*****Democracy protests bring down Egypt’s Mubarak*****

The Vancouver Sun reports that Mubarak steps down.

(emphasis mine) [my comment]

'Egypt is free': Mubarak steps down
By Edmund Blair and Samia Nakhoul, Reuters
February 11, 2011 11:51 AM


Egyptian anti-government protesters celebrate under fireworks at Cairo's Tahrir Square after president Hosni Mubarak stepped down on February 11, 2011

CAIRO —
A furious wave of protest finally swept Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak from power on Friday after 30 years of one-man rule, sparking jubilation on the streets and sending a warning to autocrats across the Arab world and beyond.

Mr. Mubarak, the second Arab leader to be overthrown by a popular uprising in a month, handed power to the army after 18 days of relentless rallies against poverty, corruption and repression caused support from the armed forces to evaporate.

Vice President Omar Suleiman said
a military council would run the affairs of the most populous Arab nation. A free and fair presidential election has been promised for September…

Mr. Mubarak, 82, had flown with his family from Cairo to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, a ruling party official said.

Ecstatic Egyptians celebrated in carnival mood on the streets and people embraced in Cairo's Tahrir, or Liberation, Square, the main focus for protest. Many simply sobbed for joy.

"Nightmare over!" said tailor Saad el Din Ahmed, 65, in Cairo. "Now we have our freedom and can breathe and demand our rights. In Mubarak's era, we never saw a good day. Hopefully now we will see better times," said Mostafa Kamal, 33, a salesman.


"I salute the Egyptian people and the martyrs.
This is the day of victory for the Egyptian people. The main goal of the revolution has been achieved," Mohamed el-Katatni, former leader of the Brotherhood's parliamentary bloc, told Reuters.

"This is the greatest day of my life," said opposition activist and Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, welcoming a period of sharing of power between the army and the people. He told Reuters that running for president was not on his mind.

"This nation has been born again, these people have been born again, and this is a new Egypt," said Ayman Nour, the only politician who dared to challenge Mr. Mubarak in Egypt's only multi-candidate presidential election. He came a distant second.

They waved flags, set off fireworks and beat drums to celebrate this new chapter in modern Egyptian history. SMS text messages of congratulation zapped over mobile phone networks among ordinary Egyptians, hailing a victory for people power.

A speaker made the announcement in Tahrir Square where hundreds of thousands danced and sang, chanting:
"The people have brought down the regime." Others shouted: "Allahu Akbar (God is greatest)." Women ululated in jubilation.

"It's broken a psychological barrier not just for North Africa but across the Middle East. I think you could see some contagion in terms of protests; Morocco, perhaps Jordan, Yemen," said Anthony Skinner of political risk consultancy Maplecroft. …


Mr. Tantawi heads the military council according a military source. Al Arabiya said an army statement would announce the sacking of the cabinet, the suspension of the upper and lower houses of parliament and that the head of the constitutional court would lead with the military council.

The Salon reports that Democracy protests bring down Egypt's Mubarak.

Friday, Feb 11, 2011 13:20 ET
Democracy protests bring down Egypt's Mubarak
After 18 days protesters finally watch Hosni Mubarak announce his resignation
By PAUL SCHEMM and MAGGIE MICHAEL, Associated Press


Thousands of Egyptian anti-government protesters march Alexandria, Egypt

Egypt exploded with joy, tears, and relief after pro-democracy protesters brought down President Hosni Mubarak with a momentous march on his palaces and state TV. Mubarak, who until the end seemed unable to grasp the depth of resentment over his three decades of authoritarian rule, finally resigned Friday and handed power to the military.

"The people ousted the regime," rang out chants from crowds of hundreds of thousands massed in Cairo's central Tahrir Square and outside Mubarak's main palace several miles away in a northern district of the capital.

The crowds in Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and other cities around the country burst into pandemonium. They danced, chanted "goodbye, goodbye," and raised their hands in prayer as fireworks and car horns sounded after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall.

"Finally we are free," said Safwan Abou Stat, a 60-year-old in the crowd of protesters at the palace. "From now on anyone who is going to rule will know that these people are great."

The protests have already echoed around the Middle East, with several of the region's autocratic rulers making pre-emptive gestures of democratic reform to avert their own protest movements. The lesson many took: If it could happen in three weeks in Egypt, where Mubarak's lock on power had appeared unshakable, it could happen anywhere.


The protest movement that began on Jan. 25 grew from small groups of youth activists organizing on the Internet into a mass movement that tapped into the discontent to become the largest popular uprising in the Arab world.

Up to the last hours, Mubarak sought to cling to power, handing some of his authorities to Suleiman while keeping his title.

