Communiqué Number One

So, what set off Thursday’s ultimately frustrating series of events? Among other things, this:

“Based on the responsibility of the Armed Forces, and its commitment to protect the people, and to oversee their interests and security, and with a view to the safety of the nation and the citizenry, and of the achievements and properties of the great people of Egypt, and in affirmation and support for the legitimate demands of the people, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces convened today, 10 February 2011, to consider developments to date, and decided to remain in continuous session to consider what procedures and measures that may be taken to protect the nation, and the achievements and aspirations of the great people of Egypt.”

Looking at the brass involved, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces appears roughly equivalent to the Joint Chiefs. It’s the kind of group you might expect Mubarak to chair — only he wasn’t in the room.

But unlike the Joint Chiefs, the Supreme Council isn’t a standing operations committee. It’s only been convened twice before in Egypt’s history: the Six-Day War and the October War. Mubarak may have thrown sand in their gears, but Thursday was not a drill.


Christianne Amanpour spoke to this with Piers Morgan (shocked! he’s pretty good). She reckons M’s days are numbered. So did the other Egyptians on the program. Most gave him a week after what was described as the spectacular display of weakness that was his speech.

BBC implies that this meeting is about the generals’ determination to hold on to their own power. If the demonstrators refuse to accept Mubarak’s cabinet they could reject the army leadership too.

Mubarak proves there’s no fool like an old fool. He’s got money (70 billion approx) and he’s been given ample opportunities to leave with it and his ass intact.

I feel, um, “bad” for him.

CNN and NYT are reporting that Mubarak has left Cairo for his home in Sharm el-Sheikh, and that an announcement from him is expected “soon.”

Consider it his “Checkers” speech and his first volume of memoirs, in one. Dude doesn’t want to go out swinging, per se – he just wants to go out with what his self-penned obit refers to as “dignity”. He probably looks at Baby Doc’s return to Haiti – nobody cares! – and thinks “Mubarak 2.0 is going to be freaking awesome“.

here’s Juan Cole:

The danger is that by raising expectations and then dashing them, Mubarak may have created an even more volatile revolutionary situation, which could easily deteriorate into violence and a spiral of violence.

In 1992 the Algerian generals held parliamentary elections and allowed the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), the Muslim fundamentalist party, to compete. FIS unexpectedly won more than two-thirds of seats in parliament, which would have allowed them to amend the constitution. The generals were suddenly stricken with fear at what might happen, and they abruptly declared the election null and void. Millions of FIS supporters were outraged, feeling their victory had been stolen from them. The situation deteriorated into a civil war between fundamentalists and secularists that ultimately killed perhaps 150,000 to 200,000 persons over the succeeding decade, and left Algeria to this day in a fragile political condition.

Basically, the rule in politics is that you don’t raise people’s hopes if you aren’t prepared to follow through on your pledges.

He just stepped down and turned over power to the military, per CNN.

it hasnt mentioned Suliman. I wonder if he is still involved.

I apologize for trampling all over the gravity of this moment (get the fuck out, Hosni!), but re noj’s quoted text: run-on sentence much?

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