Posts tagged ‘Hosni Mubarak’


Analysis: Revolutions, Regime Change, and State Collapse in the Arab World

[Ed. Note: The commentary below, abridged from the original available at the Carnegie Middle East Center, provides an important overview of events unfolding throughout the Middle East and North Africa and should serve to temper those swept up in the emotional exuberance of the Arab Awakening and its potential to reorder the lives of millions. The link to the full article is available at the end.]

Of Revolutions, Regime Change, and State Collapse in the Arab World by Marina Ottaway and David Ottaway

With breathtaking speed, massive popular protests across the Arab world have swept away two Arab strongmen and shaken half a dozen monarchies and republics to their core. But the Arab world has yet to witness any fundamental change in ruling elites and even less in the nature of governance.

Libya now seems poised to be the first country to see a true change in governance, thanks to Muammar Qaddafi’s megalomania and his amorphous jamahiriya (state of the masses). But such change may not have a happy ending. The damage Gaddafi has inflicted on his country is likely to extend well past his demise because he leaves behind a weak state without functioning institutions.

The uprisings sweeping across the Middle East have similar causes and share certain conditions: authoritarian and ossified regimes, economic hardship, and a growing contrast between great wealth and dire poverty, all worsened by the extraordinarily large number of young people who demand a better future. But the consequences will not be the same everywhere.

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Egypt’s Prosecutor Seeks Mubarak Loot

Egypt’s public prosecutor on Monday told the foreign ministry to seek a freeze on the foreign assets of Hosni Mubarak and his family, the first sign that the former president would be held to account by the military leadership to whom he handed power.

The prosecutor said in a statement he had asked the foreign ministry to use diplomatic channels to request a freeze on foreign assets and accounts held by Mubarak, his wife Suzanne and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, together with their wives.

A legal representative for Mubarak denied media reports that the former president had amassed enormous wealth in office, the official MENA news agency reported Sunday.

Additional posts on this site regarding Mubarak’s wealth are here and here.

Complete article via Reuters


Rage, Rap and Revolution

Bobby Ghosh, the author of the below analysis, which focuses on the connections of the younger generation that has just toppled two tyrants, just gave an excellent interview on the Charlie Rose show. One important point he made on the show that is not included in the article is the military’s role in each of the countries experiencing protests.

In Egypt, the Army has traditionally seen its role as the protector of the country. In other states, however, the military’s role is the protection of the regime.

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Leaders Are Gone, But Regimes Are Not

The Presidents Left, the Regimes are Still Here
by Marina Ottaway, Carnegie Middle East Center

The removal from power of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were historic moments for the entire Arab world. But the old regimes—the submerged icebergs of personal connections, institutions, and common interests of which the presidents and their immediate entourage were the visible tips—are still there and they are fighting back to retain as much power and control as they can. These are still only the early days of a long process of transition, but it is clear that the battle to disband the regimes will be difficult. In this battle, street protest remains essential.

Early moves by the members of Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces suggest that it intends to preserve as much of the regime as it possibly can. It has announced that the present government, composed entirely of Mubarak appointees, will remain in power until the end of a transition period lasting a maximum of six months. It has dissolved the parliament and abrogated the constitution, measures demanded by the opposition because last year’s parliamentary elections were rigged to the point of absurdity and the constitution was designed to protect the regime from real competition and perpetuate its power.

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80 Million Egyptians Disagreed, Mr. Biden

Q: Should Mubarak be seen as a dictator?

“I would not refer to him as a dictator.”

US Vice President Joe Biden
January 27, 2011

Source: PBS NewsHour

In the video version, the remark takes place at the 3:54 mark. Also, if you want to see Hillary Clinton’s stupid comment, it’s here.

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The Roar of the Democratic Wave

[Ed. Note: While not all of the recommendations in the following commentary, The Roar of the Democratic Wave, are agreed with, much of the overall analysis is quite insightful. Bold and audacious, de Vasconcelos lays out a path that could keep “the wave” cresting. In regards to the current fast-moving events in Egypt, his call for US pressure on Egypt’s military is absolutely the right one. Mubarak’s not going to budge but if the generals issue orders to shoot protesters, it is a very open question whether they would be carried out.]

The Roar of the Democratic Wave
By Álvaro de Vasconcelos

Has the uprising in Tunisia sparked a new democratic wave that will conquer Egypt and eventually sweep away the authoritarian “Arab exception”? After southern Europe in the 1970’s, Latin America in the late 1980’s, and Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990’s, it seems that now it is the Mediterranean region’s turn. For Europe, democratization immediately to its south is a vital interest.

