"Let nothing human be alien to me"- Terence

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Quick Reactions to Mubarak's Speech

Looters.  Arsonists.  Will maintain security.  Political forces manipulating protestors.   Will stay until the elections.  Protecting his dignity.

Really, I don't know if Mubarak could have given a speech less likely to spark the crowd.  Maybe he could have said Gamal was now the President, or called the protestors Israeli agents might have done more, but it was still a pretty big thumb in the eye to the broad cross-section of Egyptians on the streets.

I understand his endgame, and get it to an extent- he doesn't want to die in Saudi Arabia and be remembered in history as just another tyrant.  I even feel bad for him, in a small way.  But I don't think he has that option anymore.  That's the price of power- you can't hang onto it forever, and if you do, there's a good chance you'll end up at the end of a rope or in lonely, bitter exile.

So, yeah: this isn't over, by a long shot.  I guess I didn't really think he'd go on TV an announce that he was leaving, but there was that slight spark of hope that we were about to see something amazing.  We still are- since when do crowds mock their tyrants in public, as al-Jazeera just asked.   It seems that he has done nothing more except to inflame the crowds even further.  So I guess we're still waiting.

I wonder if Salih watched it and said "yeah, that's a good strategy- position myself as the weary leader who has always tried to do what is best, and is now tired but still dignified, and firm in staying."  If so, he's wrong.  Hopefully the message he got is: ballgame.

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