Mubarak steps down in Egypt

President Mubarak, despite what he pledged just the day before, stepped down from power, the result of an 18-day popular uprising in Egypt.  The military is in control for now and has promised both democracy and continued peace with Israel:

The ruling military pledged Saturday to eventually hand power to an elected civilian government and reassured allies that Egypt will abide by its peace treaty with Israel after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, as it outlined the first cautious steps in a promised transition to greater democracy.

The military’s statement Saturday had been eagerly awaited by the public and thousands of protesters still massed in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square. The crowds were still riding high on jubilation over the success in removing Mubarak on Friday after 18 days of unprecedented popular protests, but they promised to maintain pressure on the military to carry through long-sought reforms.

After the statement, the main opposition coalition — a loosely based grouping of youth and traditional opposition groups — said it would end its main protest in Cairo’s Tahrir, or Liberation, Square but would call for weekly demonstrations after Friday prayers.

The group also listed its demands for the first time during a press conference. Those included: the lifting of hated emergency laws, the forming of a presidential council and broad-based unity government, the dissolution of parliament and creation of a committee to amend or rewrite the constitution. They called for reforms ensuring freedom of the press, freedom to form political parties and more transparent media institutions.

The coalition also called for an investigation into allegations of endemic corruption within the regime and the trial of officials responsible for the deaths of protesters.

via The Associated Press: Egypt army commits to power transfer, Israel peace.

Egypt is the world’s largest and most influential Arab state.  The reverberations of the revolution are spreading through the Arab world, with pro-democracy factions surfacing just about everywhere, including Saudi Arabia.   Might western-style freedom and democracy have a chance, once the people taste it?  Or will  democracy instead lead to less freedom, to  Sharia law and radical Islam?  Israel is very worried, though the military’s assurance that the peace treaty will be honored is surely good news.  But that’s before a new civilian government is elected.  Some experts have tied the rise of  radical Islam to the frustrations of living under authoritarian regimes, suggesting that increased freedom will give people a more positive scope for their energies.

What do you think will happen?  Over the next year or two, do you think we will see (1) western-style democracy  (2) an attempt to restore the Caliphate  (3)  war with Israel  (4)  all of the above  (5) other?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Joe

    (5) Other – I think we will see the Military run a “transition gov’t” for the next couple of years. What it transitions to? I am not sure, but it will have enough democratic mechanisms to keep the people off the street.

  • Joe

    (5) Other – I think we will see the Military run a “transition gov’t” for the next couple of years. What it transitions to? I am not sure, but it will have enough democratic mechanisms to keep the people off the street.

  • Tom Hering

    Other. Egypt may shift to having stronger relations with China than they do with the U.S., because China will give them what they want – including military equipment – without chastising them as much as we do.

  • Tom Hering

    Other. Egypt may shift to having stronger relations with China than they do with the U.S., because China will give them what they want – including military equipment – without chastising them as much as we do.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @2 – But China will make them pay for that military equipment; equipment that Egypt cannot afford without subsidies from the U.S. I’m curious to see if China’s economy can maintain its robust growth if it decides to subsidized the militaries of numerous countries. My guess is no, although it might not be a bad strategy on our part – pull back our foreign commitments, encourage China to step in, let our economy grow and expand while the Chinese burden themselves with increased foreign policy costs.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @2 – But China will make them pay for that military equipment; equipment that Egypt cannot afford without subsidies from the U.S. I’m curious to see if China’s economy can maintain its robust growth if it decides to subsidized the militaries of numerous countries. My guess is no, although it might not be a bad strategy on our part – pull back our foreign commitments, encourage China to step in, let our economy grow and expand while the Chinese burden themselves with increased foreign policy costs.

  • Tom Hering

    But China wants the Middle East’s (and Africa’s) resources, so they want to be the biggest influence in the Middle East, and may decide the expense of Egypt is worth it.

  • Tom Hering

    But China wants the Middle East’s (and Africa’s) resources, so they want to be the biggest influence in the Middle East, and may decide the expense of Egypt is worth it.

  • DonS

    The hints that Mubarak was going to step down, followed by his failure to do so last Thursday, heightened tensions to the point where, reportedly, the military forced him to resign on Friday. It was reported as a “soft coup”, but it was really a matter of pragmatism on the military’s part.

    I agree that, though none of us have a clear view of where this is headed, (5) other is the most likely answer. There will clearly be an attempt at installing some kind of democracy, hence the announced September elections. But what happens beyond that is anyone’s guess. It depends upon who wins, what their commitment to democratic-style government is, whether they can gain the support of the military, whether they have enough electoral strength and cooperation from their opposition to establish a credible government that the people will give time to work.

