Egypt · Egyptian President Mubarak · Egyptian Unrest

Military chiefs back Mubarak, Sept. elections

Washington Post

As huge crowds packed central Cairo Friday, calling anew for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s military chiefs pledged to back the authoritarian leader’s decision to remain in office.

The armed forces did not move against the demonstrators, however, and the statement from the supreme military council said it would guarantee “free and honest” elections and a lifting of Egypt’s 30-year-old state of emergency once calm returned to the streets.

In a statement read on state television, the council endorsed Mubarak’s move the night before to transfer most of his powers to his hand-picked vice president, Omar Suleiman. It also encouraged protesters to go home, citing the need to “return to normal life.”

Instead, waves of people continued to course into Tahrir Square, and anger and frustration mounted as word spread of the military’s stance.

“Mubarak must go! He is finished!” protesters shouted as a sea of people waved red-white-and-black Egyptian flags.

At a smaller demonstration at the presidential palace, in the affluent northern suburb of Heliopolis, Taha Nahas predicted that the military’s statement would backfire and that Egyptians who had seen the armed forces as an honest protector of their interests would change their minds.


Egypt · Egyptian President Mubarak · Egyptian Unrest

Mubarak Refuses To Step Down, Vows To Pass Powers To Egypt’s Vice President

I had an eerie feeling this would happen…

Huffington Post

 Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak refused to step down or leave the country and instead said he would hand his powers to his vice president Thursday, remaining president and ensuring regime control over the reform process. Stunned protesters in central Cairo who demand his ouster waved their shoes in contempt and shouted, “Leave, leave, leave.”

The rapidly moving events raised the question of whether a rift had opened between Mubarak and the military command. Hours earlier, a council of the military’s top generals announced it had stepped in to secure the country, and a senior commander announced to protesters in Tahrir Square that all their demands would soon be met, raising cries of victory that Mubarak was on his way out.

After Mubarak’s speech, protest organizers called for the army to take action to oust him, and they vowed increased protests on Friday. Several hundred thousand had packed into Tahrir Square, ecstatic with expectation that Mubarak would announce his resignation in his nighttime address. Instead, they watched in shocked silence as he spoke, slapping their foreheads in anger and disbelief. Some broke into tears.

Around a 1,000 marched on the state television headquarters several blocks away, guarded by the military with barbed wire and tanks. “They are the liars,” the crowd shouted, pointing at the building, chanting, “We won’t leave, they will leave.”   More…

Egypt · Egyptian President Mubarak · Egyptian Unrest

Report: Mubarak to Step Down

SHARM EL SHEIKH/EGYPT, 18MAY08 - Muhammad Hosn...
Image via Wikipedia

The Daily Beast

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will step down Thursday night, two sources tell NBC News, and his vice president, Omar Suleiman, will take his place. After over two weeks of protests, the army chief of staff waded into the crowd and told protesters, “All your demands will be met tonight.” Asked if this meant Mubarak would be stepping down, he said “It ends tonight.” Mubarak is expected to speak at some point Thursday night. CIA Director Leon Panetta told Congress there’s a “strong likelihood” Mubarak will step down this evening.

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Egypt · Egyptian President Mubarak · Egyptian Unrest

Hosni Mubarak’s Human-Rights Horrors

The Daily Beast

Torture, imprisonment, repression of dissent, murder, disappearances—as the Egyptian regime teeters, dissidents and bloggers look back on three decades of abuses.

Pundits and politicians shout “Better the devil you know!” as Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak’s regime nears collapse.  Mubarak is hailed for not waging war on Israel, allowing some space for civil society, and permitting multi-candidate presidential elections. So why encourage his departure and risk the ascent of a theocratic, fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, which could be far worse?

The Egyptian dissidents and bloggers I’ve spoken to have little patience for this worldview. They have been tortured and imprisoned under Mubarak and refuse to accept that they must choose one brutal tyrant over another. They hold out the hope that they too can live in a normal country. After three decades of Mubarak, Egyptian dissidents feel it necessary to remind the world of his true legacy on human rights and democracy.

