Mubarak steps down amid "soft coup" threat from military
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
Amid continued protests and calls for the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, it is being reported that Mubarak reluctantly transferred power to the military after reports surfaced that the military had threatened Mubarak with a "soft coup" if he did not step down as a result of the popular uprising against his 30 year rule. The aging Egyptian leader had defied for nearly 3 weeks continued calls for his resignation, but finally gave in when the military moved to try to end the unrest. The YNetNews website reports:
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's initial refusal to resign surprised his aides, angered the White House, enraged Cairo's legions of protesters and pushed the country closer to chaos, senior American officials told the Washington Post. The officials said that within hours of Mubarak's speech, in which he appeared determined to cling to office, Egyptian army officials confronted the discredited president with an ultimatum: Step down voluntarily, or be forced out.
Earlier in the week it was reported that Mubarak would pass along some of his presidential powers to his new Vice President Omar Suleiman in order to try to appease the masses and at the same time hold on to power. However, it appeared shortly after Mubarak's televised speech where he announced these changes, while still hold the office of President, that the people on the streets became even more enraged that it appeared Mubarak was still holding on to power. Apparently this forced the hand of the military who was willing to stay neutral and see how things panned out. But with the growing unrest and threats of more riots it was clear to the military that the status quo could not be maintained. Therefore, the military gave Mubarak an ultimatum to leave office or face a "soft coup" where he would be forced from office. The YNetNews website went on to further report:
According to the Washington Post's report, published Saturday, the likelihood of Mubarak's departure alternately rose and dipped as US military officers and diplomats "quietly worked with their Egyptian counterparts in a search for peaceful resolution to the country's worst unrest in six decades."
By midweek, the report said, senior military and civilian leaders reached an apparent agreement with Mubarak on some form of power transfer. Communication between top American and Egyptian officials had become increasingly sporadic early this week as Mubarak's deputies complained publicly about US interference in Cairo's affairs. But then, according to the Washington Post, US intelligence and military officials began to learn details of the plan by Egyptian military leaders - something between a "negotiated exit and a soft coup d'etat - to relieve Mubarak of most, if not all, of his powers."
At 10 pm (Cairo time) Mubarak said in a nationally televised address that he would transfer some of his duties to Vice President Omar Suleiman but offered no hint of stepping down. US officials and Middle East experts who analyzed the speech said it was a case of extraordinary miscalculation on Mubarak's part. "It was a public relations disaster," Daniel Kurtzer, a former US ambassador to Egypt, told the Washington Post. A US government official told the newspaper that shortly after the speech, which was described by some American officials as bordering on delusional, "support for Mubarak from (the) military dropped precipitously.
"The military had been willing - with the right tone in the speech - to wait and see how it played out," the official was quoted by the Washington Post as saying. "They didn't like what they saw." According to the report, even Suleiman, Mubarak's longtime intelligence chief, joined ranks with military leaders late Thursday. "He had been trying to walk a fine line between retaining support for Mubarak while trying to infuse common sense into the equation," the US official told the Washington Post. "By the end of the day, it was clear the situation was no longer tenable." Mubarak was told Friday that he must step down, and within hours, he was on his way to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Some news reports had made it appear that Mubarak was ready to give up power but wanted to do so under an "honorable" exit as opposed to being forced out in shame. However, it appears that Mubarak was able to leave on his own accord and lived to see his way to his Sinai home. The worst case scenarios being discussed were an assassination if Mubarak continued to play hard ball, but the aging leader would not in the end let that happen. Instead, Mubarak left Cairo and takes his billions of dollars worth of wealth with him to his resort home. Some news reports put that wealth about Bill Gates. Exactly how much Mubarak has is not known right now, but there are reports that the Swiss authorities have moved to freeze some of his assets.
The big question that remains is "Now what?" This is a question that won't be easy to answer as there will be a lot of political maneuvering on the ground right now. There are several big names in the pot to replace Mubarak. Some have pegged Mohammed ElBaradei, Omar Suleiman, and Amar Moussa (current Arab league leader) as possible successors. The so called democratic elections are currently scheduled to take place in September. Mubarak had announced that he would not seek re-election but instead hold onto power until the elections could provide a smooth transition of power. This is probably the scenario that Mubarak would have preferred but destiny had another idea for him.