    It should be interesting.

  • DonS

    The hints that Mubarak was going to step down, followed by his failure to do so last Thursday, heightened tensions to the point where, reportedly, the military forced him to resign on Friday. It was reported as a “soft coup”, but it was really a matter of pragmatism on the military’s part.

    I agree that, though none of us have a clear view of where this is headed, (5) other is the most likely answer. There will clearly be an attempt at installing some kind of democracy, hence the announced September elections. But what happens beyond that is anyone’s guess. It depends upon who wins, what their commitment to democratic-style government is, whether they can gain the support of the military, whether they have enough electoral strength and cooperation from their opposition to establish a credible government that the people will give time to work.

    It should be interesting.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict (that is, take a wild guess) that there won’t be (3) war with Israel in the next year. Which rules out (4) all of the above, as well.

    As for (2) an attempt to restore the Caliphate, that’s a bit ill-defined, since, arguably, such attempts have already been made. It’s just a question of by whom and how successful those attempts were. Thus far: not terribly successful.

    As for (1) western-style democracy, I do think we’ll see that in the next year or two, in that we’ll see at least one election. I don’t think that’s such a crazy guess. The real question is: who will win that election, and what will happen after it. That’s much harder to predict. I am, however, willing to bet that, should any reasonably “Islamist” faction win the election to any meaningful degree, not a small number of Americans — “conservatives”, mostly — will feel that such means the end of “western-style democracy”, even if such Islamists are elected in the Western style.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict (that is, take a wild guess) that there won’t be (3) war with Israel in the next year. Which rules out (4) all of the above, as well.

    As for (2) an attempt to restore the Caliphate, that’s a bit ill-defined, since, arguably, such attempts have already been made. It’s just a question of by whom and how successful those attempts were. Thus far: not terribly successful.

    As for (1) western-style democracy, I do think we’ll see that in the next year or two, in that we’ll see at least one election. I don’t think that’s such a crazy guess. The real question is: who will win that election, and what will happen after it. That’s much harder to predict. I am, however, willing to bet that, should any reasonably “Islamist” faction win the election to any meaningful degree, not a small number of Americans — “conservatives”, mostly — will feel that such means the end of “western-style democracy”, even if such Islamists are elected in the Western style.

  • Joe

    ” even if such Islamists are elected in the Western style.”

    This is possibility is one reason why I don’t favor the spread of democracy as much as I favor the spread of “people who don’t want to kill us” type governments. :)

  • Joe

    ” even if such Islamists are elected in the Western style.”

    This is possibility is one reason why I don’t favor the spread of democracy as much as I favor the spread of “people who don’t want to kill us” type governments. :)

  • Carl Vehse

    Harvard’s Niall Ferguson addresses the change in Egyptian government and the possiblity, especially given the Muslim Brotherhood, that ultimately this change will not lead to a “happy clappy” democracy.

    Along the way Ferguson rakes over coals Barry “flip followed by flop followed by flip” Soetero and his administration of “second if not third-rate” advisors, in which league he specifically includes Secretaries Gates and Clinton.

  • Carl Vehse

    Harvard’s Niall Ferguson addresses the change in Egyptian government and the possiblity, especially given the Muslim Brotherhood, that ultimately this change will not lead to a “happy clappy” democracy.

    Along the way Ferguson rakes over coals Barry “flip followed by flop followed by flip” Soetero and his administration of “second if not third-rate” advisors, in which league he specifically includes Secretaries Gates and Clinton.

  • Carl Vehse

    What do you think will happen? Over the next year or two, do you think we will see (1) western-style democracy (2) an attempt to restore the Caliphate (3) war with Israel (4) all of the above (5) other?

    You can chalk up one vote for (6) frenzied gang rape and brutal beating of CBS news correspondent during the happy-clappy Egyptian democracy jubilation in Tahrir Square on Friday.

  • Carl Vehse

    What do you think will happen? Over the next year or two, do you think we will see (1) western-style democracy (2) an attempt to restore the Caliphate (3) war with Israel (4) all of the above (5) other?

    You can chalk up one vote for (6) frenzied gang rape and brutal beating of CBS news correspondent during the happy-clappy Egyptian democracy jubilation in Tahrir Square on Friday.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Well, I guess that answers that question. When people in a Muslim-majority country gang up and attack a member of the American media, Carl Vehse actually sides with the journalist (@9).

    Wasn’t really sure how that one would be ruled. Should’ve had a pool going.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Well, I guess that answers that question. When people in a Muslim-majority country gang up and attack a member of the American media, Carl Vehse actually sides with the journalist (@9).

