Egypt has been a bit crazy recently.
But Thursday was a little crazier than usual.
Stories leaked to the world media that the country’s despised president, Hosni Mubarak was ready to resign.
The hundreds of thousands of protesters waited in the streets ready to celebrate their triumph when the 80 year old took to the airwaves to make his monumental announcement:
Graeme Wood, reporting for the Atlantic from Egypt, described the protesters reaction:
the crowd hushed and was ready to hear him out. They wanted celebration, not blood. They seemed ready to cheer and exult, and would surely have done so even if all Mubarak said was that he intended to resign immediately.
…Instead the crowd murmured in disbelief as Mubarak droned on, defiantly granting no substantive concession whatsoever.
In Mubarak’s own words he plans to continue his
commitment to carrying out my responsibility in protecting the constitution and the people’s interests until power and responsibility are handed over to whoever is elected in next September
In other words, BACK OFF !!!!
Why did Mubarak do the unexpected? Silawa, of the Arabist, suspects it could be due to him being “tone-deaf” to the people, “calling the bluff” of the opposition, or perhaps wishing to make matters worse so that he can crack down hard.
What ever reason he did it for it definitely was not to end news coverage. Stay tuned as this situation continues to change.
UPDATE: President Mubarak has stepped down handing over all power to the military. It appears his bluff was called…