|Man in a Desert||
Today's violent events have overtaken this post which I began last night. What Mubarak should have done and what may have passed was to announce a handover to Vice-President Omar Suleiman who would serve out the rest of Mubarak's term and oversee, under international supervision, the beginning of political and economic reform and free and fair elections.
Anyway, that's all useless now that Mubarak's mobs have hit the streets. Here's last night's post, tonight:
I'm not leaving.
Well, I am only leaving when my term expires and then only because the rest of the world seems to think it's a good idea, a view my military and inner circle agree with.
That's the gist of Mubarak's speech. It was a battling address by a leader used to getting his own way.
What he will have succeeded in doing is disarming some/many of the protesters who are now bound to think: Why not? In the face of uncertainty in the country, a tight cash supply, dwindling food supplies and open-ended upheaval the idea of a resumption of normalcy must appeal to many.
Whether Mubarak has regained the initiative remains to be seen. But in the Arab psyche he has been grievously wounded.
A man on a long journey through a perpetual desert.
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