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Tag Archives: Hosni Mubarak

Report: Mubarak is Clinically Dead

UPDATE: Well, now he’s back. Apparently Reuters jumped the gun. Seems he’s in critical condition. Maybe it depends on whatever “clinically dead” means. Maybe being “clinically dead” is a little healthier than being “dead.” I don’t know. This is a White House blog, not sure why I reported this to begin with. Now I gotta update continually and watch over Hosni’s health like an intensive care unit nurse.

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Reuters is reporting that former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is “clinically: dead. Mubarak, who was 84, was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month.

Reuters says the report is emanating from the Egyptian state news agency, and that Reuters has confirmed the report with a source at the hospital where Mubarak has died.

Mubarak’s heart had reportedly stopped earlier today at his prison hospital, but paramedics there resuscitated him. There are also reports he suffered a stroke.

He was then transferred to a military hospital in an upscale Cairo neighborhood, where he apparently has died.

President Obama, after backing Mubarak, switched course and abandoned him last year as the winds shifted in Tahrir Square and the protestors appeared to have the upper hand.

Obama Loses Egypt

Obama’s Egypt failure is becoming all the more plain, and the cultural and political Islamization of our most important Arab ally may well become a campaign issue before long

The New York Times today reports that not only are Islamists ascendant in Egypt, but their most radical fringe is faring much better in the ongoing elections than expected.

The party formed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s mainstream Islamist group, appeared to have taken about 40 percent of the vote, as expected. But a big surprise was the strong showing of ultraconservative Islamists, called Salafis, many of whom see most popular entertainment as sinful and reject women’s participation in voting or public life.

Analysts in the state-run news media said early returns indicated that Salafi groups could take as much as a quarter of the vote, giving the two groups of Islamists combined control of nearly 65 percent of the parliamentary seats.

Below is what I wrote back in February as Obama’s meandering and capricious Egypt policy eventually wound its way toward abandoning Hosni Mubarak, the faithful U.S. ally who had kept the peace with Israel and been a source for stability amid the political ululating that passes for leadership in the rest of the Middle East.

Once Mubarak gets on a plane and heads for the Ritz Carlton Doha, an immense power vacuum is created, the giant sucking sound of which will be animated by every fundamentalist America-hater who can be found in Egypt.

The people of Egypt will never love America. They won’t – it’s shocking for the White House – even love Obama. And once the Muslim Brotherhood is running Egypt, they will suffer, and so will we. And Egyptians will get plenty of violence.

And so it is coming to pass. The Islamists profess faith in democracy, and they will continue to do so as long as democracy shows its faithfulness toward them. Then, once they’ve consolidated their rule and gotten a rein on the military, they will thunder from the minarets about threats to Islam and round up the usual suspects.

Obama, and George W. Bush before him, did little to force the kind of reforms that were needed to slowly unscrew the pressure valve in Egypt and give democratic forces the opportunity to organize. This would have at least provided Egypt a chance to develop its democracy and avoid a sudden Islamist takeover.

Instead, Obama went to Egypt in 2009 and preached revolution:

I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things:  the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose.  These are not just American ideas; they are human rights.  And that is why we will support them everywhere.

Sure, these are wonderful ideas. But when you go to Egypt and say to the people that their leader’s government is illegitimate, it sends them a signal about hat you will do – or won’t do – if they rise up.

What was needed over the past several years was steadfastness in support of Mubarak along with quiet, sustained and severe pressure – using the billions we send to Egypt as leverage – to force reform. Neither Bush nor Obama did this successfully.

And so now there’s a new Pharaoh in town. And he doesn’t like America, or Israel.

Obama’s Egypt Policy Leading to an Islamist Takeover

Ahh, it’s Arab spring, and the smell of Islamic fundamentalism is in the air.

Gosh I hate to be right. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

I wrote in February that Obama was being hasty shoving Mubarak aside, that it would preclude the type of transition we want.