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s ouster in Tunisia signaled the collapse of the Arab “stability” model, praised by many Western leaders, consisting of authoritarianism and overrated economic performance. The surge of anger and revolt in Egypt, whatever its final outcome, marks the beginning of the end for authoritarian nationalist Arab regimes.

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How Much Is $70 Billion?

If reports are accurate that deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s net worth is $70 billion dollars, how much does that work out to per Egyptian?

According to the CIA’s World Factbook, the population of Egypt was 80,471,869 in 2010.

$70 billion dollars divided by every man, woman and child in Egypt works out to $869.87 each.

For the average Egyptian family with 2.6 children the total is $4001.40. – almost exactly two years worth of wages in Egypt.

The original post about Mubarak’s net worth is available here. Posts about efforts to recover the money are here and here.


A Free Egypt Can Be Good for Israel

While Israel has legitimate concerns regarding its future alongside an Egypt that will be reflecting the will of its people, democratization could also be to Israel’s benefit. But attention needs to be paid to the opportunity of creating a true peace between two peoples rather than between two governments.

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Mubarak Just Posted On CraigsList


Swiss Move To Freeze Mubarak Loot

Switzerland’s government moved Friday to freeze any assets in the country’s banks that might belong to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak or his family, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said Friday.

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UPDATE 18:29 GMT: On state TV, Egypt’s Supreme Military Council makes very brief statement thanking both Mubarak for his 30 year’s of service and appreciation to the martyrs of Tahrir Square. Suleiman seems to be out of the picture.

UPDATE 16:19 GMT: Jubilant reaction in Cairo’s Tahrir Square (via Al Jazeera English, CNN and CBS, respectively):
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UPDATE 16:06 GMT: Suleiman’s complete statement: “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.”

UPDATE 16:02 GMT: Military council to run affairs of the country, Suleiman says.

UPDATE 16:02 GMT: Suleiman, on state TV, announces that Mubarak has stepped down. Crowds in Tahrir Square and elsewhere jubilant.

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The West Must Work With Dictators

The uprisings in the Arab world have prompted much hand-wringing among Europeans, who worry that the West has been too lenient with the region’s autocrats. Sometimes, however, tolerating dictators is very much in the West’s best interest.

The popular movements in the Arab world have generated surprisingly little political resonance in the streets of European capitals. There have been no significant expressions of sympathy for the demonstrators, and no angry protests in front of the embassies of those Arab countries where police and security services have shot regime opponents or beaten them to death.

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Reaction To “I Was A Youth Once Too”

The tug of war between President Hosni Mubarak and the hundreds of thousands of protesters in Cairo continues.

Demonstrators erupted in anger Thursday night in Cairo’s Tahrir Square after Mubarak said he would not resign but would only transfer his power to his vice president and close confidant, Omar Suleiman.

In one line that led to jeers from the crowd, Mubarak said in a patriarchal tone, “I was a youth once too.”

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White House Rift With Hillary Clinton

The White House and the State Department have been sending out different messages over the past few days regarding the U.S. position on Egypt. The seeming disparity between the focus and tone of remarks by officials from each part of the government has the Washington community wondering if there’s a rift between Pennsylvania Avenue and Foggy Bottom and who’s really in charge.

Internal disagreements on how closely to align the United States with Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman and his self-interested reform process emerged into public view last weekend, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Munich Security Conference that the U.S. is calling on the international community to support the process initiated by Suleiman. Clinton also had to distance herself from the comments of the State Department’s chosen “envoy” Frank Wisner, who called for Mubarak to stay in power when he spoke at the conference in Munich.

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Note: More recent updates are available here.

UPDATE 24:03 GMT: Tweet from “Fake_Dispatch” is making the rounds: “BREAKING: New Facebook upgrade option is called Mubarak. You click on quit and nothing happens.”

UPDATE 23:52 GMT: On the plus side, Egyptians now have a chance to recapture the $70 billion Mubarak family has looted. Works out to USD $84,337.97 per Egyptian.

UPDATE 23:35 GMT: White House statement expected soon. WH was obviously blindsided. Double-crossing, false signals rampant in this episode. Mubarak made references to “foreign” pressure in the open and in the close of his speech.

UPDATE 23:22 GMT: Under Egyptian Constitution, three powers Mubarak did NOT transfer to Suleiman: 1. Power to fire Cabinet, 2. Power to disband Parliament, 3. Power to change Constitution. (My thought, and I’m sure the thoughts of millions of Egyptians): These are BIG loopholes.

