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Latest Hosni Mubarak Items
President Obama likely may have lost Egypt. If he has, it will be one of the most dramatic and devastating foreign policy defeats for the United States in decades. It also will be a significant victory for the forces of radical Islam - a blow that threatens to undermine American interests across the Middle East.
President Hosni Mubarak said in an interview with ABC News that he wants to leave office now, but cannot for fear the country will sink deeper into chaos even as protesters and regime supporters skirmished in a second day of rock-throwing battles at a central Cairo square while new lawlessness spread around the city.
As the wave of grass-roots unrest sweeping across the Middle East en- velops Egypt, all eyes are on the next move of embattled President Hosni Mubarak and his increasingly rickety regime. The telltale signs, however, are already becoming apparent; even as he has offered political concessions to his opposition, Egypt's aging autocrat is steering his country toward military control.
Euphoria is a dangerous narcotic, more powerful than drugs and cheaper than booze. But the wise are wary of the hangover that inevitably follows a season of carousing.
The protests engulfing Cairo since Jan. 25 have shuttered businesses, forced factories to halt operations, closed banks and the stock exchange, and limited suppliers' ability to restock store shelves.
Foreign journalists were beaten with sticks and fists by pro-government mobs on Thursday, and dozens were detained by security forces. The U.S. condemned what it called the "systematic targeting" of the reporters, photographers and film crews who have brought searing images of Egyptian protests to the world.
President Obama is signaling the Egyptian opposition that their time has come. In a terse statement last night, Mr. Obama announced a “moment of transformation” had arrived in Egypt, “the status quo is not sustainable” and a new government must begin to form “now.” An administration official later reiterated, “the key part of the statement was ‘now.’ ” The next morning, the formerly peaceful protests in Egypt turned violent. It turns out that words do have consequences.
The 9-day-old uprising in Egypt took a dark turn Wednesday, as pro-government demonstrators riding horses and camels clashed with pro-democracy protesters hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails in riots that broke out across the country.
Ripples of unrest spreading across the Arab world are prompting some governments there to brace for a tide of protests over unemployment and longtime autocratic rule.