Israel and our Arab allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, think we are making a mistake by pushing Mubarak out right away. They know their region . . .

Once Mubarak gets on a plane and heads for the Ritz Carlton Doha, an immense power vacuum is created, the giant sucking sound of which will be animated by every fundamentalist America-hater who can be found in Egypt.

The people of Egypt will never love America. They won’t – it’s shocking for the White House – even love Obama. And once the Muslim Brotherhood is running Egypt, they will suffer, and so will we. And Egyptians will get plenty of violence.

Well, Islamist rule has been ordered, and it’s on the way, as this piece in today’s Wall Street Journal makes clear. Average Egyptians cheered the other day as liberal reformers were cleared once and for all from Tahrir Square.

Elections have been pushed to November, but the liberals and the secularists appear not to have taken advantage of the delay. Instead of organizing themselves into a coherent bloc, they have set up minuscule rival parties and feuded among themselves, say analysts and diplomats.

“There is a power game going on—and the liberals and the entire secular movement are the weaker element, while the Islamists and the army are strong,” said Laila Soueif, a liberal activist and human-rights campaigner who teaches at Cairo University.

The army will do well under the Mullahs, and be given much work to do.

To cap off the Jimmy Carterization of his presidency – bad economy, rising federal spending, growing disrespect abroad, etc. – President Obama is on the way to turning our foremost ally in the Middle East into a fiefdom ruled by America hating, medieval mullahs intent on acquiring 21st century weaponry with which to destroy us. Just like Jimmy did with Iran.

I doubt Obama is giving it a thought. Too busy bullying Israel into dealing with Hamas.

President Obama’s Passover Insult

Jews all over the world this week celebrate Passover, remembering their long ago emancipation from Egypt. But one thing they may choose to forget is the Passover “message” offered this year by President Obama.

In it, Obama compared the Jews’ flight to freedom with the revolutions engulfing the Arab world this year.

The story of Passover – which recalls the passage of the children of Israel from bondage and repression to freedom and liberty – inspires hope that those oppressed and enslaved can become free, The Seder, with its rich traditions and rituals, instructs each generation to remember its past, while appreciating the beauty of freedom and responsibility it entails.

This year, that ancient instruction is reflected in the daily headlines as we see modern stories of social transformation and liberation unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa.

This is an insult to the Jewish people. Most of the very Arabs seeking to overthrow their leaders would gladly pause in their work to partake in the destruction of Israel if offered the opportunity. They hate Israel, and many or most are enthusiastically anti-semitic. Obama has no business giving them a role in this cherished Jewish holiday.

Obama didn’t intend this as a slight, I’m sure. But it’s another example of how out of touch he can be. It’s insensitive to Jews, and it shows how little he understands the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The president, I’m sure, entirely misses the irony that one of the ways these threatened Arab regimes have stayed in power is to deflect the anger of ordinary Arab citizens away from themselves and onto Israel by stoking pro-Palestinian outrage. Or that the overthrow of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak is a catastrophe for Israel, which had relied on him as a force for peace for 30 years. What follows Mubarak can only be worse – and possibly much worse – for both Israel and the United States.

I’m sure Obama views the Arab-Israeli conflict as a balanced argument and not what it is: the desire of Arabs who never accepted Israel’s existence to finally drive the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea after having failed numerous times to do so.

I know, this is all terribly insensitive and politically incorrect of me to say. But let’s look at some facts.

A 2010 Brookings Institute Arab public opinion poll asked the following question:

When you watch Israeli civilian casualties in the conflict with the Palestinians, which two of the following best describe your feelings?

“Israelis brought it upon themselves” was selected by 75 percent of the Arabs interviewed. “Revenge for the Palestinians” was chosen by 59 percent. “Empathy with the Israeli victimes was chosen by  . . . three percent. “Angry with the Palestinians” by one percent.

How about the following question: “When you watch a movie or a program about the Jewish Holocaust, which of the following is closest to your feelings?

