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Any bets as to how long it takes for Obama to take credit ?

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After a last show of defiance on Thursday, Egypt's embattled President, Hosni Mubarak, has stepped down. This was announced by Vice-President Omar Suleiman, to whom the President's powers have been delegated. Mr. Mubarak and his family are now at the Red Sea resort city of Sharm-el-Sheikh.

State TV announced that the President would make another appearance on television later on Friday.

After Friday prayers, huge crowds began pouring into Cairo's Tahrir Square and other parts of Egypt, not only to protest against Mr. Mubarak's address, but also to exert pressure on a vacillating military to make up its mind on whether its was siding with the pro-democracy movement.

After Mr. Mubarak's speech on state television, where he said he would continue as President till September, a defiant Opposition changed its tactics. More regime symbols were angrily targeted on Friday, with crowds deciding to take their protests directly to the President by marching towards the heavily guarded presidential palace. A standoff with the military has begun there, but so far no violence has been reported. Protesters have also, in large numbers, gathered in Alexandria, outside yet another palace belonging to the President. Besides, several hundred people are surrounding the state television building, from where Mr. Mubarak's address was broadcast. Disregarding the extra layers of razor wire and heavy military presence, the protesters have successfully blocked people from entering the building.

On Thursday night, crowds at the Tahrir Square first anticipated that the President, bowing to people's power, would announce that he was stepping down. Once it became clear that Mr. Mubarak was not going to meet their expectations, they took recourse to a typical Arab insult — holding aloft their shoes, facing the President's televised images.

The pro-democracy campaigners are also putting to test the military, which has been issuing mixed signals. On Thursday, the supreme military command, in a communiqué, signalled that it was getting ready for a solid intervention to steer Egypt's political transition.

Many in the square had rather optimistically interpreted this as a demonstration of the military's inclination to mount, as a precursor to a democratic transition, a pro-people coup to force Mr. Mubarak's exit.

But in an about-turn, following the President's address, the military on Friday issued a statement, largely endorsing Mr. Mubarak's call. In response to the military's statement, pro-democracy leader Mohamed ElBaradei wrote on his Twitter page: “People power's can't be crushed. We shall prevail. Still hope army can join.”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article1413826.ece
 

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If ifs and buts where candy and nuts.....

IF IF IF


http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2011/02/obamas_egypt_opportunity.html

I find it hard to fault Obama's management of the crisis so far: The situation was unpredicted (if not exactly unpredictable) and fraught with uncertainty and difficult tradeoffs. Yes, there were tactical missteps -- CIA chief Leon Panetta's premature forecast of Mubarak's resignation being the most embarrassing -- but overall, Obama and his team have managed to avoid doing any irreversible harm. And that's no small achievement. The United States can probably never control the transition ahead, but it has preserved enough credibility and leverage to influence it.

If Obama reaches out effectively to the democratic forces rising both within the military and the civilian population -- and if the Arab world's largest and most important country moves nonviolently toward free elections while maintaining peace with Israel -- he can banish the specter of Carter's Iran bungling and notch a major foreign policy accomplishment. No one would remember the zigs and zags of the past three weeks.
 

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If the egyption people democratically vote a group not friendly to the US, what does the US do?

We stand behind democracy and free elections. How can the US be so self centered that we would oppress the majority's right so US citizens can sleep better at night?

IMO the egyption people will elect a leader and the US needs to recognize that leader. Regardless of our opinion of him/her.
 

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Like Carter did with Iran ? Egypt has no understanding of how to form a democracy. Obama, through Clinton, needs to offer the know how to form a democracy... the way Reagan and bush did for Poland and Russia. The way Bush the second did for Iraq. Failure to do so will result in another, more powerful, Iran. This administration should have been doing this for the last 18 ,months. It may be too late.
 

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Like Carter did with Iran ? Egypt has no understanding of how to form a democracy. Obama, through Clinton, needs to offer the know how to form a democracy... the way Reagan and bush did for Poland and Russia. The way Bush the second did for Iraq. Failure to do so will result in another, more powerful, Iran. This administration should have been doing this for the last 18 ,months. It may be too late.
What indication was there 18 months ago that we would be in this situation? Obama is actively working with Egypt to create a democracy.
 

