Mubarak to say he goes today

February 2nd, 2011 at 8:15 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

’s president Hosni Mubarak is to announce he will step down at the next election, according to reports.

Mubarak, the focus of millions of protesting Egyptians, would make the announcement in a speech today, reported Al Arabiya TV.

At least one million people have rallied across Egypt clamouring for Mubarak to give up power, piling pressure on a leader who has towered over Middle East politics for 30 years to make way for a new era of democracy in the Arab nation.

Cairo’s Tahrir (Liberation) Square was jammed with people ranging from lawyers and doctors to students and jobless poor, the crowd spilling into surrounding streets.

Two dictators toppled in a month is almost a trend. In Jordan, the King has sacked his Government to try and placate protesters – will that be enough?

In terms of Egypt, the focus will be on who serves as interim President, and once elections are held, which parties form the Government.

The military, which has run Egypt since it toppled King Farouk in 1952, will be the key player in deciding who replaces him. Analysts expect it to retain significant power while introducing enough reforms to defuse the protests.

Armed forces chief of staff Sami Enan could be an acceptable leader, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood said.

Enan, who has good ties with Washington, was a liberal who could be seen as suitable by the nascent opposition coalition, prominent overseas cleric Kamel El-Helbawy told Reuters.

“He can be the future man of Egypt,” Helbawy said. “The people do not know him (as corrupt).”

A liberal with good ties to Washington sounds pretty good to me.

Tags:

32 Responses to “Mubarak to say he goes today”

  1. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Good to see you’re so excited about this DPF.

    How do you feel about the Muslim Brotherhood getting cosy with the army in their play for power in an effort to create Iran V2.0 because the MB isn’t really a “liberal” organisation as we know it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. alex Masterley (1,517 comments) says:

    The Yanks seem to be adopting the approach of letting the Egyptians decide their own fate and choose their own leaders. when the yanks and the brits attempted to keep the shah in power in Iran, all those years ago all it did was (i) breed creatures such as Khomeni and (ii) the true politics of hate as exemplified by radical islam.
    Giving the nation the ability to make a choice may mean that radicalisation will be avoided.
    I’m interested in seeing what happens in Syria and Algeria.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    …………….Armed forces chief of staff Sami Enan could be an acceptable leader, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood said…………………prominent overseas cleric Kamel El-Helbawy……
    Until elections are held………………….yeah right

    Yes this will will go well. Middle east and democracy now that a oxymoron.

    Good luck

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    The comparison of EG/M.East now with the European revolutions of the mid to late 19th C are interesting. The results of those movements was WWI & WW2 within 50 years. We are seeing a domino effect now with the ‘fire’ spreading from Africa (Tuni & EG) to Jordan. It is rapidly becoming a pan-Islamic power shift. Radical consequences for world economies (oil prices alone is a huge factor).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Manolo (13,774 comments) says:

    The vile fundamentalists prepare for war.

    Muslim Brotherhood: ‘Prepare Egyptians for war with Israel’

    A leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt told the Arabic-language Iranian news network Al-Alam on Monday that he would like to see the Egyptian people prepare for war against Israel, according to the Hebrew-language business newspaper Calcalist.

    http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=206130

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    We shouldn’t allow any non-democratic country to strive for democracy in case the worst outcome may happen. Only good white christian countries deserve democracy. Best to keep the rest in their inferior places.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    Didn’t middle east democracy end up with Hamas in power? That’s worked well. One can only hope but I suspect that, similar to Turkey, whether Egypt has a relatively secular government or is taken over by the nutty fundies will be heavily dependant on the military.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Seán (397 comments) says:

    DPF said: A liberal with good ties to Washington sounds pretty good to me.

    – is that a classical liberal or a modern liberal? ;-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Good for the Egyptians.

    All the wannabe hawks muttering darkly about the Muslim Brotherhood and that the US should be supporting Mubarak, are completely missing the point. The people are pissed off and have had enough. The dictatorship game is over. And it’s more than a little disingenuous to say the Egyptians have no capacity for liberal democracy, when they’ve never really had it.

    How would we feel if the US decided Helen Clark was a goodun and decided to keep her around? For our own good, of course. Would you join the NZ Brotherhood?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Caleb (479 comments) says:

    Malcolm, what do the protesters in Egypt think they are going to get?

    jobs?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Properly liberal, or just liberal for a Muslim religious leader?

    Has any other Arab country thrown out an old regime and successfully gained democracy in its place?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Celeb, change. Something better. Anything better. They’re not sitting around pontificating. What did the East Germans think they were going to get – mass unemployment and depression? Probably not, but I doubt they would want to go back, either.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. cha (4,017 comments) says:

    Syria could be next with dissidents calling for a day of rage.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. tom hunter (4,843 comments) says:

    Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak is to announce he will step down at the next election, according to reports.

    Too late, my love, too late.

