A well earned rest in Sharm el-Sheikh

Nasser Nasser / AP

Tourists sunbathe at a resort in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt in a Dec, 2010 file photo.

Was it just yesterday I said Mubarak was going to fight right down to the bitter end and would not step down, leave his office or in his mind leave his responsibilities?  I would like to defend myself, I did say he would not step down unless there was a power shift.  Mubarak did step down when asked, but not when asked by millions of people in the streets of his  country, but when asked to step down by a handful of men who control the army.  He is going to his palace in Sharm el- Sheikh and leaving the army in charge – or rather he was sent to Sharm el-Sheikh by the army. However, he is in a lovely place to rest and recuperate and practice his Hebrew – Israelis love Sharm el-Sheikh.  Mubarak can also make a wager in a casino there and for a man thought to have billions of dollars in personal wealth it could be pleasant.  That is until the army tells him his presence is embarrassing and he has to move – Saudi Arab is waiting, they have promised him a welcome mat.

The army did not have much choice, there were too many people in public places refusing to go home unless Mubarak left office.  No one wanted to try and make them leave by force. He is gone, now after the honking and hooting are over, one has to suppose they will start to go home and go back to work.  Once the energy is out of that crowd reconstituting it will not be easy – that buys time.  The question remains, and one we cannot answer it until the army answers it:  what is going to happen?  For Egypt, for the region and possibly for the world there is a great deal riding on the answer to that question.

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February 2011
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