Mubarak’s gamble

Earlier yesterday, I spoke to Wael Ghonim and he told me to expect some very good news around 5 pm that night, but he never elaborated what it is. Around 10 am, we heard that Saudi Arabia, alongside UAE and Kuwait, are creating an aid package to Egypt to possibly replace that of the US. Around 4 pm last night, we recieved the news that the President itends to step down tonight and give all of his responsbilities to the VP, Omar Suleiman. The Army then convened and issued its first statement, in a meeting without Mubarak or his VP around 5 pm. Around 9 pm Egypt time, Obama did a speech congratulating the people of Egypt for their march for democracy, so it seemed like a done deal. Finally, an hour later than originally announced, President Hosny Mubarak , against all expectations and information, refused to step down from his post, and said that he refuses any foreign interference in Egypt.  The White House then announced that it has been double-crossed by the Egyptian regime.

 Now, what does this all mean?

Well, 4 main things:

1) Mubarak is not going to leave Office without bloodshed. Any attempt for a peaceful exit has been discarded by his regime, and they are intending to fight the will of the people until the end.

2) Mubarak has burned the image of Hossam Badrawy and the Wisemen council with his speech. Hossam Badrawy, the secretary general of the NDP, was the face of the NDP that announced Mubarak's intenetion to abdicate power later tonight. Now the man has no credibility. Same goes for the Wiseman Council, since Mubarak's speech was focused on how he has met their demands, which don't include him leaving. If most of them don't quit their posts today, I would be greatly surprised.

3) We are seeing the first possible split in the power structure in Egypt: It seems that the Armed forces are in one camp, and the president, intelligence agencies and the republican guard in another camp. If you add to the equation the Ministery of Interior and the protesters, you have 4 players right now in an intensely unpredictable power struggle. We are now awaiting the second statement from the High council of amred forces to clearify their position once and for all. Whether the Army is with or against the people will determine a lot of today's outcome.

4) Mubarak has now put the US in a corner: He double-crossed the White House, and announced his intentions to fight foriegn intervention. Adding to that the news of the arab aid, he is sending the US a clear message: "I could tell you and your aid to go to hell, and get the money from the arabs instead. Where does this leave your precious Israel? If you don't want us to cause problems on that front,  you better shut up about what we will do and get with the program, or else!"

If you take all of those factors into consideration, the situation starts looking intensely ominous. If the regime and the army has split, we could see major fighting and bloodshed today. If the Army is with the President, then they will all turn their guns on the Protesters, who are determined not to live under Mubarak rule for one extra day. It also means that he put on the line the future of the transitional government with Omar Suleiman in charge, because Suleiman's fate seems intensely intertwined with the President now. This has become a fight for survival: it's either the regime or the people. The bad news is, the regime has all the weapon and organization. The good news is, the people are determined and increasing in numbers and the army might step in and save us all unnecessary bloodshed.

It all depends on the army's statement now.

The wait is killing me. 

120 Comments on Mubarak’s gamble

  1. Drima | The Sudanese Thinker
    February 11, 2011 at 8:35 am

    THE WAIT IS KILLING ALL OF US! The bastard needs to step down, step aside, or die of a god damn heart attack. Khalas, kifaya!

  2. Jupiter
    February 11, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Advice from the US:

    Good job camping at state TV. Now, also claim that grassland to the NORTH of state TV as a liberated area, too. It looks like it’s private property (WTO?) but the gov can make it up to them later.

    Be SUPER NICE to state TV workers, but get signs, and SHAME them into rebuking the censorship and reporting the truth. Once the truth is being aired on state TV, the army will be on your side. The army totally won’t fire on a crowd that almost definitely contains their own relatives and friends. State TV is key.
    This can be done peacefully, probably.

  3. norane
    February 11, 2011 at 8:41 am

    You forgot to mention that he abdicated all his powers to the VP after he made the amendments to the constitution that the VP can’t do

  4. PyramidView
    February 11, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Let’s just hope the day doesn’t kill everyone.

  5. dalia
    February 11, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Thank you. I couldn’t have put it in better words. Well done. If u don’t mind I’ll share.

  6. ibaniba
    February 11, 2011 at 8:46 am

    As usual, division lines benefit the strongest camp.

    Megalomaniac Mubarak & his supporters will do everything they can to divide the people of Egypt (and the whole world if that’s needed) to increase his advantage.

    The protesters must unite with the army, and seek ways to divide the forces of their enemy.

  7. aquart
    February 11, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Me, too, figuratively. Because I’m safe home in New York. Just know how many prayers are going out for the safety of all of you.