But
an explosion of protests Friday rejecting the move appeared to have pushed the military into forcing him out completely. Hundreds of thousands marched throughout the day in cities across the country as soldiers stood by, besieging his palace in Cairo and Alexandria and the state TV building. A governor of a southern province was forced to flee to safety in the face of protests there.

Vice President Suleimanappears to have lost his post as well in the military takeover

Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei, whose young supporters were among the organizers of the protest movement, told The Associated Press,
"This is the greatest day of my life."

"The country has been liberated after decades of repression," he said adding that he expects a "beautiful" transition of power.

A bloodless and immensely popular military coup
The National Journal reports that Mubarak's departure leaves military in control of egypt's future.

Mubarak's Departure Leaves Military in Control of Egypt's Future
by Yochi J. Dreazen
Friday, February 11, 2011 2:11 p.m.

Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed Tantawi talks to anti-government protesters on February 4 in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the center of protests against former President Hosni Mubarak.

" " href="http://media.nationaljournal.com/?controllerName=image&action;=get&id;=5486&width;=990&height;=">
Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed Tantawi talks to anti-government protesters on February 4 in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the center of protests against former President Hosni Mubarak.

With the sudden resignation of President Hosni Mubarak,
Egypt's powerful armed forces have assumed full—if temporary—control of the country. That makes Defense Minister Mohamed Tantawi, a little-known figure once privately derided as "Mubarak's poodle," the most powerful man in the new Egypt.

The jubilation in the streets of Cairo over Mubarak's departure masks the full extent of the historic shift now underway in Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation.
Late Thursday night, Mubarak tried to transfer authority to his hand-picked vice president, Omar Suleiman, but the announcement triggered widespread fury and seemed virtually certain to lead to violence. Instead, Egypt's Supreme Military Council stepped in on Friday to push out both Mubarak and Suleiman in what amounted to a bloodless—and immensely popular—military coup.

Suleiman gave a brief statement on Egyptian state-owned television announcing that Mubarak had formally stepped down and assigned the "higher council of the armed forces to run the affairs of the country." In a telling indicator of the new power hierarchy, the primary spokesman for Egypt's armed forces was standing directly behind Suleiman as the vice president announced the military council had supplanted him as the country's top authority.

"This gives us a bit more insight into what happened yesterday:
there was some kind of power struggle going on, and Tantawi won," said Joshua Stacher, an Egypt expert at Kent State University who lived in the country for nine years. "OMAR SULEIMAN ISN'T IN CONTROL ANYMORE. This is now a military government."

The changes mean that
Tantawi is the country's day-to-day ruler, sitting at the helm of a provisional government made up almost entirely of senior Egyptian generals. …

Tantawi visited the protesters in Tahrir Square last week [It is very positive that Egypt's new day-to-day ruler is someone who is not afraid to walk in protester-filled streets] in what was seen at the time as one of the first cracks in the Mubarak regime's power structure. …

Protesters welcome military takeover

Mail & Guardian Online reports that protesters welcom the military takeover.

Mubarak quits, Egypt military chief hails crowd
CAIRO, EGYPT Feb 11 2011 21:01

The top figure in Egypt's new military regime, Defence Minister Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, drove past Hosni Mubarak's former palace on Friday and saluted cheering crowds.

Crowds who had been protesting -- then celebrating -- outside Mubarak's presidential palace recognised 75-year-old Tantawi as he was driven past the scene in a civilian SUV escorted by two car-loads of bodyguards.

When they moved to cheer and congratulate him, he stopped briefly and got out to thank and hail the crowds before driving on. [Again, Egypt is now under control of someone who isn't openly hated.]

Mubarak's speech triggerred coup

MSNBC reports that Mubarak's speech surprised people even his own government.

U.S.: Military turned on Mubarak
Update 12:08 p.m. ET
:

U.S. officials tell NBC News that
Mubarak's speech surprised people even his own government.

"He called an audible on them" an official told NBC's Robert Windrem.

Egyptian military officials turned on President Hosni Mubarak last night

MSNBC reports that senior military officials were "furious" with Mubarak's refusal to step down.

'It was a bloodless coup'

The Egyptian military essentially gave President Hosni Mubarak an ultimatum last night, NBC News' Richard Engel reports from Cairo.

SEVERAL SENIOR OFFICIALS WERE "FURIOUS" WITH MUBARAK'S REFUSAL TO STEP DOWN AND THREATENED TO TAKE OFF THEIR UNIFORMS AND JOIN THE PROTESTERS, Engel reported.