    Perhaps twenty years ago, maybe even ten years ago. Certainly in the wake of George Bush’s 2003 call for the US and the West to walk away from the cold-blooded, real-politik of supporting dictators with the illusion of “stability”. Back then, like Gadaffi with his nuclear weapons program, Mubarak realised the US was serious, and began opening the door of freedom a little wider. But it was just a passing phase, as it became clear that nobody else in the West would heed Bush, and Mubarak went back to what had always worked.

    But not now.

    Now it’s the first Russian revolution of 1917 and the incoherence of a Kerensky government. Now it’s the Iranian revolution and the vacuum of people who never thought beyond the revolution. All it now needs is what happened in those situations and countless other revolutions; a group of fanatics with a clear goal, a coherent plan, and the willingness to use great violence in key parts of society. A few thugs with guns in the officer corps, a few more to take control of the radio and TV stations, and the newspapers. The new media might have had a counter effect – until the switch is thrown – which the Mubarak regime conveniently did a few days ago. The deaths of a few key people. That’s really all it takes – a coup by any other name.

    This is the future, not because their numbers are greater, but because their numbers are enough when combined with fanaticism, guns, and a few leaders who know what has to be done, to overcome the great, wallowing majority.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. cha (4,017 comments) says:

    Who to believe Tom, some say things are on the way down and others have a different view on what’s going on..

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. tom hunter (4,843 comments) says:

    I know Cha. For once, this is not something I’m willing to actually get into an argument about, only a discussion – because the arguments for both the best and worst outcomes are finely balanced, and because I hope to god that I’m very, very wrong about this.

    What would be of interest is to look at the commentary about the positive outlook for Iran 30 years ago.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. cha (4,017 comments) says:

    Some worrying/interesting tweets.

    http://twitter.com/weddady/status/32547326736207872#

    http://twitter.com/aliaSabi/status/32546421102088192#

    http://twitter.com/emrahaydogdu/status/32546011847069696#

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    I note that Mubarak says he will step down AT THE NEXT ELECTION. He is 82, and it was widely believed he was going to step down then anyway to make way for his son. All this does is buy time for him to arrange the next government to his liking. He can rig the next election just like the last dozen. The only sacrifice is he won’t be able to get his son in the job. If I were an Egyptian I would not be satisfied with this. He has to go NOW.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. cha (4,017 comments) says:

    Tunisian Dr. Khaled Shawkat says Al-Jazeera is a mouth piece of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Al-Jazeera has been hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood organization – either at the wish of the channel’s owners as part of a certain political game [played] by the Qatari rulers, or out of the lack of awareness of the Qatari rulers, who think that the situation is under control and that even though they have given the Muslim Brotherhood a chance to control Al-Jazeera, for local, regional, and international considerations, they can get rid of them or restrain them any time they want…

    Prior to writing this article, I spoke with a number of journalists at Al-Jazeera, [both] known and unknown, some of whom still worked there and some of whom had been forced, or decided, to quit. Most of them agreed that ‘loyalty’ [to a group] had come to supersede ‘qualifications,’ and that journalists with no Muslim Brotherhood background had to choose one of two options: [either] adapt to the new work conditions and swear loyalty to the representative of the supreme guide [of the Muslim Brotherhood] at Al-Jazeera, or leave…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    Pete George (9,007) Says:
    February 2nd, 2011 at 9:09 am
    We shouldn’t allow any non-democratic country to strive for democracy in case the worst outcome may happen. Only good white christian countries deserve democracy. Best to keep the rest in their inferior places.

    . . . says the guy who was against the US going into Iraq, ousting it’s dictator, and allowing democracy…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    Mr Mubarak said he would devote his remaining time in power to ensuring a peaceful transition of power to his successor.

    But he criticised the protests, saying what began as a civilised phenomenon turned into a violent event controlled by political cowards.

    He said he had offered to meet all parties but there were political powers that had refused dialogue.

    So he has said it as predicted. But can he be trusted? He’s promised reforms in the past.

    Who is the violent coward?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) – If Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.
    Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told ministers of the Jewish state to make no comment on the political cliffhanger in Cairo, to avoid inflaming an already explosive situation. But Israel’s President Shimon Peres is not a minister.

    “We always have had and still have great respect for President Mubarak,” he said on Monday. He then switched to the past tense. “I don’t say everything that he did was right, but he did one thing which all of us are thankful to him for: he kept the peace in the Middle East.”

    Newspaper columnists were far more blunt.

    One comment by Aviad Pohoryles in the daily Maariv was entitled “A Bullet in the Back from Uncle Sam.” It accused Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of pursuing a naive, smug, and insular diplomacy heedless of the risks.

    Who is advising them, he asked, “to fuel the mob raging in the streets of Egypt and to demand the head of the person who five minutes ago was the bold ally of the president … an almost lone voice of sanity in a Middle East?”

    “The politically correct diplomacy of American presidents throughout the generations … is painfully naive.”