    Wasn’t really sure how that one would be ruled. Should’ve had a pool going.

  • http://www.ocpathink.org Brandon Dutcher

    Historian of freedom J. Rufus Fears is skeptical about the prospects for freedom and democracy: http://bit.ly/fhfcA3

  • http://www.ocpathink.org Brandon Dutcher

    Historian of freedom J. Rufus Fears is skeptical about the prospects for freedom and democracy: http://bit.ly/fhfcA3

  • Carl Vehse

    tODD, it is utterly pathetic that you would even asked such an idiotic question, which is as contemptible as someone asking if you pimp your wife.

    According to a Washington Post article the woman reporter has a history of living in the fast lane.

    If true, this of course doesn’t justify her being raped and beaten, but it does suggest she wasn’t a naive young reporter unknowingly sacrificed for ratings by SeeBS bureaucrats.

  • Carl Vehse

    tODD, it is utterly pathetic that you would even asked such an idiotic question, which is as contemptible as someone asking if you pimp your wife.

    According to a Washington Post article the woman reporter has a history of living in the fast lane.

    If true, this of course doesn’t justify her being raped and beaten, but it does suggest she wasn’t a naive young reporter unknowingly sacrificed for ratings by SeeBS bureaucrats.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh Rick (@12), now, now you’re going to act all like you care about members of the media? The same ones you routinely label “clymers” like some sort of Tourette’s tic? Or, when you’re feeling more expansive, “Desperate PDS media clymers”? Or simply accuse them of actively plotting against our country as literal traitors, labeling them an “MSM fifth column”? Now you’re going to whine that anyone would ever doubt your compassion towards these journalists? Even as you routinely compare them to scum and accuse them of aiding and abetting murder?

    Oh, poor you. So misunderstood. How could I so have misconstrued your message of love?

    Oh, and hey, look, you’re actually capable of typing Washington Post — not your typical Tourette’s hilarity, Washington Compost — when it suits your need to discredit a journalist. Nice standard you have there, Rick.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh Rick (@12), now, now you’re going to act all like you care about members of the media? The same ones you routinely label “clymers” like some sort of Tourette’s tic? Or, when you’re feeling more expansive, “Desperate PDS media clymers”? Or simply accuse them of actively plotting against our country as literal traitors, labeling them an “MSM fifth column”? Now you’re going to whine that anyone would ever doubt your compassion towards these journalists? Even as you routinely compare them to scum and accuse them of aiding and abetting murder?

    Oh, poor you. So misunderstood. How could I so have misconstrued your message of love?

    Oh, and hey, look, you’re actually capable of typing Washington Post — not your typical Tourette’s hilarity, Washington Compost — when it suits your need to discredit a journalist. Nice standard you have there, Rick.

  • Carl Vehse

    As shown in Jim Geraghty’s column, “An Appalling Reaction to an Outrageous Crime,” it is the leftist journalists like Nir Rosen who point to Lara Logan’s unforgivable sin of supporting Gen. McChrystal and her sympathetic reporting of American military, give her the title of “major war monger,” and declare, “I just think she’s so bad I ran out of sympathy for her.”

    Rosen also notes, “I roll my eyes at all the attention she will get,” and in agreement with a Facebook poster’s comment that “we have to find humor in the small things,” Nir Rosen chortles, “it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too.”

  • Carl Vehse

    As shown in Jim Geraghty’s column, “An Appalling Reaction to an Outrageous Crime,” it is the leftist journalists like Nir Rosen who point to Lara Logan’s unforgivable sin of supporting Gen. McChrystal and her sympathetic reporting of American military, give her the title of “major war monger,” and declare, “I just think she’s so bad I ran out of sympathy for her.”

    Rosen also notes, “I roll my eyes at all the attention she will get,” and in agreement with a Facebook poster’s comment that “we have to find humor in the small things,” Nir Rosen chortles, “it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too.”

  • Carl Vehse
  • Carl Vehse
  • Carl Vehse

    More information, or at least questions, are being noted about the role CBS had in covering up and not promptly reporting the sexual assault of its reporter by a gang of Islamothugs who mistakenly thought Logan was a Jew, while at the same time CBS was promoting the happy-clappy celebrations in Cairo over the resignation of President Mubarak.

  • Carl Vehse

    More information, or at least questions, are being noted about the role CBS had in covering up and not promptly reporting the sexual assault of its reporter by a gang of Islamothugs who mistakenly thought Logan was a Jew, while at the same time CBS was promoting the happy-clappy celebrations in Cairo over the resignation of President Mubarak.

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  • Pingback: Israel Welcomes Egyptian Military Peace Treaty Honoring | Featured News Articles from Cosmo-News.com


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