UPDATE: A day later – he is really gone.. The crowd in Cairo, the crowd is wild with joy. And NOW…now it begins. NOW they step into the great unknown, and it will impact the whole world. In other nations where people feel oppressed, they are going to wonder if they, too, can empower themselves by sheer force of will and numbers.
Meanwhile, depending on how this great unknown develops (and right now that is a staggeringly unanswerable question) some nations, who have been feckless or reckless for decades about attending to their own energy needs, or about weening themselves off of dependence on foreign oil, may very well find a huge bill of reckoning come due.
And all on yet another Marian feastday!
Looks like this may be real:
Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is to step down tonight, two sources have told NBC News, losing his 30-year grip on power after 17 days of mass uprisings across the country.
NBC’s Richard Engel reported that a high-ranking source inside the president’s office said the newly appointed vice president, Omar Suleiman, would take over. This was confirmed by a second source.
State television reported that country’s supreme military council had expressed its “support of the legitimate demands” of the protesters after an all-day meeting. The latest developments came on the heels of repeated warnings by members of the regime of a military crackdown or coup.
Richard Engle has done some very good work on this story, so I am inclined to think it’s real, indeed.
From Threats Watch:
When the Chief of Staff of the Egyptian army tells ABC News it is over, it’s more than simple speculation about ttonight’s coming events. When asked if Mubarak will leave Egypt after tonight, General Sami Enan said, “I can’t say, but I can say this is over.”
Even after tonight, there will be infinitely more questions than answers – for Egypt and its people, for the people under regimes in the region, and for security and the future of the Egyptian-Israeli peace.
But Egypt also matters far beyond the Middle East region. More than most busy Americans realize. The events in Egypt will directly impact our lives here at home for generations to come.
For now, turn on the tv, keep up with Twitter, and (naturally) check out Hot Air. Allahpundit says “gird your loins”.
Egyptian people want a democratic government. America will need to help them learn how to do that, and how to be that. Possibly this will be an opportunity for our own nation to remember what that is supposed to be all about. Sometimes one relearns things by teaching others.
More thoughts later, along with updates and links; check back!
UPDATE: As we wait, check out the “Mother Teresa of Cairo”. A Coptic Laywoman!
The Catholic Herald has a moving profile of one Coptic laywoman in Cairo who has made it her mission to minister to the people who live in the city’s garbage dumps. There are 60,000-70,000 Zabbaleen, or “garbage people,” in Cairo who survive on what they can scrounge in the dumps — children fighting with rats over scraps of bread, mothers barely able to feed themselves, let alone their children…
Maggie Gobran, born into Cairo’s middle class, was inspired to help by the example of her aunt, who also dedicated herself to the poor — but she wasn’t prepared for what she saw on her first visit
Read more here
UPDATE: NO! Mubarak does not step down; he says he will delegate some duties to his veep. Media narrative wrong. Kirsten Powers on Twitter tweets:
FWIW, my egyptian uncle in cairo told me Mubarak wouldn’t step down. But he’s not in Tarhir Square so he doesn’t count.
She is tweeting that mainstream media had the wrong narrative because they’re attempting to drive the story, and not talking to a broad enough range of people. Beyond, that, her exchanges with Allahpundit are very interesting.
Anderson Cooper is saying of Mubarak “lies…all lies…” He is creeping toward advocacy rather than reportage.
Media trying to suggest that Obama is the great voice for freedom and democracy, in the meantime. That was actually his predecessor. But I digress.
People are threatening to storm the presidential palace. Oh, boy!
Pray for Egypt.