Africa

That's Former President Hosni Mubarak

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I'm delighted to report that Hosni Mubarak has resigned:

Hosni Mubarak stepped down as president of Egypt and handed power to the military, bowing to the demands of protesters who have occupied central Cairo for the past three weeks demanding an end to his 30-year rule.

"Mubarak has decided to relinquish the office of the presidency," said Vice President Omar Suleiman in a statement on state television today. "He has instructed the Supreme Council of the armed forces to take over the affairs of the country."…

The army council, at its highest state of alert since the 1973 war with Israel, will likely face calls for immediate elections from the thousands of young protesters who have crammed Cairo's Tahrir Square

Keep fighting. It's great to see the old bastard go, but a real revolution will be more than just a backdrop to a palace coup.

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  1. na na na na
    na na na na
    hey hey hey
    goodbye!

      1. Egypt is the place now!

    1. Poor fellow. I don’t know how he’s going to survive merely on the billions of dollars that various U.S. presidents have taken from us and given to him.

      1. We have frozen his accounts. Just sayin’.

        1. You know whose accounts you didn’t freeze?

    2. I’m delighted to report that Hosni Mubarak has resigned

      Because the smart money is on the Muslim Brotherhood/CAIR for making Egypt a better place.

      1. Works for me!

  2. Congratulations to the people of Egypt.

    Now comes the hard part.

    Don’t fuck it up.

  3. So now they have Suleiman in charge, the torture-pharaoh.

    1. The military is in charge, not Suleiman. Apparently.

      1. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, assuming they hand over power to a civilian government forthwith. I think we’re going to see a junta, but you never know.

        1. The impression I get from watching Al Jazeera is that the military is in every way a better option than the corrupt police state of the now former regime.

          1. That’s my impression, too, but that can change very fast.

          2. My guess is that for a number of reasons that military officers in a country like Egypt may be more than typically liberal in their thinking. A combination of working class sensibilities and a better than average education can have that affect.

            I seem to recall the same dynamic moderating the Soviet military’s reaction to the breakup of communism.

            1. Hopefully, the situation is akin to Ataturk’s Turkey.

        2. Im hoping they copy/paste Turkey’s constitution.

          Not that that is the best option, but maybe the best possible option.

        3. I wonder if the military inspires the same trust as it did a few days ago.

          If it does and it can get across the message that it will set up elections or a constitutional convention ASAP thing could go OK.

          If it drags its feet on reforms, all bets are off.

          As to whether anyone in command has the wisdom or the ethics to act as the benevolent tyrant is anyone’s guess. AS far a I know the world has never had any kind of surfeit of benevolent tyrants in the past.

          1. They may have been playing the non-interference hand close, so that they’ll encounter minimal resistance from the population on their way to the junta.

            1. I’m fairly sure that this population is not going to lie down for any nonsense like that.

              The army is going to have to act fast to demonstrate that it does have the people’s interests at heart. Otherwise, all bets are off.

              1. Oh, I agree that they wouldn’t take it lying down, but better to minimize your spent resources (including political) and losses if you can.

                By the time the military is installed and firmly rooted in power, it will be too late for anything other than armed revolution, assuming that peaceful protests are ineffective. Whether or not the average Egyptian has the stomach for that is unknown.

                1. Have you been paying attention at all?

                  1. I think some of you are overplaying the likelihood of a junta.

                    If the Muslim Brotherhood launches a civil war because they lose an election? Then maybe there will be a junta.

                    But I don’t see why the army would want all of Mubarak’s problems when they can stay above it all and still be the army anyway!

                    Right now, with a democratically elected government, they could have all the upside of being the army and not have any of the downside of having to run things. So long as that remains true, I don’t see why they’d want to stand in the way of the Egyptian people to choose their own government.

                    If things descend into chaos, then all bets are off, but the Army doesn’t want to fight a civil war.

                    1. That strategy worked for the German government when it decided to surrender in 1918. Here you go, Social Democrats, we’re out. Oh, and don’t forget to surrender to the Allies!

                    2. The downside for the army is if the new government starts to privatize the industries owned by the military. Right now 1/3 of Egypt’s GDP comes from military owned businesses (everything from textiles to beach resorts to heavy manufacturing). The military doesn’t want to just be the military, they want to have their hand in the economic cookie jar.

                    3. I wonder how Obama will play his military aid leverage. He can fire half of the Egyptian army by just suspending aid.

                  2. I don’t trust rulers, military or otherwise, especially those in the 3rd world, to behave politely and honestly when it comes to the reigns of power, even if they say they will. Do you?

                    1. Add to that, I’ll happily be wrong, but when did everyone start uncritically believing the promises of generals and kleptocrats?

                    2. So, no, you haven’t been paying attention and are projecting your biases onto the situation.

                    3. “Add to that, I’ll happily be wrong, but when did everyone start uncritically believing the promises of generals and kleptocrats?”

                      I think it may have happened sometime after George W. Bush refused to allow former Baathists to participate in the new government–and then foolishly dissolved the Iraqi Military!

                      Egypt needs its generals and former kleptocrats–the only “dead ender” Egypt doesn’t need is Hosi Mubarak.

                    4. And you don’t project any biases, ever?

                      Whatever highnumber. Not sure what your problem is at the moment, other than I’m not ProL.

