Friday, February 11, 2011
Wow, that went quicker than I expected.
While we'll have to see what happens next, and how the military leadership actually rules, mass bloodshed has been avoided for now. Mubarak finally read the writing on the wall:
Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman has just read a statement saying President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down as president, ending his 30-year rule. Suleiman said that the higher council of the armed forces will lead the nation.
Mubarak's move came on the 18th day of the protests that gripped his country, and after he had stopped short of stepping down on several previous occasions.
The New York Times reports:
The Egyptian military issued a communiqué pledging to carry out a variety of constitutional reforms in a statement notable for its commanding tone. The military's statement alluded to the delegation of power to Mr. Suleiman and it suggested that the military would supervise implementation of the reforms.
I'm very pleased to see a non-violent revolution succeed. A brutal dictator has been removed without a single American bomb being dropped.
I couldn't resist the picture above, which proves the American influence on the Egyptian protests. Witness that great icon of American freedom: Cartman!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Damn. Mubarak says he's not leaving, but will delegate some powers to al-Suleiman. I listened to his speech in Arabic, and I really couldn't believe what I was hearing. Mubarak sounded disoriented and delusional, but still defiant:
On the 17th day of protests that have gripped his country and commanded the attention of the world, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak made a televised speech in which he repeated his pledge not to seek re-election, announced proposed amendments to the constitution, but did not -- as many had expected -- leave office.
"Day after day we will continue the transfer of power from now until September," he said.
He did say that he had delegated some powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman.
As Mubarak spoke, the massive crowd gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square grew more agitated, and began holding their shoes in the air in unison.
"Egypt is going through difficult time, and we can not do anything that causes damage to our economy day after day," Mubarak said.
After Mubarak spoke, Suleiman gave his own televised speech, urging protesters to go home and to work together with the government for the transition.
This is likely to turn very bloody very quickly. The people aren't backing down, and I believe that al-Suleiman really wants a violent confrontation. The real question is what the military will do; if they stand aside, Mubarak is done, but if they intervene we may see the bloodiest revolution in decades. I'm not optimistic.
I know that at least a few of my readers are fans of Widespread Panic, so I thought I'd give a 'heads up' about the anniversary concerts simulcast:
To celebrate Widespread Panic's 25th Anniversary, we will be simulcasting the February 10th & 11th Athens, GA shows and the February 14th, Atlanta, GA show live on LiveWidespreadPanic.com. Tune in here for the free live audio stream starting at 7:30PM EST the night of the show.
Hope that you enjoy!
Actually, my day started badly. Woke up with a head cold, so rather grumpy.
But then I got the news that my least favorite senator, Jon Kyl has decided not to seek reelection. As I usually say, Jon Kyl is so conservative that he even conserves on letters when spelling his name. He's a dumb greedy brute, and it will be good to be rid of him. Of course, this being Arizona, who knows what sort of abomination we'll elect as our next senator.
Also, there are Reports: Egypt's Mubarak May Step Down Tonight. That's a very good first step, but handing the reigns to Omar al-Suleiman is not an improvement. al-Suleiman was the brutal intelligence head in charge of quashing dissent, so don't expect any sudden outbreak of "freedom" and "democracy" soon. But the pressure of international attention should ensure progress, and Mubarak's departure should bring an end to the violence against the protesters. Unless it doesn't.
UPDATE: Al Jazeera is reporting that the Army will be taking power, rather than Suleiman. The White House calls the situation “fluid.” We'll see what happens.
UPDATE2: Mubarak says he's NOT leaving, staying while turning over "some duties" to al-Sulieman. Listening to his speech (in Arabic), he sounded really disoriented and somewhat delusional. Forget my earlier optimism; Egypt looks poised to turn much, much worse very quickly.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Yeah, I'm a traditional American male, so I'll be watching the Super Bowl. My favorite pub is having a potluck party, and I'm in a couple of betting pools too. Although this years contest features two teams, the Steelers and the Packers, that I dislike but don't despise. So I'm just rooting for a good, close game. One highlight that we won't be seeing this year: