Egypt and Mubarak: The State of the Democracy Revolution
Did Mubarak Really Step Down?
UPDATE: Mubarak finally stepped down and left office on Feb. 11. The revolution of the people has worked! Historic as it is, now what? The military will assume control for a time but will Mubarak's replacement be any better or worse? What next Arab country will try the same tactics to overthrow a dictator? The Middle East is being reshaped, the question is, will it be a democracy that slowly slides into a pro-Islamic state through elections? It has happened. It may be a few years before we know. How do the Egyptian people know that Mubarak is not simply pulling a Putin. Remember, Putin stepped down from elections also and a new president was elected. However, most feel it is Putin, now a Prime Minister, that yields as much power as the President. Since Mubarak has appointed Sulieman as the VP, it is not hard to imagine that Mubarak is actually telling Sulieman what should be done, etc. Just because Mubarak is not in Cairo does not mean this cannot happen!
So, the immediate future is historic jubilation, while the next few months will tell what really there is to celebrate about.
Since January 25th, when the uprising for freedom began in Eqypt, President Mubarak as tried several tactics to quell the unrest from the use of thugs, military, police, cosmetic changes in governmental positions, personal statements that he will not run, and violence, which led to over 300 people being killed.
None of it has worked.
Now, the government tries the more subtle approach by acting as it is normal, but for the small group at Tahrir Square in Cairo. Sulieman is Mubarak's appointed transitional leader and reports link him to former CIA dealings and Israel gives its "nod" in the affirmiative since it is a man they know and can deal with.
But, daily life does go on. Does it not? Is every Egyptian willing to let their life and belongings diminish as the Egyptian economy falters, stumbles because of the thousands of people in Tahrir Square? Is the fisherman willing to not fish for his daily $15 earnings? Is the store owner willing to not open for the "freedom revolution"? Are all students willing to not go to class, take exams for an extended amount of time? Egypt's greatest import are tourists. Billions are being lost daily because of the event occurring in Tahrir Square. Every business connected to tourism is suffering. Personal income is suffering and at what point will the majority of Egyptians say, "enough is enough". What is the breaking point for the general populace not involved with the events at Tahrir Square?
The government is now playing the card of loosening things up, providing pay raises to governmental employees, freeing up Internet, banks are open again, and trying to have normalcy again. Sulieman and Mubarak can outlast them all since they are in control. While the demonstrators suffer the hardships, their yells and mass fall on deaf ears. At what point will even the demonstrators need to "get on with their own lives". They are all either rich and can afford to demonstrate forever, or, so poor, they have nothing else to do.
What we now have is a Mexican standoff. A face off. It cannot go on forever, for if it does, barring some terrorist attack that kills Mubarak or causes major distraction, Mubarak will not leave on the protester's terms but his own, which means September. Even the World will grow tired of the democracy event and as a major news event, it will no longer be.
Mubarak is akin to a king in a fortified castle with support of the military. Outside are commoners, some content, some happy and want no change. Others, see how other parts of the world are, they hunger for it, they rant and yell, throw sticks and stones, but are basically powerless. Mubarak will concede enough to quell much of the unrest, as he is buying time. His time is up now at 82 yrs old, but he refuses to simply walk away as the rioters want. If you were him what would you do? Most would play the game as he is playing it.
Mubarak will leave but he will take his time in doing it. What happens to Egypt after the transitional government is created may produce results not even the demonstrators want. Once Mubarak is gone, it is a "roll of the dice".