One of the biggest concerns now is will Egypt transition over in stability or will a terrorist group like the Muslim Brotherhood take over? The answer is complex and it is only something that time will tell for sure. But indications from Gaza, Lebanon, and other places show us that it is not unlikely that the terrorists will seize the opportunity to directly or indirectly take control of Egypt. A similar scenario like that in Lebanon with Hezbollah is likely to be the result in my opinion. The Muslim Brotherhood already backs the candidate ElBaradei, who is the former leader of the IAEA who said that Iran was not trying to develop nuclear weapons. This to me is one of the worst case scenarios for Egypt as ElBaradei has proven that he is nothing but a "puppet" for the evil forces in the world and that he can easily be persuaded to do whatever his Islamic puppetmasters want him to do and say. Right now the top candidate to replace Mubarak would have to be Suleiman or Moussa at this point. It was reported earlier in the week that Moussa is resigning from the Arab League in a bid to return to his home country of Egypt in a bid to run in the coming elections. How this will play out is anyone's guess, but only time will tell.
Naturally all eyes of the world are on Egypt at this time, as well as the entire region. Regimes in power are shaking in their boots over where the next "uprising" will happen. Reports are coming out of Algiers right now that 10,000 people have been protesting and calling for the government to resign. The Saudis are also expected to possibly face an uprising there as well. To complicate matters worse for Saudi Arabia, there are unconfirmed reports being circulated around the Internet that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has recently passed away over the last day or so after having a heated telephone exchange with U.S. President Obama on the best way to handle the Mubarak situation. Saudi Arabia did not want to see Mubarak removed from power so quickly as he provided a stable regime and that the Saudis are afraid that fanatical forces will eventually take over Egypt if Mubarak was removed from power. The Obama administration, which is full of liberal leftist radicals who can't see past their rose colored glasses, on the other hand pushed hard for Mubarak to leave office and in effect could have made the region and world worse off. This is exactly the kind of inept foreign diplomacy that we can expect from the "imam-in-chief" as he has said numerous time before that when the political winds blow he will side with the Islamists. We are apparently seeing this in action now as Obama has called for "everyone" to be a part of the solution in Egypt. Even the terrorist group the Muslim Brotherhood. This is shocking and concerning that our President would stoop so low to appease and sacrifice a strong ally in the region like Egypt. But that is exactly what he has done with Hosni Mubarak. These kinds of actions tell our allies in the region as well as the world, that they can't count on American support anymore when the chips are down. If anything, Obama has only increased the chances of conflict in the region with his inept and novice political skills and knowledge. He will be forever known as the President who sacrificed Egypt on the altar of fanatical Islamicism.
As the world watches intently to see where the situation goes in Egypt, you can bet that Israel is watching carefully as well. There are reports that Israel is fearing that the fanatical elements in Egyptian society will prevail and that peace with Egypt will come to an end. However, the military today announced that they will honor the peace agreements with Israel and others, that there will be no immediate changes in the operations of the state. This would seem to give the Israelis some thing to pause about but the fact is the dynamics on the ground are so unstable things could look drastically different tomorrow than what they look like today. for that reason we need to continue to keep a firm focus on the Middle East as the "revolution fire" continues to spread and unrest continues to grow. In my opinion, these things in Egypt will just prepare the way for the soon coming conflict of Psalm 83 where Israel is forced to defeat her immediate surrounding enemies. And this includes Egypt. Perhaps what we are seeing is the prophetic scenario being laid out before our very eyes. The world only sees "democracy" as the outcome but the Bible tells us that democracy and peace is very unlikely at this point in time. Let us continue to stay tuned to the situation on the ground and keep watching. These are exactly the kind of things that the Lord told us to be on watch for so that as we see them coming, we are to lift up our heads, for our redemption is drawing nigh.