O man without dignity, Hosni Mubarak, your time has come.
Your speech was a masterpiece of arrogant stupidity, a petulant display, not of strength, but of asinine stubbornness. You did everything but call for the election of a new Egyptian people.
All the elements were there. The millions of pro-democracy demonstrators were vandals and looters, under the influence of outsiders. The latter will be tracked down and punished while he serves out his term. He will leave office in September, when he’s good and ready, having “exhausted his life” in service to Egyptians. He will die on the soil of Egypt.
The latter may happen sooner than Mubarak imagines. The people did not express a forelock-tugging gratitude when he deigned to address them. Anger erupted in the streets. The chanting turned furious and vulgar.
One senses that he might well have had the go-ahead, however, from Barack Obama, whose demand earlier today was precisely that Mubarak not run again in the Fall. Obama’s intervention was striking, not only for its sheer flabbiness, but for its obliviousness both to history and to what is actually happening on Egyptian streets. Rarely has the US President sounded so obtuse.
In any case, the chief destabilizers of the region are now Mubarak and his American counterpart, not the millions of people in Tahrir Square and across the nation fighting for democracy
Clearly in his dotage, Mubarak will now have to be driven from office. There is no doubt that this will happen, all the sooner if the army keeps its word and refuses to turn its guns on the crowds. The only questions now are when—and how much blood will flow.