Feb 10, 2011

What is Mubarak thinking?

By now everyone has heard of Hosni Mubarak's speech to the people of Egypt. The defiant dictator refused to step down from Egypt's presidency in the face of massive protests and a crippling general strike.

What happened last night in Egypt/this morning in the US caused a great deal of confusion. Multiple leaks to the media from the military and other cabinet members insinuated that the Egyptian president would address his people and announce that he was stepping down from his post, turning the country over to Vice President Suleiman and the leaders of the military.

In response, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians made their way in celebration to Tahrir Square (Tahrir translates to 'liberation'). There they rejoiced and sang, danced and smiled with the feeling that their weeks of protest and struggle had finally come to fruition.

When Mubarak did finally speak, refused to step down and furthermore blamed foreign intervention for the deeply held feelings of his own people, he basically stuck up his middle finger at the demonstrators in Egypt. Needless to say, their response was not a happy one.

Mubarak has become a symbol of absolutism, a Sun King for the Muslim world, and Egyptians will not suffer his heavy-handed rule for much longer.

Now we are a few short hours away from sunrise on Friday. Fridays in the Middle East are kind of like Sundays in the West - people traditionally do not work on Fridays. They do, however, congregate and protest en masse before and after Friday prayers. With the anger at a tipping point after Mubarak's blatant disregard for the needs and wishes of his people, the sun could be about to rise on the final day of his regime - and his final disposition might not be one of his own choosing.

The only other possibility is that Mubarak wants his fall to be a bloody one, to go out in a blaze of glory. If that is the case, then he has revealed himself to be a violent, decietful and hateful individual that Egypt - and the US - and the whole world - might do better without.

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Keep it civil and pg-13, please.