Washington’s newly shaped Mubarak-must-go-now posture

Bloomberg reports:

Senior members of the U.S. Congress are debating whether to halt foreign aid to Egypt as a way to hasten President Hosni Mubarak’s exit from power amid continuing protests against his three-decade rule.

Senator Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the panel that controls foreign aid, said he’s prepared to stop all U.S. financial assistance to Egypt — which topped $1.5 billion last year — unless Mubarak steps aside immediately and allows a transitional government to take over.

“If he doesn’t leave, there will not be foreign aid; I mean, it’s as simple as that,” Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, told Bloomberg Television in an interview yesterday. U.S. money “will not go to the Mubarak administration,” Leahy said, adding, “that’s a pipeline that can easily be turned off.”

Today, the Senate passed a resolution calling on Mubarak to begin the transfer of power to an “inclusive, interim caretaker government.”

The New York Times this evening reports:

The Obama administration is discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately, turning 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.

Even though Mr. Mubarak has balked, so far, at leaving now, officials from both governments are continuing talks about a plan in which, Mr. Suleiman, backed by Sami Enan, chief of the Egyptian armed forces, and Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the Defense Minister, would immediately begin a process of constitutional reform.

The proposal also calls for the transitional government to invite members from a broad range of opposition groups, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, to begin work to open up the country’s electoral system in an effort to bring about free and fair elections in September, the officials said.

Senior administration officials said that the proposal is one of several options under discussion with high-level Egyptian officials around Mr. Mubarak, though not him directly, in an effort to convince him to step down now.

The officials cautioned that the outcome depended on several factors, not least of all the mood of the protesters on the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities and the dynamics within the Egyptian government. Some officials said there was not yet any indication that either Mr. Suleiman or the military were willing to abandon Mr. Mubarak.

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7 thoughts on “Washington’s newly shaped Mubarak-must-go-now posture

  1. Vince J.

    Vice President Omar Suleiman is a pentagon darling, responsible for redition/torture/US program. As Noam Chomsky pointed out, “When a US dictator can no longer hold power, the US change sides to install samo samo with a differnt facade” (words of effect).

    Mubarak Obama…

  2. nationofbloodthirstysheep

    Cowardly, cynical and disingenuous; what a charming ruling class we have. Oh, and by the way, “Suleiman is not squeamish”. Isn’t that nice? MooBarack! BooBarak!

  3. Vince J.

    I just saw in Al Jaseera (Of curse!) a clip of the War Crminal Hillary Clinton condemnation of the attacks on jornalists. What a joke!!!! She never said nothing about jornalists being tortured and killed in Honduras! Does she realize no one takes her words seriously??!

  4. Colm O' Toole

    Well it is simply another self serving move by the US.

    Who honestly thinks that it is a smart move to hand the power of a nation over to military generals for 6 months and just hope that they allow free and fair elections. This the same military that stood back in November 2010 when Mubarak strangely won 83% of the vote just like his previous elections (during the 1980’s Mubarak sometimes won 95% of the vote).

    This military cannot be trusted to led free and fair elections.

  5. Eleonnora

    The US tries to scare people off by dangling the 1.3 Bio US$ they give Egypt in aid – hahaha. 300 Mio go in cash to “Uncle Hosni”, the majority of the rest goes to the security apparatus in order to enable them to keep the people under control and a smaller part goes to projects which profit US companies. One heck of an “aid” or as an official once put it off the records: “The Egyptian PEOPLE would be much better of without this poisonous money and the strings attached to it!”

    Mubarak scared people in the interview with ABC that he worries about the inevitable chaos if he steps down now. Well Mr. President – the Egyptian people have to live in an ever increasing chaos ever since you were installed. What else is new? Fact is that the police is totally absent from the public life since some 10 days and the people of Egypt regulate the traffic, protect themselves with popular neighborhood vigilance groups which are armed with sticks and improvised weapons (some have even shotguns) to fight off the criminals which were released from prison by the government on the 26th of January in order to terrorise the populace. And so on. We can take care of ourselves.

    People in the west also get scared with the little white ghost a.k.a. the Muslim Brotherhood. There are even those smarties who say that the whole protests are organized by them and that they paid people to go there … just figure out the numbers and start calculating.

    What really happened is that we see the true Egyptians of all religions. We see the Muslims sharing with the Christians their food and water and the Christians cordoning off the Muslims to protect them while praying. We see the women with the veils and those with uncovered hair. We see the men in Galabeya (long Arabic dress) and the one in western clothes. None of this politically created sectarian rift is visible and it is like it always was: all oppressed Egyptians together in their suffering and in their joy of standing together again against their tyrant.

    Well – we overcame the barrier of fear which was systematically implanted over the last 30 years and will not go back to the previous life. We know now how strong we can be united. A good friend of ours was daily in Tahrir Sq with his family. His 15 year old son got arrested and released 2 days later, his wife was severely beaten up by the thugs (read: police) but this only made them stronger and more determined.

    As of today we will be able to hold up our heads high again and proudly say: “I am Egyptian”!! Hopefully our calcified fossil will be gone at the end of the day – it might take ”a day or two” but this is the end. And may the rest of the gangsters which have stolen our country, our dignity and our livelihood will go down to hell with him.

    The atmosphere is electrified and full of emotions. People are determined to see it through and willing put their lives in jeopardy to put the first stone on the ground and start re-making this great country of ours and undo 30 years of willful negligence and destruction.

    We just hope and pray that nobody gets mislead and thinks it is achieved. The real work starts now in order to prevent the many opportunists to hijack the people’s revolution for their own personal gains and ambitions. The rats on all sides and in all countries are already in the starting position, work on proposals and recommendations and try to install Oma Soleyman and the other left-over fossils. I just hope that this will not be accepted once Mubarak is gone.

    People have learned to stand up and will not forget.

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