In Egypt, Mubarak’s looming departure sparks Twitter levity; Update: Mubarak isn’t leaving after all

UPDATE at 5:10 p.m.: Well.

Hosni Mubarak isn’t stepping down now after all. He is trying to get by with a plan to hand over powers to his new vice president, the former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, while retaining the title of president. Or, at least, he will hand over those powers in name and appearance.

At Hot Air, Allahpundit hits on the specific fear that every protester in Tahrir Square must be feeling right about now:

Needless to say, if Mubarak still has enough support within the military to hold on even under pressure this tremendous, there’s no reason to believe he’ll follow through on his promise to step down in September, transfer his powers to Suleiman, etc. Referring to the U.S. as “outsiders” who are trying to dictate to him means our leverage with him is down to nil, especially with the Saudis poised to pick up the slack, so who’s left to push him out?

Certainly, the assumption behind what everyone thought to be Mubarak’s ever-more-hasty departure from power was that the army had decided to cast its lot without him. This turn of events suggests that isn’t true. And if so, we may be back to square one in terms of figuring out where the country is headed.

Here’s what does seem pretty certain: We can pretty much discard the idea that, after days of sending mixed signals to Mubarak and the Egyptian people about where the U.S. government stood, the Obama administration had firmed things up and exerted some meaningful influence in Cairo.

Washington seems to have been completely blindsided by Mubarak’s stubbornness — not for the first time in this episode — and Mubarak’s criticism of “outsiders” is pretty plainly a middle-finger salute to his American “allies.” Perhaps he felt the Obama administration hadn’t stood firmly behind one of its “allies” over the past few weeks. Whatever his reasons, it’s clear Mubarak is telling us to butt out.

A possible silver lining is that we may now be able to curry some favor with the anti-Mubarak protesters. But then we’re right back to that debate about promoting our national interests versus promoting our principles. We’ll see where that leads this time.

Given this development, it feels like a lot more than an hour ago that people on Twitter were poking fun at Mubarak. Nevertheless, the original post about said levity remains below.

ORIGINAL POST:

Hosni Mubarak is expected to announce — anytime now — that he is stepping down as Egypt’s president after almost 30 years. Three weeks ago, this would have been unthinkable. But by today, the development had become so inevitable that Egyptians and their sympathizers around the world have taken to Twitter, the social-networking tool that has played such a big role in this people-power revolution, to mock Mubarak’s delay in making the announcement.

While a few people on the #reasonsmubarakislate trending topic have warily suggested the delay might mean Mubarak isn’t really going to step down. But most people are having fun with it, taking the chance to kick him on his way out the door. Some of my favorites:

@drfessel: Have you ever tried to pack up 70 billion dollars? (and along those lines: @KABOBfest: You think it’s easy packing gold bullion bars into vintage Louis Vuitton luggage?)

@skalamander: Sacha Baron Cohen can’t get his Mubarak make-up right.

@MohammedHamad: Guys, chill. Arabs Got Talent is on.

kurtismarsh: #ReasonsMubarakIsLate doesn’t want to be confused with #jaycutler

@AdamWeinstein: Wants to update status on Facebook first, but damned Egyptian internet connection keeps kicking out.

@KABOBfest: When you’re a hated former dictator, getting a cab is a lot harder than you’d think.

@EthanZ: Still on hold with Egypt Air customer service.

@AdamWeinstein: Ahmadinejad keeps calling w/advice and just. Will not. Hang UP.

@awienick: Listening to the live version of “November Rain”

@ianschuler: Still in de Nile.

Now is one of those times I’d like to be able to read Arabic.

As for the actual importance of the occasion: I’ll stick with the thoughts in my post earlier this week anticipating the practical impact of the army keeping control as Mubarak was replaced. Admittedly, however, I didn’t think he would be out before week’s end.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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24 comments Add your comment

arnold

February 10th, 2011
3:51 pm

I’m glad he is gone. We can only hope the Muslim Brotherhood is more secular than is feared. May they only have a small influence.

wallbanger

February 10th, 2011
3:53 pm

Unfortunately the Egyptians are, generally so undereducated and poor they have no idea how much worse it can get under the next regime they are bringing on. They haven’t got the sense to do some birth control and therefore have rampant population growth with no jobs. That lack of social responsibilty is going to do them in, and not incidentally, the U.S. as well–it is just a matter of time.

Linda

February 10th, 2011
4:12 pm

The Muslim Brotherhood is sexist & degrading. The Muslim Sisterhood would be better. It’s the sisters that must wear the hoods.

