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Archive for Friday, February 11, 2011

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigns, hands power to military

February 11, 2011

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— Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak resigned as president and handed control to the military on Friday after 29 years in power, bowing to a historic 18-day wave of pro-democracy demonstrations by hundreds of thousands. “The people ousted the president,” chanted a crowd of tens of thousands outside his presidential palace in Cairo.

Several hundred thousand protesters massed in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square exploded into joy, cheering and waving Egyptian flags. Fireworks, car horns and celebratory shots in the air were heard around the city of 18 million in joy after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall.

Mubarak had sought to cling to power, handing some of his authorities to Suleiman while keeping his title. But an explosion of protests Friday rejecting the move appeared to have pushed the military into forcing him out completely. Hundreds of thousands marched throughout the day in cities across the country as soliders stood by, besieging his palace in Cairo and Alexandria and the state TV building. A governor of a southern province was forced to flee to safety in the face of protests there.

It was the biggest day of protests yet in the upheaval that began Jan. 25, growing from youth activists working on the Internet into a mass movement that tapped into widespread discontent with Mubarak’s authoritarian lock on power, corruption, economic woes and widespread disparities between rich and poor.

“In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as president of the republic,” a grim-looking Suleiman said. “He has mandated the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the state. God is our protector and succor.”

Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei, whose young supporters were among the organizers of the protest movement, told The Associated Press, “This is the greatest day of my life.”

“The country has been liberated after decades of repression,” he said adding that he expects a “beautiful” transition of power.

Outside Mubarak’s Oruba Palace in northern Cairo, women on balconies ululated with the joyous tongue-trilling used to mark weddings and births.

“Finally we are free,” said Safwan Abo Stat, a 60-year-old in the crowd of protesters at the palace. “From now on anyone who is going to rule will know that these people are great.”

Another, Mohammed el-Masry, weeping with joy, said he had spent the past two weeks in Tahrir before marching to the palace Friday. He was now headed back to the square to join his ecstatic colleagues. “We made it,” he gasped.

The question now turned to how the military, Egypt’s most powerful institution, will handle the transition in power. Earlier in the day, the Armed Forces Supreme Council — a body of top generals — vowed to guide the country to greater democracy.

In a statement hours before Suleiman’s announcement, it said it was committed “to sponsor the legitimate demands of the people and endeavor for their implementation within a defined timetable ... until achieving a peaceful transition all through a democratic society aspired by the people.”

Abdel-Rahman Samir, one of the youth organizers of the protests, said the protest movement would now open negotiations with the military over democratic reform but vowed protests would continue to ensure change is carried out.

“We still don’t have any guarantees yet — if we end the whole situation now the it’s like we haven’t done anything,” he said. “So we need to keep sitting in Tahrir until we get all our demands.”

But, he added, “I feel fantastic. .... I feel like we have worked so hard, we planted a seed for a year and a half and now we are now finally sowing the fruits.”

Comments

camper 3 years, 2 months ago

We drop a couple of trillion dollars to help Iraq and Afghanistan democratize.....and it's not really working.

We encourage Democratic reforms in Egypt, but otherwise sit on the sidelines and watch this remarkable transformation work itself out thru the Egyptians themselves.....the way it should be. And somehow this is wrong. I'm confused.

No doubt, the future is unpredictable and there are no guarantees, but letting the Egyptians determine their own course is the best approach.

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monkeyspunk 3 years, 2 months ago

rockchalk and snap, you are so stupid there really aren't words to express it.

Why was the Shah overthrown? Who created the conditions for the rise of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Until you two are able to actually gain the knowledge about events in history perhaps you should keep your fat mouths shut about said events in history.

We created the situation in Iran, everyone knows this. We allowed our Interests to outweigh our Ideals and the result was disastrous. Those times need to come to an end.

Democracy prevailed in what turned out to be a somewhat bloodless revolution, in spite of our government's luke warm support for the democracy loving demonstrators. Shame on our government, and shame on you.

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monkeyspunk 3 years, 2 months ago

Dear Fearmongers,

The Muslim Brotherhood was one of the only Islamic groups that condemned the September 11th attacks. They are a conservative group, much like any of the thousands of right-wing Christian organizations running around the US.