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What are talking about, bro... the entire region has been demonstrating for 18 months.
 

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If the egyption people democratically vote a group not friendly to the US, what does the US do?

We stand behind democracy and free elections. How can the US be so self centered that we would oppress the majority's right so US citizens can sleep better at night?

IMO the egyption people will elect a leader and the US needs to recognize that leader. Regardless of our opinion of him/her.
All democracy is not the same. As much as we complain about our two-party system, it is much less likely to lead to violent confrontation than the type of multi-party system that will be pulling in all directions during Egypt's elections. The two party system is designed to reach some kind of consensus. If you have many parties, none can claim anywhere near a majority. So one group of, say, 25% might be able to pull the most votes over 10-15 other parties, and thereby dictate the direction of the country. When 25% have won by democratic means, but they don't represent the majority of the country, and act in opposition to the majority, you don't have true democracy. This is a very likely scenario in Egypt, as the Muslim Brotherhood has shown about 30% support in the past - the largest of any single group. Are you going to support the Muslim Brotherhood's leadership if 70% of the country is opposed to what they are doing?
 

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Evidence egypt was going to follow suit?
Did the press actually come out and predict this 18 months ago? No, but in order to see the "evidence" that Egypt was to follow other protests in the region one would have to look back to 1967 and the aftermath of the six day war to see how the seeds of this revolution were sewn. Egypt enacted Emergency law 162 of 1958, which was actually a result of the cold war. Continuously in effect from the Sadat assisnation in 1981 this law greatly limited the rights of citizens in the name of "order". Constitutional rights were suspended, censorship was made legal, and the Egyptian government was allowed to imprison people for no legitinate reason. So if you couple this law with high unemployment, rampant police brutality, government corruption, and poor socio-economic conditions you can see that this revolution was long in the making. The difference between this one and otherprotests by Egyptian citizens in the past is the fact that the internet was able to get the images and word out in an almost instant fashion. The government was not able to stop the snowball effect and by the time they tried to they lost the support of the military.

Eventually, all repressive regimes fail..... the power of the people make it happen. The timing must be right and I think you're starting to see that now.
 

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Did the press actually come out and predict this 18 months ago? No, but in order to see the "evidence" that Egypt was to follow other protests in the region one would have to look back to 1967 and the aftermath of the six day war to see how the seeds of this revolution were sewn. Egypt enacted Emergency law 162 of 1958, which was actually a result of the cold war. Continuously in effect from the Sadat assisnation in 1981 this law greatly limited the rights of citizens in the name of "order". Constitutional rights were suspended, censorship was made legal, and the Egyptian government was allowed to imprison people for no legitinate reason. So if you couple this law with high unemployment, rampant police brutality, government corruption, and poor socio-economic conditions you can see that this revolution was long in the making. The difference between this one and otherprotests by Egyptian citizens in the past is the fact that the internet was able to get the images and word out in an almost instant fashion. The government was not able to stop the snowball effect and by the time they tried to they lost the support of the military.

Eventually, all repressive regimes fail..... the power of the people make it happen. The timing must be right and I think you're starting to see that now.
This is a common type of revolution. Many disparate groups are unified in their hate of the current regime, so they can come together to force the regime out. But once the regime is gone, there are many groups with very different visions for Egypt. Sorting out those differences is going to be virtually impossible to work out peacefully through the ballot box.
 

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If they can overthrow the military, then it's a revolution. Right now, it's just a bunch of whiny kids being appeased by their parents (US).

Should get interesting when this reaches the UK later this spring..
 

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Evidence egypt was going to follow suit?
The protests started in 2009 with the election results in Iran. That was an insight to the displeasure with the -then governing body. Protests in Iran, Yemen and Bahrain, are starting to spread. This is not a local and singular instance. We haven't seen anything, yet. Wait and watch what happens in the very near future. Even China is concerned over it's Muslim population... given it's past eruptions in protest.
 
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