MUBARAK – I watched his entire speech on Al Jezeera last night (very impressed by their coverage) and then that of his oily, gruesome, CIA-liaising Prime Minister. I have never heard such patronishing, spin- and self-obsessed claptrap in my life, not even from Gordon Brown. There were lots of promises, and of course transparently-ridiculous references to the fact that he was not going to listen to “external forces”, but he didn’t even lift the state of emergency, saying they needed it to “avoid chaos”. This overlooks the fact that the chaos is caused ENTIRELY by him and his venal cabal.
Talking to 80 million people as if they were children (Did he use to listen to Brown & Blair?) he spent half the time talking about how wonderful he had been serving his country – such self-delusion is breathtaking …. Mubarak clearly has no contact with reality and has enormously angered millions of people already seriously fed up.
This could now go badly before he finally goes. I hope we see a general strike as well as the protesters; that would really put the pressure on the Army to depose him. Mubarak made fatuous comments about the “youth”, but it is a whole cross-section of people, some of whom are now marching on the Presidential Palace … if they attempt to get inside the Presidential Guard may shoot them and then the army will at last have to decide whether to support them in killing the people or attack Mubarak’s SS equivalent and put an end to this insanity. The army is pissing about; saying it is on the people’s site but actually doing nothing to help put an end to this nasty regime.
The problem is of course that after decades of his corrupt and brutal rule the entire regime is tainted. Replacing Mubarak with the odious Suleiman is not really much of an improvement; he used to be the Interior Minister in charge of the police force ….. Speaking of which, we had to listen to Mubarak’s crocodile tears about the people killed by his police thugs. Yes, HIS police thugs, those who have propped up his regime for decades in a climate of FEAR.
Whatever happens, this is an inspiring lesson in the power that lies in the hands of the people acting en masse. The protesters I have heard have been wonderfully articulate and inspiring. One Egyptian made the point that in 1954 a million people surrounded a palace of Nasser demanding democratic changes. He came out and promised the Earth, then the crowds dispersed and that evening the protesters’ leaders were rounded up and imprisoned and a year later executed. That ushered in 57 years of fascism in Egypt. As the commentator said, they are not about to make the same mistake again in listening to empty promises.
Go, and NOW ….