Sincerely,

Common Sense

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gl0ckUser 3 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if the people of lawrence Can do this to City Counsel

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thebcman 3 years, 2 months ago

gotta love it when the women start ululating on their balconies!

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Agnostick 3 years, 2 months ago

So, did anyone happen to notice why the Pampers were tossed out (for at least the third time)...?

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Agnostick 3 years, 2 months ago

"This just proves Obama is the most incompetent US President since Jimmy Carter indirectly led to overthrow of the Shah of Iran."

Maybe we shouldn't have been meddling to begin with?

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rockchalk1977 3 years, 2 months ago

Who's in charge now? The Obama administration seems to be embracing the Muslim Brotherhood with their motto "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.". This just proves Obama is the most incompetent US President since Jimmy Carter indirectly led to overthrow of the Shah of Iran.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

Let's hope that in a couple of years, people aren't being lynched in the streets of Cairo for being the wrong type of Muslim.

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jhawkinsf 3 years, 2 months ago

Along with the events in Tunisia, the events in Egypt will reshape the Middle East in the same way the Solidarity movement led to events that took down Communism. There will be some bright spots that will make up think of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Violence and anarchy will happen in other areas. But big changes are brewing that no one can predict. All the experts are guessing as to what will happen. Call back in a decade and we will see who guessed correctly.

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

So bush promised to bring democracy to the Middle East and failed. President Obama seems to have been quite successful in his support of democracy in Egypt.

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CWGOKU 3 years, 2 months ago

Walk like an Egyptian.................

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

Is the Muslim Brotherhood as evil as some British and USA politicians claim?

Both of these sources have lied many many times.

What could be at stake over and above weapon sales?

The Oil and Natural Gas of Egypt

The newly discovered oil fields in the Mediterranean seabed have opened up fresh opportunities for reviving the country's oil export business. The 3.7 million barrel reserve that Egypt previously possessed, now have more than doubled the reserve figures. The markets of Turkey and Israel are the chief targets of Egypt.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

The VP is a close ally with the USA CIA so things might not be so hot.

The Military Industrial Complex wants the large weapons sales that had been supporting dictator Mubarek. If dictators will buy weapons the USA military industrial complex will sell.

Bush Reagan Iran – Contra Secret Weapons Affair

http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/walsh/execsum.htm

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/03/24/spy.network.probe/index.html

Did it ever stop?

WE Arm the World ( no matter what) http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/4120/we_arm_the_world/

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0208-05.htm

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grigori 3 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Agnostick 3 years, 2 months ago

Question for the fearmongers (including bondmen, bkgarner, berrypenders)...

If not Mubarak... then who, or what, specifically...?

Can you be more specific about what you think is best for Egypt, rather than just parroting the same fear and paranoia that your propaganda outlets feed you?

This has been the most laughable aspect of the past two weeks: Watching certain crackpot extremists melt into a puddle of hot, babbling screed, because citizens of a comparatively democratic Muslim nation have had enough of their 30-year "president?"

Can someone please explain how that works? How do you have a "democracy" and a 30-year president? Mubarak has more in common with Castro, Mogabe, and al-Gaddafi than Bush, Blair, or Wulff. How can you love freedom while supporting a 29-year dictator?

As to the Egyptian people and religious extremism, I'm somewhat reminded of that old cigarette ad from the 1960s: They'd rather fight than switch.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/3365.aspx

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LoveThsLife 3 years, 2 months ago

I agree with other who posters who aren't buying that Egypt will turn into a theocracy. While the Muslim Brotherhood in no doubt would prefer that form of government, I think they also realize that too many young Egyptians wouldn't stand for it. This a really a youth movement and the youth over there are quite secular.

However, I've been following this closely on Al Jazeera and here is an article of those who might end up taking the lead.

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/02/201128145954697300.html

Some of you might actually be interested in reading it.

