Confusion from Mubarak in Egypt

by Ryan on February 10, 2011

in History,International Relations,Tyranny

With protests still growing on the streets of Egypt, Egyptian dictator President Hosni Mubarak gave a speech today to tell his people he’s leaving.  Well, leaving in September after an orderly transition by his self-selected Vice President Omar Suleiman, to whom Mubarak has ceded his authority.  Kind of.

So, is Mubarak still in power, not in power at all, kind of in power?

My interpretation is that Suleiman will be in charge with Mubarak’s presence in the background keeping certain factions sated — for about a week or two.  I don’t think this configuration will last given how fast Mubarak’s position has changed in the last three weeks or so.  Suleiman has asked the protesters to go home, but it has become clear that they won’t go until Mubarak’s gone.  Well, without guns anyway.

If we’ve learned anything about authoritarian states over the last century, it’s that you never half-ass a dictatorship.  Mubarak is experiencing what confusion at the top of an authoritarian state can create.

UPDATE:  Well, I guess it didn’t take all that long for Mubarak to leave!  Military’s still in charge, though — new boss same as the old boss for now.

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