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Friday, 11 February 2011

‘ President Hosni Mubarak resigns… Oh no, he doesn’t’ : the nine lives of a dictator. Latest events send shockwaves through the Arabic world

Yesterday was a very tense day in the late Egyptian uprising. The word was on the street that the military force would grant all demands of the protesters on Tahrir Square and President Hosni Mubarak would finally resign. The atmosphere was elated and everybody was prematurely celebrating the victory over the dictator that ruled the country with an iron grip for more than 30 years.

You could here the sighs of concern from Amman, Damascus and Riyadh: “Will we be the next domino to fall?” and from Tel Aviv: “Who will be Mubarak’s successor and can we do business with him?”.

But in a sudden reversal of fortune – Mubarak’s speech in the evening – the situation totally turned around. Mubarak’s words were in a nutshell:

“I am an eternal part of Egypt and Egypt is an eternal part of me. Currently dark foreign forces are trying to destabilize Egypt. But those dark forces will not influence me. Therefore it is necessary that I lead the transition process. That is the reason that I will stay until September.  When I was young I loved my country and I was very loyal to it. That is something that the current youngsters should also do”

Exit Mubarak’s departure. Enter disbelief, rage and bewilderment under the people on Tahrir Square. All the protestors could do was announce another “Freedom Friday “ and another march of millions. This morning the army confirmed that they will back up Mubarak in his plan to stay until September.

The whole of this shows that a dictator in the Middle East has nine lives and will not be defeated until he is killed or forever moved to his refuge in France, Switzerland or Germany.

I still believe that the final odds are in favor of the protesters, as Mubarak is hanging by the skin of his teeth. But a cornered cat is a dangerous opponent and Mubarak has proven to be a fighter.

Adversaries of the regimes in the other Arabic states stick closely to the process in Egypt and when the uprising in Cairo succeeds, the next one in another country might follow very soon.

My tip to the western governments: be quiet as a mouse, but let your intelligence community find out who the future leaders of these Arabic countries might be. It can be the difference between having oil or having no oil.


My sincerest congratulations to the brave people of Egypt. I hope your battle will end now and I truly hope you may leave in peace and prosperity


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