Linda

February 10th, 2011
4:51 pm

Mubarak must have been an encyclopedia salesman at one time. I once asked my mother why we had so many sets of encyclopedias. She told me, under no uncertain terms, not to ever let encyclopedia salesmen into my house, that they would never leave.

Toby

February 10th, 2011
4:59 pm

Try and keep up.

tar and feathers party

February 10th, 2011
5:10 pm

We need to send a couple amphibious assault ships to let the dictator know he better go, or we will remove him and all his cronies, including the ones in Tele Aviv.

Road Scholar

February 10th, 2011
6:48 pm

tea and feathers: Why don’t you volunteer to be the first landing on Egyptian soil? What a stupid idea!

Linda

February 10th, 2011
7:00 pm

I think I solved the problem in Egypt today. Remember Wikileaks reported that Hillary Clinton was obtaining credit card numbers from UN diplomats from dipsy dumpsters? Well, I called Atlas Shrugged Van Lines today & gave them a credit card number. It could have belonged to President I’m-A-Nut-Job from Iran, but it doesn’t matter. Anyway, several semis along with movers are scheduled to arrive at the Egyptian palace sometime in the morning. Once loaded, the caravan, minus camels, are to travel north & keep on trucking. Once they get above Russia, it will be really iffy, but Al Gore says the roads are clear/melted.
I tweeted with Santa today. He feels, based on Mubarat’s resume, that Mubarat will do great making toy dictating machines & rulers. Mubarat will also be in charge of accounts receivable, making gold crowns for the elves & obtaining foreign aid from the US to the only place in the world that the US doesn’t already send aid.
Vixen is vexed.
Santa deserves some social justice.

Real Conservative

February 10th, 2011
8:00 pm

Wingfield said we can “discard the idea that, after days of sending mixed signals to Mubarak and the Egyptian people about where the U.S. government stood, the Obama administration had firmed things up and exerted some meaningful influence in Cairo. Washington seems to have been completely blindsided by Mubarak’s stubbornness — not for the first time in this episode.”

——–

The guy has been there for 30 years, but it’s obviously Obama’s fault that the guy refuses to step down.

And about the notion that Washington was blindsided today by Mubarak’s stubbornness, surely anybody could have predicted today’s announcement that he plans to stay. You’d have to be an idiot not to have seen that coming (see Wingfield’s original post stating “Hosni Mubarak is expected to announce — anytime now — that he is stepping down…”).

Seriously, Kyle Wingfield’s obvious hatred of Obama clouds his commentary so much that his reporting can only be taken with a grain of salt.

Linda

February 10th, 2011
8:27 pm

I’m one of those people that the left hates, because I’m a Christian. I pray. I rarely ask God for anything. Most of my prayers are to thank God. Tonight, I am asking. I know that God knows best & that I do not have a clue what’s best. However, tonight I’m praying for Egypt & asking for more than I expect. May God have mercy on their souls.

Real Conservative

February 10th, 2011
8:49 pm

Hey Linda–

People hate you because you’re a Christian? You’re an embarrassment to real conservatives everywhere.

Stop playing the victim. Nobody’s stopping you from praying, going to church, expressing your beliefs, or practicing your faith. Nobody is even trying to. You act like you’re somehow persecuted, comparing yourself with those that have been who really have been and still are victimized, exploited, suffering, and dying because of all kinds of cruelty and injustices. You’re “I’m-a-persecuted-Christain” stuff is based on lies. It’s enough to make a person vomit.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

February 10th, 2011
9:01 pm

Listen to this clown pander to the bozo socialists in America-

He repeated the promise he made weeks ago that he will not be a candidate in the September election. He tried to make this sound new. Power will go to “whoever the electorate chooses.” He wants a “smooth transition.” We have started a “dialogue.” We need to discuss a “road map” to peaceful transition. We are studying amendments to the constitution. His “priority” is to restore the confidence of the citizenry. He will maintain the economy.

Empty platitudes, mimicking the mindless parrot rhetoric he heard from obozo’s minions, and you know what, it worked. He baffled our little empty suit.

Mission accomplished!

SWOThunter

February 10th, 2011
9:07 pm

The situation is not exactly what it seems. Our country and its leadership is showing that it does not understand Arab culture. While it is true Mubarak is resisting the calls of his people, what Mubarak is actually resisting is President Obama’s undue influence in Egypt’s internal affairs. This is a fight between Mubarak and Obama.

Mubarak has supported the US in a number of issues, to include the US fight against terrorism and maintaining peace with Israel.

