to leave and pass on the torch "peacefully." His bluff needs to be called, and the message against his stubbornness in the midst of the chaos and violence is one to be anchored in the thread of repression associated with his presidency: from the thousands of people tortured and humiliated, to turning a blind eye to the massacres in prison and the release of common criminals in large numbers last week, to last week's unleashed and unpunished Cossacks. This calls for judicial accountability.

So the lesson of our failed experience in Lebanon is dual: No longer "Down with Mubarak," but a call for his trial in Egypt by the distinguished judges who stood up against him time and again over the past three decades. No longer "Mubarak out": demonstrations must not be circumscribed to Tahrir. Next week, demonstrators all over Egypt must converge on his palace in Cairo, officially "the people's palace,"which they must reclaim as theirs. A similar move tipped the Revolution in France in October 1789, when the King was brought in from Versailles by the revolutionaries. Conversely, our failure to march on the Lahoud palace in Baabda allowed him and the Syrian ruler to defeat the Cedar Revolution.

So it is time for the Nile Revolution to be dynamic where the Cedar Revolution wasn't. We failed to march on Baabda [Lebanon's presidential palace], the Nile Revolution must peacefully march on Mubarak's palace. And it is time to call for his trial under international standards for the crime against humanity that his reign has meant, and continues to mean for Egyptians, including the Cossacks episode, and the 300 people, at least, who were killed in just one week.

I don't know that I'd namecheck the French Revolution in a call for nonviolent change of government, but Mallat is committed to bringing legal remedies to the Middle East's many criminal governments. And Mubarak hasn't left the opposition with any choices.

NEXT: Cedar Rapids

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  1. I don’t know that I’d namecheck the French Revolution in a call for nonviolent change of government

    Ahh, the first “people’s revolution”–and like many such revolutions, clearly a case where the cure was as bad as the disease.

    1. I don’t think they had the wrong idea with the guillotine in general, certainly it would be applicable in Mubarak’s case; they just got a little overzealous with it. Moderation in all things.

  2. I marvel at Mullat’s zeal towards the commitment of a forceful but non-violent change in government. Particularly the emphasis on using legal means to hold Mubarak accountable for abuse of power. I do wonder what the army has in store, as they are the real power behind the throne: Mubarak would not still be president unless the army willed it. I still maintain this will end badly for the Copts, and I truly hope I am wrong.

    I am envious because Egyptians are at least attempting to hold their leadership accountable, yet in our country we have a despot implementing law that has been ruled void, secretaries that will not follow the law, and too many self-interested pols that just can’t to get the hint that we as a nation want them to stop the damn spending and we didn’t want ObamaCare.

    Across the board cuts, oxen be damned.

    1. President Obama isn’t a despot actually.

    2. “democracy” is the opiate of the masses.

  3. Rarely will despots go peacefully. Perhaps they can get the military to turn their guns on Mubarak.

    Mubarak has been smart and took a page from Bull Connor and just had the tanks sit there with the people, while talking nonviolence.

  4. the people of Egypt are not like the Americans who tend to take everything lying down, they seem to DO something about it.


    1. Sure, it only took them 60 years.

  5. “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

  6. Hmm, regardless of how Mubarak falls, i fear this will end up just like Iran’s in the 70’s: They’ll take down one authoritarian dictator and put an authoritarian islamic-theocrat in his place. Really really hope Egypt doesn’t fall in the same trap that Iran did.

  7. Mr. Mubarak, I remember the blog to Sheriff Joe D’Arpio, telling him to just do what miamidade DOES TO ME EVEN BEFORE i CAME TO THE USA (I was one of the denouncers of fiu’s alvarez, along actual mayor alvarez gov agent netwprks, 30 years experience using their govpossitions against civilian population, oppositors, denouncers, live denouncers like me Teaparty pioneer, townhall blog Pioneer… hey! townhall, miamidade libraries don’t give me the COMMENTING WINDOW page, for 4 months now…. govresources for the re$urrection$hip$)…
    I remember I ask Sheriff D’arpio to do the same miamidade police where doing to me for months on carlosrichards (melvinsosa, lifethreats “normal” on our boss-sub-employed slave by the police, sosa already comes from a TERRORIST ARMy, today still the same, as richards’s 119 calle8 gay video hornhouse 2 doors from a preschool, sosa has federal relatieves too, THEy STAyED ON MIAMI AFTER mayoralvarez KIKKED FEDS OUT OF SO.Fla, sosa is COMPLETELy LIVING AS ON CUBA as “my” boss, dayly (he sais “orders” from the “boss), sosa also is a castroangola sniper, shots near my head haha hehe hihi… police gay also, they laugh, as part of ‘my” dayly treatment by gov, prision labor “partners now mostly gay, police ignores, they even come in paralegal “street fight” provocation teams, 4 teams sometimes, same: I scream with an INSULTING TUNE at’em… then… police gay car, gunpoint at me knowing I’m not armed, INMIGRATION ID CHECK ALONG ALL AS IF I WAS A CRIMINAL, HUMILLIATION, THEy FIX THEIR CLOTHES, SHOW ME THE USA FLAG ON THEIR PO LI CE UNIFORMS, THEy ARE ALL TRAINED By A CASTRO PSYCOLIGICAL PARALEGAL PROGRAMMING, they won’t just “change that”, “my” castrocoyote parafamily parapolitical by law (ALSO), AN ACORN, I SAW THE MONTLy MONEy-BENEFITS AID LETTERS FROM ACORN, SHE USED TO THROW’M ON My FACE SAYING “I’M NOT SMART” lourdesmartinez (singlename) by miamidade-panama ma noriega-castro order “terrorist” acusation against the party I was an strategist against castro-ma noriega today martinelli parties, martinelli’s cousin cd treasure sec is jailed on Mexico lindo (what is left) for castrocoyote insurgency… seeking as castro-farc terrorist guerrilla farcs, santuaries, exclusion zones, like they try on Arizona…
    So, Mr. Mubarak, why the muslimbrotherhood has been treated better than an acorn, neolib, castroagent spies, santuary authorities, aclu, drivebymedia(luna)tiK, Gitmo detainees, terrorists in general muslims, cuba, norcorea,ayatoland, and other more than orc$, oops, org$ and the rest of the terror assymetry?…
    Mr. Mubarak, your cyberfighters will find plenty of paralegal war on the denounces I give… for free, as only Freedomedia, Talkradio, Conservatives, etc, can bring you…
    “see” you

  8. Earlier yesterday, I spoke to Wael Ghonim and he told me to expect some very good news around 5 pm that night, but he never elaborated what it is. Around 10 am, we heard that Saudi Arabia, alongside UAE and Kuwait, are creating an aid package to Egypt to possibly replace that of the US. Around 4 pm last night, we recieved the news that the President itends to step down tonight and give all of his responsbilities to the VP, Omar Suleiman. The Army then convened and issued its first statement, in a meeting without Mubarak or his VP around 5 pm. Around 9 pm Egypt time, Obama did a speech congratulating the people of Egypt for their march for democracy, so it seemed like a done deal. Finally, an hour later than originally announced, President Hosny Mubarak , against all expectations and information, refused to step down from his post, and said that he refuses any foreign interference in Egypt. The White House then announced that it has been double-crossed by the Egyptian regime.

    Now, what does this all mean?

    Well, 4 main things:

    Mubarak’s gamble

  9. Mubarek’s resigned and their long national nightmare is over. Although a new one may still occur.

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