UPDATE 23:17 GMT: BBC’s Paul Adams in Tahrir Square says the army seems more nervous than it had been before: “People are talking about the possibility of marches tomorrow, of going to the presidential palace, and that they know that could be a gauntlet to the army. But a number of people were insisting that the army remained neutral, even though there was a slight suspicion they were lied to earlier in the day when they were told ‘tonight you will get all your demands.’ They still believe the army is neutral.”

UPDATE 23:12 GMT: CNN’s Ben Wederman tweet: “It’s amazing how far and how fast relations between the governments of the US and #Egypt have deteriorated.”

UPDATE 22:59 GMT: Obama to meet with national security team to discuss Egypt situation.

UPDATE 22:57 GMT: ElBaradei on CNN, asked if transfer to Suleiman is supportable: “Absolutely not.” Says there’s no difference between Suleiman and Mubarak. Says it’s unclear if army is with Mubarak or with the people.

UPDATE 22:41 GMT: ElBaradei via Twitter: “Egypt will explode. Army must save the country now.”

UPDATE 22:40 GMT: Egyptian Ambassador Sameh Shoukry to US is telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Mubarak has transferred “all power” to Suleiman and that Mubarak retains title but is “president in name only.”

UPDATE 22:34 GMT: French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s first comment on the Mubarak speech: “I hope Egypt gets a democracy, not an Iran-style religious dictatorship.”

UPDATE 22:27 GMT: Comments compiled by Reuters…

Stephen Grand, Brookings Institution: “It was quite surreal. He’s a stubborn old man who refused to see the writing on the wall. I happen to believe the demonstrations will continue, people will continue to push for his ouster and eventually will succeed.”

Robert Springborg, US Naval Postgraduate School: “The speeches tonight are not intended to bring an end to the crisis in a peaceful way but to inflame the situation so there is justification for the imposition of direct military rule. They are risking not only the coherence of the military but even indeed, and I use this term with advisement here, civil war. I think it needs to be made perfectly clear (by outside powers) that Mubarak and his regime are forfeiting Egypt’s future. Egypt is in an economic crisis. It is going to have to be bailed out and the short answer to what they are doing now is that it will not be bailed out with anything like a military regime in place that is associated with Mubarak, Omar Suleiman and these people who are part of this regime.”

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Egypt Army To Mubarak: Time To Go – Announcement May Come Tonight

Update from The New York Times:
Egypt’s armed forces on Thursday announced that they had begun to take “necessary measures to protect the nation and support the legitimate demands of the people,” a step that suggested the military intends to take a commanding role in administering the strife-torn nation.

The announcement of an enhanced role for the military came as officials in President Hosni Mubarak’s government suggested a momentous shift in power was underway, including a possible transfer of power from Mubarak to his Vice President Omar Suleiman.

Hossan Badrawi, secretary general of the National Democratic Party (NDP), told Egyptian state news outlets and the BBC that Mubarak would “most probably” speak to the nation soon, and that he would likely step down from his post.

Earlier update from the BBC:
A senior member of Egypt’s governing party has told the BBC he “hopes” that President Hosni Mubarak will transfer power to Vice President Omar Suleiman.

Hossan Badrawi, secretary general of the National Democratic Party (NDP), said Mubarak would “most probably” speak to the nation on Thursday evening.

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Lessons In Social Unrest

Representatives of the young anti-government protestors camped out on Cairo’s Tahrir Square could join talks between the Egyptian government and other opposition leaders on Thursday. The disparate factions on Tahrir Square have resolved their differences and have formed a delegation that includes Egyptian-born Google executive Wael Ghonim, who was recently released from custody.

Ghonim, the head of marketing for Google in the Middle East and North Africa, spent almost two weeks in custody for his role in organizing the protests. Upon his release, he gave an emotional speech honoring the protestors who lost their lives that turned him into the face of the protest movement.

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Official Warnings Get Threatening

As Egypt’s uprising entered its 17th day on Thursday, bolstered by labor strikes and worker protests across the country, a senior official in President Hosni Mubarak’s embattled government was quoted as saying the army would “intervene to control the country” if it fell into chaos.

The warning by Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit seemed to add a further ominous tone to earlier comments by the newly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman who said the alternatives facing tens of thousands of demonstrators demanding Mubarak’s ouster were dialogue with the authorities or “a coup.”

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