Friday, February 04, 2011

Mubarak's Base Fractures - Government Officials Join Protesters

A big development.  A number of prominent Egyptians have joined the anti-Mubarak demonstrators.   According to The New York Times, they may be severing their ties to Mubarak.

Amr Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab League and a former foreign minister serving Mr. Mubarak, appeared among the crowds in Tahrir Square, seeming to align himself with the protest. Twice he sought to address the crowd, but both times he was drowned out by roars of approval at what seemed a tacit endorsement of their cause.

Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the defense minister and deputy prime minister, appeared in the square as well — the first member of the government elite to do so — but he seemed to be concerned mostly with reviewing the troops and did not seek to speak to the crowd, though he did chat with some protesters.

And Mohamed Rafah Tahtawy, the public spokesman for Al Azhar — the center of Sunni Muslim learning and Egypt’s highest, state-run religious authority — told reporters that he was resigning because “I am participating in the protests and I have issued statements that support the revolutionists as far as they go.” 

Now I have to assume that in a place like Egypt where reckless dissent carries an awfully steep price, these appearances weren't spur of the moment, impulse decisions.   These are folks who know how to read the writing on the wall, how to manage risks, how to recognize opportunity.   I think they have an idea who is packing his bags.


Beijing York said...

I think you're right.

I really hope for the courageous Egyptians that the genie is out of the bottle and they will succeed.

The Mound of Sound said...

It seems the old bugger still isn't ready to budge. That makes me wonder how much longer the army can sit on the fence.