Mubarak Digs In, Ctd

Screen shot 2011-02-10 at 6.08.50 PM

by Chris Bodenner

Marc Lynch is stunned by the Egyptian president's latest reaction to his people:

It is virtually impossible to conceive of a more poorly conceived or executed speech. 

Omar Suleiman's televised address which followed made things even worse, if that's possible, telling the people to go home and blaming al-Jazeera for the problems.   It solidified the already deep distrust of his role among most of the opposition and of the protestors, and tied his fate to that of Mubarak.    Even potentially positive ideas in their speeches, such as Constitutional amendments, were completely drowned out by their contemptuous treatment of popular demands.   Things could get ugly tonight --- and if things don't explode now, then the crowds tomorrow will be absolutely massive.    Whatever happens, for better or for worse, the prospects of an orderly, negotiated transition led by Omar Suleiman have just plummeted sharply. 

As far as the Obama administration, which seems to have been caught flat-footed by Mubarak's words, Lynch insists, "Now it's time to double down on the push for an orderly transition to real democracy before it's too late --- and that is now." Goldblog:

Mubarak's speech seemed disconnected from reality. But such is the nature of autocracy. I fear for tomorrow.