Good Day Everyone,
At this hour in what may be a decisive day in Cairo things are gearing up for the massive show of discontent with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the prevailing message that he must go.
With the Egyptian army going on TV and saying that it will not use force against protesters, a major obstacle was removed in the psyche of the common man. This in and of itself shows change in Egypt.
I have been multiple times to this great country and know first hand of the fear Egyptians have of their security forces. But with this new twist, more people have taken to the streets to demand the resignation of President Mubarak.
The statement itself, the first ever by the institution that guarded the presidency – this sends a huge signal to Mubarak because the Army is largely seen as the powerbroker in Egypt.
There are further signs of positive change within the governmental powers as the new Vice-President, Omar Suleiman, has been asked to open dialogue with political parties on some of the demands made by the hundreds of thousands of protesters. Top on the list is constitutional reform.
And as the Arab world is finding it's voice, there seems to be growing concern and swelling momentum for change. Jordan's King Abdullah has retired his whole cabinet including his Prime Minister after seeing disgruntled Jordanians hit the streets again in the capital city of Amman. These protesters are decrying rising food and fuel costs and the lack of promised political reforms.
These gatherings on the streets and in the squares of the Arab today are exciting, frightful, and complicated. In Egypt, a western style democracy could emerge – but most dought it. The irony is, after 30 years of pro-western leadership, from where in this country would a democracy pop up?
One editorial in Israel's press stated a pointed remark; “President Obama spoke a week ago, from frost-covered Washington, about 'the state of the nation' without so much as mentioning the Middle East, and forthwith emerged the events in Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon and Yemen to emphasize just how much American foreign policy, in this part of the world, is irrelevant to the reality on the ground.”
I see from the New York Times Mr. John Kerry, the chairman of the US Senate committee on foreign relations, has called for Mr. Mubarak to leave office… Although his statement I am sure will be welcomed by many in the masses, they will undoubtedly call it too late in coming to save the perception of American credibility amongst the people in Egypt.
Middle East Correspondent