  8. ndg
    February 11, 2011 at 8:53 am

    From the other tip of Africa; we were as hopefull as you! It is unbelievable that Mubarak puts his misplaced pride and defiancy above ‘his’ people, trampling on the people against all expectations and common sense. I wish you all the strength on this LAST day, and hope that it will end without bloodshed.

  9. Fred Minton
    February 11, 2011 at 9:01 am

    You are a very incisive observer — you have been for years and I have been reading your writing for years. I think you are missing a key piece of the puzzle: Mubarak’s perspective. From his vantage point, he has been given no real choice. If he resigns now, he’ll be prosecuted. If he leaves Egypt, he’ll be like the Shah, no (palatable) country will give him asylum. if he stays, resists, and gets toppled, his fate may be like Romania’s Ceausescu. So his present behavior is really the only logical one to pursue.

    For the sake of Egypt and her people, he needs to be given immunity and a dignified exit. It would not serve justice, but it would spare many years of pain and bloodshed.

  10. haakondahl
    February 11, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Test. If I am unable to leave my (long) comment here, I will post it at my own blog, linked above.

  11. Awais
    February 11, 2011 at 9:09 am

    you missed the whole point of the protest i guess. Its not about what the Army says or what Mubarak thinks he will do. People always get what they want is all i’m gonna say. Its for the protesters to decide if they wanna march straight to the palace. Its just a matter of time before we see people getting what they wanted.. Everyone else will have to bow to that. We aren’t living in the 19th century where some communist Army would crush the voice of 20 million people. Speaking of bloodshed, it has already happened. So to me waiting for army’s next communique isnt killing me. It will only make the Army to lose its credibility if it speaks against the people.. The outcome will not be different.. Egypt will be free..

  12. patj
    February 11, 2011 at 9:11 am

    SM, I’ve read you on and off for years, and immediately thought of you when all this started. I hope people can remain peaceful and don’t give the regime an excuse to be violent (I know some don’t need an excuse). I could say many things about what is going on, but what I will leave you with is my prayers for your safety. God bless.

    (Thanks for your call with Roger.)

  13. tinker
    February 11, 2011 at 9:18 am


    Your example will be upheld by the good folks of the world. Show us how to light the flame of new democracy, real democracy. By removing the yoke from around your necks, you spur us on to do the same. If your blood must be shed in the process, then we will be all that more determined, stronger and braver for it when our turn comes.

    Show us the way.


  14. Tony
    February 11, 2011 at 9:19 am

    All revolution come to the point of a strength of arms. That doesnt mean that there has to be much bloodshed if enough of the army has been won over. The revolution is St Petersburg in 1917 was virtually bloodless because so much of the army was on the protesters side. Reuters reported that 16 officers had join Tahrir. It seems that it is absolutely urgent to organise soldiers into Tahrir and to set up soldiers committees. Good Luck! We are all hoping you will win

  15. Christopher MacRae
    February 11, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Norane (above) says Mubarak has abdicated all his powers to the VP. Oh yes? That’s not what he said last night. Even the BBC has fallen into this trap. Please set your many readers straight on the exact words he used over this even if you think that Suleiman isn’t any better.

  16. Julie
    February 11, 2011 at 9:27 am

    My hopes are with you, people of Egypt. I was as shocked as you were last night.

    Mubarak is backing off some of his powers. Now Souleiman won’t go against his shadow president who still get sh*tloads of power whatever we say.
    I’m waiting for the second speech of the Army as impatiently as you are. I just hope the whole situation will go smoothly and without bloodshed.

    Thank you Sandmonkey to keep us updated either way from your blog or twitter. Not to forget the thousands of others.

  17. pyorncharkzark
    February 11, 2011 at 9:37 am

    It’s also possible that Mubarak is pushing Egypt to the edge and forcing the US into a corner as a bargaining tactic to get himself a dignified exit. It’s possible that he’s gambling that the threat of strife & bloodshed will make the US lean on some other countries (eg, Germany) to accept him in dignified retirement, rather than fleeing to join Ben Ali in Saudi Arabia.

    Whatever game he’s playing, it’s a very dangerous one and there are a lot more lives at stake than just his.

    ??? ???????

  18. pyorncharkzark
    February 11, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Sorry; the ?s at the end of my comment were supposed to be Arabic text: “khair inshallah”.

  19. Andrea
    February 11, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Inch’allah the army gets it shit together. Chose a side army guys and get on with it – you can’t sit on the fence forever.

  20. Bettina
    February 11, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Sand monkey.. i write you from the comfort of my home in Kuwait.. yet i feel my heart and mind with all of you in Egypt. I would like you to know.. that i.. first as a Human Being.. then as a Kuwaiti and as an American.. support and stand by you.. if not physically.. but in heart and soul. You will be victorious. I know it. Even if the cost will be more lives.. Egypt is yours. Freedom and Peace

  21. jake
    February 11, 2011 at 10:02 am

    At the end of the day it’s not a new president / regime or democracy at fault or a remedy
    it’s about money.
    What makes a nation/person poor?
    – is it the lack of money?
    OR Because money exists (the manipulation of money) :
    This manipulation of money is done through Fractional Reserve Banking

    All the population of the world (have) are being controlled by this method.
    We want world solutions not continuations of the system in different disguises. There are solutions but first everyone has got to be aware of the cause of all this mayhem, wars. poverty, starvation, pollution and death.

    In the west if your lucky you can have more than enough to live on- but at a great cost to every one else. The human being needs more than food to survive and that only comes with everyone becoming brothers and sisters.
    i.e. One big family of the world.

  22. Andy B
    February 11, 2011 at 10:15 am

    As US citizen I watch a Berlin Wall moment. I am sad that this time the US intelligence/military is on the wrong side (Egyptian Military State). I am not proud of being an American right now. My prayers are with your revolution, which is done with so much care and dignity. Not that it matters to Egyptians, but millions of American hearts are flying high with you!!!!

  23. A German from Berlin
    February 11, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Maybe they just need more time for shredding all the documents.

  24. Londoneya
    February 11, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I’m really worried about the protesters on the streets. The scenes remind me of the film V for Vendetta, only I never knew it would happen on Egyptian soil. I think the regime is so angry and so afraid, if it’s going to be forced to leave then it’s going to take everyone down with them, including the innocent civilians calling them to leave. These power-hungry people do not have an ounce of mercy or love for their land or their people.

  25. mark t
    February 11, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Thanks for this. Also, I think some insight comes not from asking “why did he not leave?” but, if he had nothing to say, why did he give a speech?

    Remember the announcement of his speech came AFTER the open session of the state security council. Minor point, but it seems to me that since his speech was so devoid of content that it was more about being seen to rule, i.e. he had to assert himself against the appearance that he was being pushed out….Tantawi or others in the military?

    So, yest the army is split, but between whom? Someone yesterday was saying Mubarak, Soliman, and the Presidential Guard on one side and Tantawi and the rest on the other. This could be very dangerous. The protesters must do everything to maintain a peaceful front and give no excuses to the PG (if indeed that’s the potential villain here). At present, time may be on the side of the protesters. Concessions keep coming. Although the US is backing “democracy” they and the rest of the international community will go with whatever is the most stable interim option. Is anyone preparing for a soft landing of the protest movement?

  26. Agostino
    February 11, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I think that we can’t analyze the situation ignoring the big elephant in the room: US.
    Is US really at your side? If yes, why Obama doesn’t utter that fucked two words: STEP DOWN! ? Why the military aids aren’t immediately freezed? Why there is no convocation of the egyptian ambassador? Why, in the end, from Washington come only fluffy speeches and no real actions?
    You can imagine if they have used such a delicate attitude with Ceaucescu or Honecker!

  27. Belisarius
    February 11, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I suggest to the protesters that they find out which officers command the platoons and companies on the front lines, and try to find family members of those officers who will stand with them in the protest. Also sergeants and private soldiers if possible. This reinforces the idea that the army are the people, and discourages any violent response from the soldiers.
    It is a strategy that worked well in 1986 in Manila, in 1989 in Czechoslovakia and Poland.
    Please pass on this idea to anyone involved in the protest.

  28. Baboon
    February 11, 2011 at 11:40 am


    As I told you before, you have been double-crossed. The military was never with you and sadly you will see that very soon.They might intervene to take the power for themselves, but don’t expect them, or anyone else, to do the fighting for you. Notice that we haven’t seen mass desertion from the army as seen at other well known revolutions. Notice how they kept the Media and the Palace under their control. But not all is lost. You still have millions of supporters and you still can storm the palace and end this.

    Don’t underestimate the government. No stupid regime can stay in power for 30 years. They are playing on time. Every minute that passes while they are still in power only straightens them. They cut their ties with the west and Mubarak has shown the army that he, and only he, can replace the american support with ease. Egypt now relays on Saudi funds and Obama minimal leverage is gone.

    Just look how Obama handles Iran and you will understand that besides talking he wont do anything else to help you, believe me, unless Mubarak will block the canal (which he wont) there will be no American troops coming to your aid, even if the soldiers will start shooting with automatic fire. You can see how he has already started to talk about the need for transition period and that Mubarak can stay.

