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Hundreds of Thousands Pour Into Tahrir Square, Mubarak Expected To Resign

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Hundreds of thousands of people are pouring into Tahrir square, dubbed Liberation Square, in anticipation of an announcement by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, according to a live stream from Al Jazeera. What the president will announce remains unknown. However, activists are sure Mubarak will resign. After that, the future of Egypt is in the hands of powers far higher than the people demanding freedom and democracy.


Protesters pour into Tahrir square, dubbed “Liberation Square”

One possibility is Mubarak will transfer power to the vice president, Omar Suleiman, as the constitution requires. Others think power will transfer to the military in preparation for a complete regime change. In the latter event, concerns about a “soft coup”, in which the military seizes power and refuses to relinquish it, remain a concern. However, merely handing power to a Mubarak crony such as Suleiman, is not an acceptable solution.

Some activists are calling for the arrest of Hosni Mubarak, Vice President Suleiman and others in the Mubarak cabinet on corruption and possible murder charges.

Likely, the worst outcome possible would be an Article 139 transfer of power under the Egyptian constitution, where Mubarak designates a person to assume power without officially stepping down.  Activists say they will be happy with nothing short of regime change.  They are demanding a one year period to rewrite the constitution in which they would place provisions which prevent any leader from assuming power for 30 years, as has happened with Hosni Mubarak.

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About Tim Paynter

  • Baronius

    “Tahrir” is the more common transliteration of the square’s name. The word means “liberation”. The square wasn’t “dubbed” Liberation Square. (Well, it was dubbed Liberation Square in 1919.)

  • No such luck (yet). Thus far, he remains in total denial.

  • Can you believe that he would orchestrate the speech the way he did and then NOT resign? I think there will be bloodshed. The people are NOT going to accept his staying.

  • Chickened out at the last minute, I suspect. You have a death grip on power for as long as Mubarak has, it’s not easy to let go.

  • No they won’t. I was worrying about the momentum, but with his condescending and totally out of touch speech, he just added added fuel to the fire.

    When will they ever learn?

  • Another possible factor, his resignation might have opened the door to criminal prosecution for defrauding the country. While in power, he may be able to stave off the eventuality.

  • US should definitely renege on the impending arms deal, if they have the balls. It would definitely bring matters to a peak.

  • Al Jezeera is doing 24/7 coverage, or so it seems. Who needs our lame stream media?

  • It’s interesting that our conservatives are conspicuously mute about the developments in Egypt, a true eye-opener, I must say. To add insult to injury, Jon Sobel’s pedestrian article about all so stale and worn-out subject, the Republican hypocrisym gets the top headline from our libertarian friend and advocate, Mr. Nalle himself. Come to think of it, even our heart-bleeding liberals, strictly party line, mind you, are not to be heard from. True to form, they, too, must evaluate the situation on the ground before they decide to treat us with their pearls of wisdom. Talking about priorities!

    To his credit, only Clavos has gone on record to register his voice of support, however tacitly. But Clavos has always been his own person, always thinking for himself, and in such a case stripes don’t matter. Besides, Clavos is unencumbered by a false sense of Americanism and resigned therefore to defending the indefensible.

    Your liberal and/or conservative principles on which you supposedly stand make me puke.

  • As expected, a lame response to Mubarak’s empty speech from the equally lame Obama team.

  • Lee caught with his shirt down and Obama caught with his mike down. He was bragging about how we were about to witness history and when Mubarak heard that he was to be the subject of his own speech he said “hell no” I’m still running stuff here and he made the muddiest, murkiest speech in political history: I am leaving but I am not gone, I’ve shifted power but still hold the reins, I’m gone yall and my BFF is the head of the gov.

    Never heard of anyone signing off without signing off before. Then Obama puts out another missive more confusing than Mubarak’s.

    What’s going on? More Mercury in retrograde?

    Anyway the latest is that Friday is showdown day in Cairo because folks are going to the Mosques and they will face off with tanks in the streets and prayer rugs in hand.

    Tomorrow might make history, not today Obama.