                    5. Not being me is a problem shared by billions.

                    6. And see how the rest of us suffer must for it? You’re nothing but trouble, without a capital T, even.

                    7. JW, you should have been paying attention. This was awesome. Not saying that things can’t be derailed there, but the military will not be able to step in and just say “Meet the new boss.” The Egyptian people stood up as one and said “Mubarak (and your regime), we are done with you. Go. We will accept nothing less than your immediate departure.” And they did it without threatening violence. Now that they saw this work with an entrenched dictator backed by a brutal police force, why would they stand back and let the military recreate it?

                      The Egyptians hard work has only begun. I will not be so foolish as to guess what the end of this process will be.

                      Sorry if I appear churlish.

                    8. high–No worries, it just seemed like an odd response.

                      I have been paying attention. I do actually own a TV and read the news, ya know. I’ve even read the Military Council’s text of what is next for Egypt.

                      Is a junta inevitable? No, absolutely not, although the military is and has been an integral part of the ruling class. The military hasn’t been outright inscrutable in their intentions, but they’re neutrality hasn’t been impeccable at all times. They did allow the initial Mubarak goon squad attacks to take place, though they did eventually split the sides up. Overall, their behavior has been honorable.

                      Yes, this is awesome, by any definition, but it’s very early in the game and can be fucked by any number of ways or factions.

                      I still don’t think that healthy skepticism in whether or not the military will actually stand by their word is unreasonable. Around the world and throughout history, the military saying “fuck it” once in power and not allowing free elections outranks the ones that did by about a bajillion to one.

                      Let’s hope that Egypt is one of the lucky ones. And yes, whatever happens after that is anyone’s guess.

                    9. I’d say this is definitely the least bad option, not that it’s great or anything. Mubarak remaining would be awful and Muslim Brotherhood taking control in a power vacuum would be awful.

                      The military seems generally sympathetic and acted according to the will of the people. While they shouldn’t be trusted, they ensure stability and have better hope than the alternative options for protecting liberty in the interim while an election and political parties get organized.

                      I hope I don’t end up eating my words.

      2. It’ll be interesting if Mubarak doesn’t leave the country.

        There was already Shultz Point of Interest #1: If the Muslim Brotherhood loses an election, will they just hang their heads, kick a pebble and join the loyal opposition?

        Now add Shultz Point of Interest # 2: How likely is Mubarak to remain a non-threat to the fledgling democracy so long as he remains in the country?

        I can only think of one vicious dictator who got away with staying in his home country after being deposed, and that was Pinochet…

        But then they amended their constitution to create the office of “ex-president”, which conferred among other things, “immunity from prosecution for life”.

        It’s hard to imagine Mubarak’s former opposition being so kind.

        1. Well, if that toadstool remains in Sharm-el-Sheik, I can see tourism revenue dropping like a rock. Who, aside from still-resentful members of the Egyptian street would want to go to the place where that fucker is still holed up? Even if it is an awesome resort on the tip of the Sinai.

  4. Congrats, Egypt!

    1. Dead inside?

        1. I’m sorry.

          1. It happens.

            1. But he’s right:

              Making a treaty with a dictator lasts as long as the dictator does (or even shorter, how’d that Molotov-Ribbentrop thingy work out?)

              Making peace with a democracy should transcend a single administration, although it demands different kinds of negotiation.

  5. Congratulations to the people of Egypt.

  6. I thought he didn’t resign. Now he’s resigning? Who is advising him, the administration?

    1. Let me be clear.

      Mubarak should resign. Unless he decides no to, in which case he should stay.

      1. Obama might want to learn that it’s not necessary to have an opinion on everything.

        1. But then, how do we take credit for this? Better yet, you tell me how does my administration take credit without pissing off the Saudi royal family?

          1. Easy. Do the Reagan thing–because Obama is possessed by the dead president as the media keeps telling us–and talk about us being the shining city on the hill that inspires all democratic and freedom-loving movements.

          2. I’d call the House of Saud and tell them to start running…

  7. “I drank what?”

  8. I’ll be in charge soon.

    Now watch this drive!

  9. Mubarak is the Lindsay Lohan of Egypt.

  10. So far, this is probably the best case scenario.

    I think (but who the fuck knows) that the military will keep the theocrats out of power. Which is a good thing, for liberty.

    I also think (etc.) that the Egyptian military is not particularly interested in a full-blown junta, but might just serve as an interim caretaker.

    Fingers crossed.

    1. I agree. So far, so good.

    2. Let’s hope so.

  11. The king is dead!

    Long live the king!

  12. Yeah, old Hosni was a horrible guy and I’m glad he’s gone. Unfortunately, all the power that made it matter that he is an awful guy is just in somebody else’s hands. It’s like a shell game.

    The power to rule and destroy people’s lives never goes away, just the particular people wielding it. If handing Hosni’s power over to a military junta turns out to be a good thing I’d be surprised.

  13. I would be very depressed if I saw M1’s blowing the shit out of civilians.

    1. Er, you would?

        1. Then let me add that I would be very depressed if I saw soldiers slaughtering children.

    2. Even if the civilians were Tea Partiers on the Mall in Washington, demanding that Obama leave office?

  14. I wonder if/hope that they can keep the mass gathering going, and turn the current assemblies in Cairo and Alexandria into street-level constitutional referenda/parliaments. An Egyptian Althing. Don’t let the suits get behind closed doors and start making deals in secret.

  15. Walk like a Tunisian.

  16. It’s great to see the old bastard go

    Robert Gibbs wasn’t that bad.

  17. I agree with your writing!

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