In the Arab culture defiance is a quality indicative of a strong leader. Sadam of Iraq was actually more popular even after the first Gulf War because he continued to stand up and defy US efforts to control his country up to the very end.

Mubarak could have very likely quelled the popular resistance by limiting media movements on the ground. He understands that sight bytes and sound bytes can shape perceptions regardless of reality. This may sound crazy to most of us Americans, but check out “Egypt and the OODA Loop” on http://www.swothunter.com …read the piece and watch the associated video. Cheers swothunter

Linda

February 10th, 2011
9:18 pm

Real Conservative @ 8:00 & 8:49, You aren’t fooling anyone. I know what you are & I’m not impressed. Liberals have resorted to childish antics, calling conservatives every name in the book, trying to intimidate us. What your small minds can’t comprehend is that the more you lower yourselves, the more we can see that we have gotten under your skins, the more we pity you & the more you embolden us to stand up for the right principles. Go Real Conservative! Keep it up!

I’m not a victim, persecuted, exploited, suffering or dying. I’m blessed. If you’re about to vomit, then you are sick & I will pray for you.

Real Conservative

February 10th, 2011
9:29 pm

Linda,

Why do you hate the First Amendment so much? Why do you hate the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause? Why do you want to impose your faith on others in courtrooms, in the halls of congress, in schools, and in laws? The only difference between you and radial Islamists are the tenets. The tactics are the same.

I’m trying to intimidate you? Look in the mirror. And when you’re finished, find a copy of the Constitution that you claim to love so much, and try actually reading it for once in your life.

You claim to be for freedom. I say bull. You’re a fake and, as I said, an embarrassment to real conservatives everywhere.

Intown

February 10th, 2011
9:41 pm

My heart is still with the protesters who by all accounts seem to be the type of widespread moderate liberal democratci Arab uprising of every neoconservative’s wet dreams. My mind is still on whether a democratic Egypt will succumb to Islamists and pervasive canards about Israel. But, it seems the Muslim Brotherhood’s current power and involvement with this uprising is far less than initially feared. It’s time for America to through its weight behind those in the Egyptian army who are most likely to bring about freedom in Egypt.

Linda

February 10th, 2011
10:21 pm

Real (Unreal) @ 9:29, A Constitutional scholar, you are not. If you read American history, you would learn that the 1st amendment was NOT to protect the state from religion but to protect religion from the state. There is no “separation of church & state” in any constitutional or govt. document.
According to the Declaration of Independence, where do your inalienable rights come from? If you do not believe in whom the Founding Fathers declared our inalienable rights to come from, you have none.
I hate to break this to you, but I’m not in charge of courtrooms, the halls of congress, schools or the laws. Additionally, I did not design the change in your pocket or the bills in your wallet, write the natl. anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance nor require citizens to swear on the Bible when they serve on jury duty.
Are you just a Democrat or a hard-nosed liberal or, even worse, a progressive?
I’m trying my best to pray for you. Do you think I should call for reinforcements & put you on the prayer list at my church?

Real Conservative

February 10th, 2011
11:52 pm

Leave me out of your prayers Linda. You putting in a word for me is likely to do more harm than good.

Pray for yourself. And pray for all the other fake conservatives who want to impose their religion on the rest of us.

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I Report :-) You Whine :-( mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

February 11th, 2011
5:59 am

Only the AJC can put a picture of the “protesters” on the front page of their anti American rag, a picture that shows not one woman, not one child, not one elder, nothing but a bunch of terrorist aged thugs in the crowd and caption it with this-

Mubarak dashes Egyptian hopes -Urinal

The mindless enemy studies not their own propaganda. And reveals who they really are.

Unless you are too stupid to see it.

carlosgvv

February 11th, 2011
8:57 am

Did anyone honestly think an old entrenched dicator would just go away quietly? History teaches this seldom happens and it usually takes a blood bath to make any real changes. No matter what happens, I don’t see anything good for the US coming out of this.

tar and feathers party

February 11th, 2011
9:11 am

Mubarak is Washington’s creature, therefore Washington has an obligation to control its monster, one way or another.

JF McNamara

February 11th, 2011
10:54 am

I wouldn’t leave either. Unless they go the George Washington route, why should he?

At least its been compelling TV. I just Thank God that we’re respecting their sovereignty and staying out of it.

Steve

February 11th, 2011
11:23 am

While I personally think he should step down; I can’t help but remember how I felt when the President of Mexico was telling us how we should handle our illegal immigrant situation. I wanted to tell him to fix the numerous problems in his own country before he starts telling us how to handle one of our problems. I believe Mubarak may feel the same.