“Mubarak did not know the meaning of humanity,” said Bassem Samir, a democracy activist imprisoned under the dictator. “He did not know that they have rights. He worked for 30 years to ensure that Egyptians fear democracy. He weakened the opposition, and anyone who didn’t agree with him was out, out of everything—the media, work, and even the country. Whenever Mubarak thought someone else could be liked by the people, he removed them totally.”   More…

U.S. Politics

Sunday Morning Blog Round Up


Egypt Protests: Anti-Mubarak Activists Bruised, Tired, Hungry

Kristol Calls Out Colleagues In Right-Wing Media For “Sid[ing] With The Dictator” Mubarak

Is Ginni Thomas Getting Rich Off Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court Decisi..

Super Bowl 1 Video Found: Packers-Chiefs Tape Finally Discovered (VIDE..

Income inequality is worse in the U.S. than Egypt

The flawed conservative case against the mandate

Sorry: Scalia is not going to save the Affordable Care Act

Earl Warren-1952: Calls out Right Wing Extremists

New Orleans population has crumbled in the last 10 years

Bush Cancels Trip for Fear of Prosecution

Egypt · Egyptian President Mubarak · Egyptian Unrest · Midddle East Demonstrations · Middle East · Middle East Unrest

Egypt PM: Mubarak to stay through September

Hosni Mubarak
Image by robertxcadena via Flickr

It looks like President Mubarak of Egypt will not give in to the demands of the citizens of Egypt and step down.  His plan is to stay until September.  Then again, the situation in Egypt is fluid, so it’s a matter of “wait and see” at this point.


Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq confirmed Friday President Hosni Mubarak’s intentions to remain in office until elections in September, Egyptian state TV reported.

“We as civilized people must honor the president, who did a good job regardless of mistakes here and there,” said Ahmed Shafiq on Egyptian state TV, which was translated by msnbc TV. “Today the Egyptian people see that the president will not step down.”

Shafiq, a former air force commander and aviation minister, also said it’s unlikely that Mubarak would transfer power to Vice President Omar Suleiman, saying, “I doubt that this is acceptable.”

Shafiq said efforts were underway for a resolution, but he did not provide details.

“There are more points that need to be discussed,” he said, according to msnbc TV. “Both sides must give concessions so we can meet halfway.”

President Barack Obama urged the country to begin its transition process now.

The president said that “the entire world is watching,” and the issues at stake in Egypt won’t be resolved through violence. He condemned attacks on journalists and human rights activists, without blaming the government for them.

Checkpoints and children
Tens of thousands packed central Cairo Friday, waving flags and singing the national anthem, emboldened in their campaign to oust Mubarak after they repelled pro-regime attackers in two days of bloody street fights.

The government relaxed a capital curfew, which runs from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. instead of 5 p.m. to 7 a.m., according to media reports.   More…

Egypt · Egyptian President Mubarak · Egyptian Unrest · President Barack Obama · White House

W.H. working on exit for Mubarak


The White House is working to negotiate a peaceful, immediate exit for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, including talk of a military caretaker government, before potentially bloody demonstrations on Friday, according to administration officials.

Obama aides pushed back against a New York Times story late Thursday that reported Obama and his advisers were hoping to convince newly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman and the Egyptian military to lead a temporary government until new national elections could be called that would ensure democratic rights to all opposition groups, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

“The President has said that now is the time to begin a peaceful, orderly and meaningful transition, with credible, inclusive negotiations. We have discussed with the Egyptians a variety of different ways to move that process forward, but all of those decisions must be made by the Egyptian people,” said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

But a senior administration official, speaking in condition of anonymity, emphasized that a range of possibilities were being considered.

“It’s simply wrong to report that there’s a single U.S. plan that’s being negotiated with the Egyptians,” the official said.       More…