  • Meanwhile, our Co-Executive Editor-in-Chief is salivating over the finer points of high-brow culture, the art of mixed drinks.

  • Obama needs no excuse of Mercury being in retrograde. He’s been in retrograde since day one.

    And yes, tomorrow and the day after is going to be a showdown, and no thanks to our president who thinks he can walk on water.

  • Since you’re a classicist, Heloise, judging by your name, how about comparing Mubarak’s muddy speech with the Funeral Speech attributed to Pericles?

  • Roger how did you know I have a Classical library? I am a classicist to the bone. I will have to look up the speech first.

    It’s funny how the followup messages from the amb and others tried to white wash Obama’s premature statement about Mubarak stepping down and history about to be made and watched with the young people there.

    He don’t fool me why was he calling out the young people there? They can’t vote for YOU Barack. Wrong Barack, you aint’ on their ballot…but nice try.

  • The Funeral Speech can be googled, I’m certain. Though attributed to Pericles, it is presumed to have been crafted by Thucydides.

    As to Mubarak’s appeal to the Egyptian “youth,” I find it not only ludicrous but also awfully close to Obama’s own campaign theme.

    Two peas in the pod.

  • Did you read what I just wrote? That’s exactly what I said. Obama has once again made it about himself. That is driving the conservatives nuts. It’s getting ridiculous on his part really.

    I just googled and read the funeral speech and I see what you mean. I would have to study it though to make it work into an article and I am not that smart.


    thanks for the tip
    PS Do you think that bloggers everywhere should revolt or have a writeout for a month or something across the internets (sic)? Just asking. But after the Oscars naturally.

  • Boeke

    Maybe the Egyptian president thinks he’s the brother of the American president. You know, “Obama Barack meet Moo Barack”.

  • I’m not sure what you expect Obama to do. Order Mubarak to resign? Wouldn’t that be wildly inappropriate, too reminiscent of George Bush ordering Saddam to resign? One country explicitly telling another how to govern is not something I’d expect to hear much support for.

    The administration’s caution, in this as in other matters, is usually spot on. There are some on both left and right ready to shout down the president no matter what he does or fails to do. Shout away, boys and girls.

  • I was hoping for sterner stuff, Handy, that’s all. These people deserve better.

  • As we celebrate the eve of democracy in Egypt, if it comes, the birthing of a new society presents problems. Not all democracies are US friendly. So far, the activists have said they want nothing to do with the old regiem, and that could likely mean nothing to do with the CIA and offers of military support.

  • Baronius

    re #9 – I said this would happen a week ago: if we talk about it, we’ll be called meddling Americans, and if we don’t, we’ll be called dumb Americans.

    But what’s wrong with internet chatters watching to see what happens? We accomplish little if anything by writing, you know, and we’d accomplish nothing good by writing before we understood what’s going on. I have a lot of concerns, and a lot of hopes, but no real insights.

    I’ve heard the President and the intelligence community getting heat for not anticipating these, but that’s silly. Predictions are generally worthless in fluid, human situations. Every country has a half-dozen crises on the back burner, and you can never tell what’s going to boil over. You can’t tell because human will is involved.

  • Done Deal! The people prevailed!

  • troll

    congratulations to the Egyptian people

  • We are all Egyptians today. Amazing, joyous. All the networks have broken into game shows and talk shows with live coverage.

  • “re #9 – I said this would happen a week ago: if we talk about it, we’ll be called meddling Americans, and if we don’t, we’ll be called dumb Americans.” #22

    My remarks weren’t directed at either meddling or dumb Americans, only at humans. But I suppose it’s a strange concept to you, for who would you be if you were to take off your American hat?

  • troll

    dictators beware

  • Israeli reaction is bound to follow next, another tyrannical government masquerading as a democracy.

  • Israel has a bellicose government, not a tyrannical government. It has a hawkish government because that’s what the largest number of people wanted during the last election. It certainly is a democracy. Amazingly ignorant statement.

  • Heloise

    Mubarak Resigns!
    “Hundreds of thousands of protesters had gathered for a huge rally on what they called “Farewell Friday,” and after 18 days they finally achieved their main goal.