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Shane Garrett 3 years, 2 months ago

Egyptian military, trained and supplied by the United States, has little to gain by taking control. I really think that democracy has to become the norm in Egypt. I agree that there should be no fear of a "Fundamentalist Muslim" take over of the government there. I have seen that Egyptians have a more worldly view then to revert to a theocracy.
Keep in mind even Iran has had some rumblings of discontent under their current theocracy.

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deathpenaltyliberal 3 years, 2 months ago

I know FoxNews has been hyping the fear of the Muslim Brotherhood, but if liberal democracy is good enough for the USA, it's good enough for Egypt to aspire to.

As Donald Rumsfeld once said, "Democracy is messy".

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CorkyHundley 3 years, 2 months ago

Stratfor says....

Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman delivered the following statement Feb. 11: “In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country. May God help everybody.” Suleiman’s statement is the clearest indication thus far that the military has carried out a coup led by Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. It is not clear whether Suleiman will remain as the civilian head of the army-led government. Egypt is returning to the 1952 model of ruling the state via a council of army officers. The question now is to what extent the military elite will share power with its civilian counterparts. At a certain point, the opposition’s euphoria will subside and demands for elections will be voiced. The United States, while supportive of the military containing the unrest, also has a strategic need to see Egypt move toward a more pluralistic system. Whether the military stays true to its commitment to hold elections on schedule in September remains to be seen. If elections are held, however, the military must have a political vehicle in place to counter opposition forces, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood. The fate of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) thus lies in question. Without the NDP, the regime will have effectively collapsed and the military could run into greater difficulty in running the country. While the military council will be serving as the provisional government, it will likely want to retain as much of the ruling NDP as possible and incorporate elements of the opposition to manage the transition. Sustaining its hold over power while crafting a democratic government will be the biggest challenge for the military as it tries to avoid regime change while also dealing with a potential constitutional crisis.

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ophiuchus 3 years, 2 months ago

... "reaping" the fruits....

/ ... "reaping" the fruits....

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autie 3 years, 2 months ago

yup. he quit before they kilt his ass.

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MyName 3 years, 2 months ago

The Muslim Brotherhood has something like a 15% approval rating (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/poll_no_constituency_for_musli.html ). All of this scare-mongering is completely pointless. Will they have a voice in the new government? Yes, but so will the other 85% of the population.

The biggest thing we have to worry about right now isn't the islamist bogeyman, but the people who spent decades in the old regime and still want to keep power or keep their old jobs. These kinds of people didn't just disappear in Russia, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, and they won't disappear here. On the bright side, the U.S. doesn't have troops over there, unlike in Iraq or Afghanistan.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

Fundamentalist Muslims only make up about 20% of the population of Egypt. That's very similar to the percentage of fundamentalist Christians in the US.

We aren't a theocracy (even though many of those fundies would like us to be,) so there's really no reason to believe that they will be, either.

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RogueThrill 3 years, 2 months ago

At least it will be what they chose, and not some US friendly, authoritarian proxy. If the US is free to vote in Christian fascists I see no reason why other countries shouldn't be free to vote in their own particular brand of extremist.

I mean, the US is the the beacon upon the hill, the shining example of liberal democracy everyone should follow. Right?

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Brent Garner 3 years, 2 months ago

And how long will it be before the Muslim Brotherhood controls Egypt and Egypt descends into the kind of hell that is Iran? While Mubarak was clearly not a good man, I greatly fear that we have traded a demon for a devil!

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firebird27 3 years, 2 months ago

Now we get to see what the Islamic fundamentalists will do. If they succeed, we will encounter an ever-widening expansion of Islamic fascism. Seig Jihad (heil)! Islam uber alles.

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bondmen 3 years, 2 months ago

"According to a major survey conducted last year by the Pew Research Center, adults in Egypt don't crave Western-style democracy, as pundits have blithely trumpeted throughout coverage of the unrest.

Far from it, the vast majority of them want a larger role for Islam in government. This includes making barbaric punishments, such as stoning adulterers and executing apostates, the law of their country. With the ouster of their secular, pro-American leader, they may get their wish."

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/562840/201102101920/What-Egyptians-Really-Do-Want.htm

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fleeba 3 years, 2 months ago

I am so happy for my friends in Egypt.

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