Well, fully 97 percent chose “Empathize with the Jews who suffered under the Nazis.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Well, it would make sense, if it were true. Sorry to mislead you. In actuality, the number of Arabs who said they empathize with the Jews who suffered under the Nazis was three percent.

Fifty nine percent chose “resent it as I feel it brings sympathy toward Israel and Jews at the expense of Palestinians and Arabs.” Twenty nine percent charitably selected the option, “I have mixed feelings.”

One of the nice things about doing this blog is that, in my research for it, I learn something new every day. For example, I WASN’T AWARE IT WAS POSSIBLE TO HAVE MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST.

Mr. President, please, in the future, leave the Arabs out of Jewish holiday greetings. Thanks.

Twelve Things Obama Told Mubarak to Make Him Leave

It turns out that despite protestations it was not moving to immediately shove Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak aside, the White House was in fact deeply involved in showing him the door, with President Obama leading the way.

White House Dossier has obtained the transcripts of two telephone calls Obama had with Mubarak in the days leading up to Mubarak’s departure. What follows are the top twelve things Obama said to Mubarak to convince him to end his reign.

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1. If you leave, I’ll buy you a delicious Sharm el Shake.

2. We can set you up with a kabob stand at 43rd Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. THERE IS NO BETTER LOCATION.

3. If you don’t get out, I shall stretch mine hand with mine rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt.

4. Race you to Doha. Ready . . . go!

5. We thought it was just termites infesting the presidential palace, but it turn out to be cobras.

6. Egypt is out of black har dye.

7. Our latest intelligence is that EVERYONE IN EGYPT HATES YOU!

8. We have some wonderful parting gifts, including a beautiful lounge suite and a color TV!

9. There is a cancer on the presidency.

10. No, I can’t get you virgins, but I can get you some great chicks under 70.

11. It seems strange, but you’re very popular in France.

12. I don’t mean to interfere in your country’s internal affairs, but WHY DON’T YOU GET THE HELL OUT NOW!?

Obama Pans Mubarak’s Speech

President Obama this evening released a statement saying Mubarak’s speech tonight to the Egyptian people, in which he ceded some powers to his vice president, did not go far enough. Here’s an excerpt

The Egyptian people have been told that there was a transition of authority, but it is not yet clear that this transition is immediate, meaningful or sufficient. Too many Egyptians remain unconvinced that the government is serious about a genuine transition to democracy, and it is the responsibility of the government to speak clearly to the Egyptian people and the world. The Egyptian government must put forward a credible, concrete and unequivocal path toward genuine democracy, and they have not yet seized that opportunity.

Obama says Mubarak lacked clarity, which is certainly true. But how much clarity does the above statement have itself? It looks like Obama is back on he side of the protestors, looking for an “immediate” transfer of power. But who knows for sure. And this after the White House has said it doesn’t want to interfere in the process.

The White House response to this – really its first sustained overseas crisis – has been chaotic. We’ve sent varying signals about what we want, vacillating with the ebb and flow of the crowd in Tahrir Square.

Would that this be a teaching moment for the administration so that when there is a crisis facing us, we will have a firm, understandable response. I fear that it will not be.

Egyptian Ambassador: Mubarak Transfers Power

Speaking just moments ago on CNN, the Egyptian ambassador to the United States said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has transfered all of “the powers of the presidency” to Vice President Omar Suleiman and remains president in name only.

“The head of state of Egypt is the president, who has transferred all his powers to the vice president,” said Ambassador Sameh Shoukry.

Suleiman is now in charge of the country and the armed forces, according to Shoukry, who said he is getting his information from Suleiman and wanted to clarify confusion about Mubarak’s status. Prior to Shoukry’s statement, reports appeared to indicate that Mubarak had not ceded power.

“He remains the de jure head of state,” Shoukry said of Mubarak. But Suleiman is the “de facto” president. Neither Suleiman nor Mubarak can dismiss the Cabinet or parliament, Shoukry said.