"When the military comes in and tells the president, 'We will not stand beside you — you must stand down,' it's hard to call it anything but a coup," Engel said.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Vice President Suleiman (Egypt's Torturer-in-Chief)  lost his post in military takeover

MSNBC reports that Suleiman will fade from view.

Egypt military embraces change, but is it sincere?
By Mike Brunker,
Projects Team editor

… U.S. officials … believe
Suleiman, 74, will essentially fade from view.

These officials said
senior Egyptian military officials turned on Mubarak Thursday night, after the president "called an audible on them" and refused to resign in a national address. Suleiman, who addressed the Egyptian people shortly after Mubarak and urged them to halt the protests, cast his fate with Mubarak and that hurt him with his military colleagues, they said.

My reaction: Egypt's Supreme Military Council stepped in on Friday to push out both Mubarak and Suleiman in a bloodless-and immensely popular-military coup.

Egyptian protesters win

1) The protest movement that began on Jan. 25 grew to become the largest popular uprising in the Arab world, and has now swept Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak from power, ending his 30 years of one-man rule.

2) Mubarak had fled from Cairo to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

3) Ecstatic Egyptians celebrated in carnival mood on the streets. The crowds in Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and other cities around the country have burst into pandemonium.

Egypt's military takeover control of the country

1) Egypt's powerful armed forces have assumed temporary control of the country.

1) Vice President Suleiman, (the deeply-hated, CIA-favored successor) appears to have lost his post in the military takeover.

2) The military council is lead by Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed Tantawi, a man respected enough to walk among protestors without fear (unlike Mubarak or Suleiman).

3) The army is expected to announce:

A) The sacking of the cabinet
B) The suspension of the upper and lower houses of parliament
C) That the head of the constitutional court would lead with the military council.

4) A free and fair presidential election has been promised for September.

Mubarak's speech triggerred military coup

1) Mubarak's speech (where he failed to resign as expected) surprised people even in his own government.

2) Several senior military officials were "furious" with mubarak's refusal to step down and threatened to take off their uniforms and join the protesters. This ultimatum forced Mubarak out.

Likely contagion of democratic protests

1) Mubarak's overthrow has broken a psychological barrier in North Africa and across the Middle East.

2) If Mubarak's unshakable lock on power could be broken in three weeks, then no autocratic regime is safe from popular uprisings.

3) Contagion of democratic protests (Morocco, Jordan, Yemen, etc) is likely.


Conclusion: This was not the Washington-favored outcome. February 11th just isn't a lucky day for CIA-sponsored Mideast dictatorships: As the National Review points out, Mubarak's fall comes 32 years to the day after the collapse of the shah's government in Iran.

This Day in History
February 11, 2011 12:06 P.M.
By Matthew Shaffer

February 11th already was an historic day in the history of the Arab world. It's known in Iran as the "Islamic Revolution Victory Day." It was this very day 32 years ago that the Iranian military council declared itself neutral in the political disputes, revolutionaries took state-owned buildings, and the royal regime collapsed.

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5 Responses to *****Democracy protests bring down Egypt’s Mubarak*****

  1. Robert says:

    I guess time will tell..

    I still suspect this is just another color revolution.

  2. Alissa says:

    I thought it was captivating to watch the revolution unfolding this week, inspiring... thank god, it doesn't have a color yet...

  3. rwe2late says:

    Mubarak and the top military brass ran Egypt before the coup. Tantawi and the top military brass run the show now.
    All the top military are wealthy, all are corrupt criminals.
    The military cabal views democratic reform
    same as Goldman Sachs views financial reform.
    They will now seek to continue the same economic arrangements with military contractors and global corporations that have enriched Mubarak and themselves.
    So far, Egypt has had a facelift
    (no more a change one can believe in than was Obama.

    By the way, Tantawi was sent by Mubarak to the US to obtain riot weaponry to control the protesters.
    Tantawi "asked the Obama administration for an urgent airlift of advanced riot control equipment."
    http://www.debka.com/article/20590/

  4. Gail says:

    4) A free and fair presidential election has been promised for September.

    I don't pretend to know much about Egypt or the politics there but I can say, that between now and next September, a severe food shortage is going to render all this revolutionary hoopla a bitter, nostalgic memory.

    Here is just a tiny, tiny inkling:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/feb/13/british-pig-farm-crisis-threatens

  5. Robert says:

    Mubarak falls into coma after final speech: report

    Seems like Mubarak left because of his health, not because of any protests. This could explain the somewhat strange behavior of the western governments as they first supported him and then, when it was clear he was nolonger fit to serve they dropped their support.

    Then again, maybe the health issue is just a ruse to get him out of the picture as fast as possible. Maybe he's been killed or soon will be. Or maybe he's fine and just needs to disappear.

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