Ed Note: See comments below to follow events into the third week of the Egyptian revolution culminating in the resignation of Mubarak and assumption of power by the so-called Supreme Council of the armed forces on February 11.
An amazing month, week and weekend.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed El Baradei this Sunday evening in Cairo took leadership of the … revolution and told the world — Washington — there will be no going back to the status quo ante.
Here is the streaming Al Jazeera English. The only way to go:
The Egyptian demonstrations that began on January 25 were inspired by the Tunisian revolution, itself inspired by revelations in the first huge batch of Wikileaks US diplomatic cables.
The Likud Lobby is surely telling Obama that Israel and the West cannot tolerate a democracy in Egypt — a fortiori in light of the Palestine Papers and the continuing stream of Wikileaks diplomatic cables.
Quite a pickle for the American president, a man of words and little action.
But if he continues to sit on his hands and allows Mubarak to enforce a crackdown, sympathetic eruptions seem certain to occur thru out Arab lands.
Mub’s appointment of intelligence chief Sulieman as vice president on Saturday seemed a step toward Mub’s departure. But now it’s now clear.
The regular army has been supportive of the demonstrations — which is to say they have not attacked. The violence of Thursday and Friday was initiated by various secret police forces. Al Jazeera reports that the elite Presidential Guard troops number 22,000. I wonder if that’s true. And wonder where the loyalties of all these forces now lie and how they’re divided.
Ayman Nour, another top opposition leader, speaks today of negotiating with the army and other leadership figures, to form a “national unity” government to cross the interregnum to the scheduled 2011 elections. Not clear if he sees Sulieman an acceptable interim leader.
Tourism is essential to Egyptian life. The current status quo cannot go on forever. It’s clear that el Baradei is calling on Washington to pull the plug on Hosni and move forward. We shall see.