Suleiman also has the power to end the state of emergency that has existed in Egypt for three decades, according to Shoukry.

But Shoukry could not say whether Mubarak would be able to retrieve his powers at some point in the future.

President Obama has returned to the White House from his trip to Marquette, Mich. and was scheduled to begin meeting with national security aides to discuss the situation in Egypt.

Obama watched Mubarak’s speech on TV in the conference room on Air Force One.

Slapdash Obama Policy Toward Egypt

Is there any coherent, consistent thought going on behind our policy toward Egypt?

Let me ask you a question: What do the majority of Egyptians want? Do you know? Does Obama?

Here’s what veteran observer Edward Luttwak writes today in the Wall Street Journal

The few journalists who speak colloquial Egyptian Arabic report that among the poor majority of the population—those who wear the traditional robe (djellaba) and depend on bread subsidized by the state—many still support Mr. Mubarak.

Israel and our Arab allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, think we are making a mistake by pushing Mubarak out right away. They know their region.

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So you were for Mubarak before you were against him.

And yet, in a remarkably blunt American intrusion into the internal affairs of another country, we have the president of the United States bowing to the mob in the street, trying to force Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak out of power.

The Obama administration has no consistent policy other than to take the temperature in Tahriri Square. And to throw a longtime friend to the wolves. Not that Mubarak isn’t himself the king of the wolves, but he is our ally. And to “avoid violence.” Allies, shmallies.

Here is how our policy started out Sunday. Hillary Clinton suggested Mubarak should stick around and have a “dialogue” about the future.

What we’re trying to do is to help clear the air so that those who remain in power, starting with President Mubarak, with his new vice president, with the new prime minister, will begin a process of reaching out, of creating a dialogue that will bring in peaceful activists and representatives of civil society to, you know, plan a way forward that will meet the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people.

Monday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said it’s not our place to figure out who should rule Egypt.

That is not for our country or our government to determine.  I don’t think that people that seek greater freedom are looking for somebody else to pick what and how that change looks like.

On Tuesday, Obama decided that, oops, it is U.S. policy to interfere, telling Mubarak to start getting the Hell out now.

What is clear — and what I indicated tonight to President Mubarak — is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now.

By Thursday, the message to Mubarak had evolved from start getting the Hell out now to GET THE HELL OUT NOW.

From a New York Times article this morning titled, “White House and Egypt Discuss Plan for Mubarak’s Exit.”

The Obama administration is discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately and turn over power to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military, administration officials and Arab diplomats said Thursday.

Does Obama think the Egyptian people will tearfully, gratefully thank us for our help in shoving Mubarak aside? After we supported him for 30 years?

Nobody can replace a man who has ruled a country for 30 years and have the same credibility he would – the same base of support – to oversee an orderly political transition. Without Mubarak, the chances for chaos go way up.

Once Mubarak gets on a plane and heads for the Ritz Carlton Doha, an immense power vacuum is created, the giant sucking sound of which will be animated by every fundamentalist America-hater who can be found in Egypt.

The people of Egypt will never love America. They won’t – it’s shocking for the White House – even love Obama. And once the Muslim Brotherhood is running Egypt, they will suffer, and so will we. And Egyptians will get plenty of violence.

Obama Pushes Mubarak Out

After days of White House insistence that it is not President Obama’s place to interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs, Obama interfered in the most dramatic way possible, sending an envoy to Cairo to tell Mubarak he was finished. Soon afterward, Mubarak announced to the Egyptian people that he would not seek reelection in this September’s… Continue Reading

Obama’s Very Own Cold War

President Obama’s State of the Union speech focused mainly on minor proposals and second-tier issues like college tuition tax credits and the like. The president, fresh from his “outreach” to Iran, doesn’t seem to understand that he’s engaged in his very own Cold War, and that’s where his attention must lie. The enemy in Obama’s… Continue Reading