    Yep, Obama is pulling a Carter. It’s 1979 all over again. The US just lost it’s only other Middle East ally, and it and Israel are now under more threat. Obama has done more damage in the office of POTUS than people claim Bush ever did..

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. beautox (422 comments) says:

    I wonder how many of the 200 F-16s that Egypt has will need to be shot down by Israel.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    What should the US do Fletch – invade Egypt and enforce a dictatorship?

    No one has any idea how this will turn out, it’s a totally different situation and era to Iran. High risk for sure, it could be a popular tide that prevals, or it could be a faction that manages to manipulate control.

    But how can it be stopped?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. tom hunter (4,843 comments) says:

    The following article has been linked to by several prominent blog sites. It’s well-known freelance journalist, Michael J. Totten and this piece is simply a writeup of a discussion he had in 2005 with an Egyptian blogger while wandering the streets of Cairo – Nasser’s Biggest Crime. I chuckled at this comment from the blogger:

    I wanted to know what he thought of the Muslim Brotherhood. Was it even possible that they are as moderate as they want everyone to believe?

    “They are moderate because they don’t have guns,” he said.

    It’s also a good insight into how optimism about the ME can be misplaced:

    Optimism in Beirut comes naturally to a foreign observer like me now that Syrian occupation troops are out of the country, the Lebanese parliament has been freely elected, and the most popular Sunni Muslim leaders are secular liberal democrats in Saad Hariri’s Future Movement. That feeling is much harder to come by in Egypt right now. I told Big Pharaoh I found his country’s prospects grim and depressing, and how Islamism feels that it is coming like Christmas.

    “You want to feel good?” he said. “You want to be optimistic? Go back to Beirut.”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    The Muslim Brotherhood is the best organised political entity on the ground in EG amid the fragmented ‘protest movement.’ It also comes with millions of bankroll from Iran. They will be active behind the scenes and into this leaderless groundswell WILL STEP motivated political power brokers. The protest will wane; the real thing to watch is what happens next politically.

    there is no doubt EG will be further Islamised, and this may involved a civil struggle and much more bloodshed. It will evolved over weeks and months. But hatred of Israel will emerge early. I agree with you Tom H.

    This is Russia 1917. The Bolshevik revolution was total people-power, but it was hijaked and steered very effectively and Stalin emerged at the top after lenin and Trotsky. Mobs are hopeless; they have to have focus, an agenda and political leadership. This is not a democratic upswell. There has never been democracy in this country in thousands of years.

    I think this is far more serious than people think; prediction; we’ll be discussing this in detail – and only this – on Kiwblog in six weeks time. Lib vs Consv. in NZ politics and someone’s hair colour will completely fade into the background as pol.s scramble to get a NZ response to this.

    Watch Jordan.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. KevinH (1,227 comments) says:

    An interim government will be sworn in by the judiciary following Mubaraks’ departure today. The process from there is to organise an election to elect Mubaraks’ successor. The West (U.S.) will be looking for a quick resolution to the crisis and more than likely will be involved in the electoral process by offering administrative as well as security assistance if required.
    Certainly Egypt is a nation of multiple cultures and religions, therefore the process to self government will be fraught with difficulties. Nevertheless the populace has demonstrated it’s desire for change.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Agreed Kevin, but politicised Islamic groups don’t give a hoot about “the people” they are motivated by higher ideals that allow them to murder, rape and pillage with moral justification, even blow themselves up to kill others. They will hijack this movement’s endgame.

    It has been great watching the EG Muslims and Christians working together (ie the Christians who linked arms to protect a Mosque from malcontents on the streets; and Muslims who lifted a Christian on their shoulders). However, bigger forces are at work here. This is not America; it is Egypt under dictatorship infused with radicalised Islam.

    Hamas won power in Lebanon thru ‘democracy’ and immediately began shelling Israeli suburbs. Hitler won democratically in Germany thru democracy, and then immediately murdered other political parties. So, whomever grabs control, i think the 30 year peace with israel will be the first item to go in EG, and that will send red lights a flashing across the international spectrum.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    Godwin’s. Thread closed.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Quality comments Tom Hunter and IMP.

    Peter George, you’re not in their league fella, sit back and learn.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    That’s all any of us can do from here Paul, sit back and learn – well, sit back and watch anyway.
    Unless you have some quality suggestions for saving the world?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Nice strawman Petey, you mong.

    As far as anyone is concerned, Mubarak is done. Even the coldest, most rational foreign policy realist will see it. It’s time to drop him like every other thug we’ve ever courted and start to nurture the Egyptian’s desire for real democracy and opportunities. Better that than alienate them completely and have them back the MB or some other nutcase group out of spite. Egypt isn’t entirely lost, Fletch. Not yet.

    It would be much better to see someone from the military like Enan as a future President rather than a useful idiot berk like ElBaradei. A secular military to fall back on against the MB will be more reliable than…who? The sururbanites of Cairo? Students? On that note, you can see why the Western Left and the MFM are backing ElBaradei.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote