Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Earth Quake in Egypt: Presumed Heir Flees

Earlier today, president Hosni Mubarak's son and presumed heir has fled Egypt to London:
CAIRO: Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's son, who is considered as his successor, has fled to Britain along with his family, a US-based Arabic website reported. 
The plane with  Gamal Mubarak, his wife and daughter on board left for London Tuesday from an airport in western Cairo, the website Akhbar al-Arab said. 
The report came as violent unrest broke out in Cairo and other Egyptian cities and hundreds of thousands of people reportedly took to the streets in a Tunisia-inspired day of revolt. 
The protesters want Egyptian government to end its 30-year state of emergency and pass a law preventing a president from serving more than two terms, and want the Interior Minister Habib al-Adly to resign. 
Protests in Egypt broke out after opposition groups waged an internet campaign inspired by the Tunisian uprising. Weeks of unrest in Tunisia eventually toppled president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali earlier this month. 
A police officer was killed in clashes Tuesday in central Cairo, Egyptian daily al-Wafd reported. 
Over 30,000 protesters gathered in Cairo's Maidan al-Tahrir square to take part in the "day of anger", said the spokesman for Egypt's '6 April' opposition movement, Mohammed Adel. 
"Police used tear gas and water canon to break up our protest and they arrested 40 of us, but we don't have official figures on the numbers of arrests across Egypt," said Adel. 
Supporters of the '6 April' movement, the opposition al-Ghad party, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, the al-Wafd party and supporters of former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohammed El Baradei took part in the protest. 
Al-Wafd daily said police arrested 600 people during Tuesday's protests in Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said, Tantan, al-Mahala, Asiut, al-Bahira and al-Quium. More than 200,000 people took part in protests in these cities. 
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said Tuesday Washington believed the Egyptian government was stable and urged restraint on both sides. (SOURCE)
It's time to prepare for the real thing. Much like Bin Ali's regime in Tunisia, Mubarak's hold on power seemed robust. Unlike Hillary Clinton, everyone, Israeli policymakers in particular should start weighing the alternatives.

By now it has become obvious that the American foreign policy is completely detached from developments. This was displayed by Lebanon's constant slide towards an Islamist pro Hizballah government.

Will Hosni Mubarak be toppled? It's a little early to tell if this will happen in the immediate term. What is obvious is that despite his old age an many ailments, Hosni was reluctant to transfer power to his son.


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