    “The people have brought down the regime,” chanted the crowds in Tahrir Square.”

  • troll
  • Even today, prior to this momentous event, members of our diplomatic corps were discussing our unequivocal and indiscriminate support for worldwide democracies.

    “What if Osama bin Laden was the winner in the Saudi popular elections?” was their point question.

  • I know the meaning of words, Handy. Not tyrannical with respect to its people, you say. Well, it’s tyrannical with respect to the occupied territories, is my claim.

    So yes, I willfully ignored this fine distinction.

  • Boeke

    The future of Egypt is for the Egyptians to decide, and, more importantly, to implement.

    Of course one can fear a military takeover with a General taking the lead. One can fear outside influences (the US? OBL? Russia?) trying to take a powerful position.

    Have the Egyptians traded one oppressor for another?

    But I have higher hopes for Egypt, based on the amazing interchange of information and ideas that anyone can read and contribute to.

    I have high hopes and expectations for Egypt.

  • Caution: Mubarak has gone, but handed power to the military. Seldom a path to peace and freedom, that. Egyptians will do well not to take their eyes off the ball.

    Roger, American support for democracy has historically not been unequivocal and indiscriminate. It is so only when someone America doesn’t feel threatened by gets elected.

    The US was far from happy about Allende in Chile, for example, or when an Islamic fundamentalist party won free elections in Algeria. Iran is also a democracy, albeit a limited one. I could go on.

  • Heloise

    I think the date says it all
    2-11-2011 Yes the peaceful (people) meets the violent (military) = New way for the country?

    It was destiny a military coup…real history. Obama was right, people were strong.

  • My take is, it’s as momentous an event as the end of the Cold War, greater perhaps. We have always thought of the Middle East as our personal playground, just as we view Cuba. Well, the “dumb and dirty Arabs” have shown us. They represent the cutting edge.

    The Middle East will never be the same again.

  • Of course I’m aware of that, Dreadful. I was only addressing what passes as our commitment to democratic values.

  • You’ve got to have greater faith in history, Boeke.

    “The moral arch of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • troll

    …do you think we could get the US Government to quit in 18 days?

  • Clavos

    Hopefully, the new Egyptian regime will distance itself from the US and spurn ANY “offers” of help from this country.

    If they don’t, the people will be back out on the streets; it’s not over yet.

  • Since the Egyptian military have so far managed to portray themselves as ‘good guys,’ on the side of the protesters, thus keeping themselves in the middle of the power transition, and since the Egyptian military would barely exist without American aid, I’m not sure how likely it is Egypt will spurn anything any time soon.

    The protesters seem friendly to American journalists and cautiously receptive toward Obama — not reflexively anti-American.

    But who knows what’s next? The euphoria will die down, and then what?

  • American hope as our indispensability never dies. We are the hub of the world.

  • …do you think we could get the US Government to quit in 18 days?

    Only if we could get a commitment from the protesters that they won’t cancel Glee.

  • tim paynter

    Great comments all! Your participation is what keeps bc so strong! As for those who don’t have the analysis right, well I will get u on the right track soon enough! Probably…

  • Good luck. I’ve tried for two years and counting; they’re intractable. You’d have a better chance talking to Thisbe through the chink in the wall.

  • Mubarak’s assets have just been frozen by Swiss banks.

  • El Bicho

    troll?! get your nostalgia off my bridge. Wish Bob A. Booey would make a reappearance

    “..do you think we could get the US Government to quit in 18 days?”

    I don’t see Americans protesting for 18 days.

    The numbers of the date are meaningless. Why didn’t they overthrow him on Jan 11 or wait until Nov 11?

  • Clavos

    The protesters seem friendly to American journalists and cautiously receptive toward Obama — not reflexively anti-American.

    Too bad — for them; their relationship with the USA has been toxic for them.

  • immigrants have been fighting for basic rights in this country for a lot longer than 18 days. Those imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay have been fighting just to see an attorney for far longer than that. Let’s join the rest of the world in effecting human rights and equality.