Featuring the works and commentary of Andrew Bruss

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mubarak’s Last Night: The Real Story

How many of my readers have seen the film Labyrinth?
The night before Hosni Mubarak resigned as President of Egypt, he gave a speech verifying his intent on staying in power. This was not supposed to happen. According to US officials, Mubarak went way off script of a carefully worded speech.

The Jerusalem Post reports: “The Egyptian president startled the Obama administration and many of his aides with an address in which he appeared determined to cling to office. In the end, Mubarak's efforts only ensured a hasty and ignominious departure, the officials said. Within hours of the speech, Egyptian army officials confronted the discredited president with an ultimatum: Step down voluntarily or be forced out.”

Egyptian officials informed their American counterparts of a plan by Egyptian military leaders that was "something between a negotiated exit and a soft coup d’état to relieve Mubarak of most, if not all, of his powers.”

This is why on the eve of Mubarak’s final speech the army told protesters that all of their demands would be met. These facts also explain why CIA Director Leon Panetta made a scheduled appearance before the House Intelligence Committee and said there was a "strong likelihood that Mubarak may step down [Thursday] evening." It is also why the Egyptian people never formally heard Hosni Mubarak resign.

According to these reports, if he did not resign, the military leadership would have forced him out and taken his place. Well, his Vice President announced Mubarak’s resignation and the military swiftly assumed his responsibilities as Head of State.

It does not seem as though Mubarak finally made the right decision and walked away from the seat of power he held for over 30 years. In all likelihood, the Egyptian army effectively forced him out of office but did a helluva good spin-job to ensure Mubarak got to leave with his head up. This might not be the official narrative coming out of Cairo, but with Mubarak’s “resignation” coming the night after his refusal to leave office, it makes a lot more sense.

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