    Again, I hope I am wrong in my analysis, but I doubt it. For the revolution leaders there is only one path left now. There is no turning back. Mubarak will not forget the ones who stood against him. More than 300 demonstrators have already been murdered. If you will fail, hundreds of the leaders of this revolution, including yourself, will probably be targeted. They will do what it seems you fear to do. They wont hesitate, they wont care for human rights. They wont treat you as you treat them.

    Sandmonkey, speak with Gonhim, he seems like the only leader that can emerge right now. He must act, now without fear, without hesitation. You have to storm the palace and catch Mubarak. The time is running out, WAKE UP! YOU ARE LOSING YOUR FIGHT. You must act now, before it is too late. Again, I really really hope that I am wrong, paranoid and that your way will prevail.

    Take care of yourself and good luck. I hope you and the rest of the Egyptian people will have your freedom. You deserve it.

  29. Pakistani
    February 11, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Asalam Alikum

    Brother, solidarity from Pakistan and we pray for our brothers in Egypt, May Allah protect you, keep you united and safe and may Allah be with all of you in this difficult time. Ameen!

  30. EV
    February 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    If you don’t mind I share your thoughts on our blog. You are doing a fine job while your life is in fact at risk, you are a very courageous person. All the best wishes to the Egyptian People and of course to you personally. May peace and liberty prevail.

  31. Dane
    February 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Great insights – thanx for sharing!

    Firstly, I want to commend the Egyptian protesters for their non-violent apoproach so far, self-defence only. Think of other revolutions like the French, American, the Civil rights movement in US – those were very violent. Since 1989 most revolutions have been peaceful – well done for choosing the latter approach.

    That being said, when a regime decides to defy what stares them in the eyes they invite choas and an increase in violent confrontation. This often leads to their dismise – as in Romania.

    As it stands now I don’t think this will end peacefully – more violence before it get’s better.

    For the protesters – if you have to choose to risk your lives do it for two things:
    a) The state-tv (take it over) and
    b) surround the Presidential palace. Do not try to take it just besiege it – isolate them in their ivory tower.

    That way they are bound hand and foot AND they don’t have the TV to get out their message.

    Good luck – be proud of yourselves, your bravery and resoluteness is something millions around the world admire!

  32. hhhh
    February 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    going to war with israel is pretty much the only thing that would buy him time, and turn things around momentarily.

    don’t be shocked if that’s what we see, and there are back room negotiations with netenyahu, agreeing on the terms of a predetermined provocation, and squirmish that would be mutually beneficial… as opposed to the all out bloody war that would happen if a new egyptian government steps in, and tries to pacify the people by cutting off the suez canal, or triggering a muslim brotherhood war on multiple fronts. it could also serve as cover for joint operations in gaza. a controlled battle with low/no casualties, against israel would strangely enough stabilize the region.

    mubarak needs to go, but not until someone figures out what he’s leaving behind.

  33. Adam
    February 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    What on earth are the generals doing? I can’t believe they have not stepped in already and made a serious move against Mubarak and Suleiman to finish this for once and for all. I know they’ve had things good under this regime, but don’t they realise things can still be good for them under any new government? I hope they do not see Mubarak as a hero because of the wars in the past. He’s had 30 years reward of power and wealth since then so there is absolutely nothing owed to him by anyone, and in fact he owes the country and its people.

  34. dngb283trd65
    February 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    “Adding to that the news of the arab aid, he is sending the US a clear message: “I could tell you and your aid to go to hell, and get the money from the arabs instead. Where does this leave your precious Israel? If you don’t want us to cause problems on that front, you better shut up about what we will do and get with the program, or else!””

    I think many americans would prefer egypt to get it’s aid from arabs rather than from taxes paid by american citizens.

    As far as Israel goes, the peace left a lot to be desired. I’m referring to weapons smuggling from egypt into gaza among other things. Getting aid from arabs rather than americans won’t causes egypt to go to war with israel. In egypt they put bloggers in jail because they criticize the army. If the egyptian army is afraid of a blogger then I don’t think they have enough courage to start a war with Israel. If egypt did start a war with Israel, the egyptians would get beaten badly and the egyptians know it.

  35. Doug.E.Barr
    February 11, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Four sides. Sadly, unlike the sides of a pyramid, they do not have a common interest. When this power pyramid fails there will be a big pile of rubble.

    A second thought. At the moment the opposition has a common interest. When it is removed, I wonder how many sides the opposition will have? Will they even be able to make a structure?

  36. mona
    February 11, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    The army CAN’T unite with the people even if the soldiers want to. Armies follow orders, the regime tinted ruling layer of the army must be relieved of duty by the people, and the next in rank must be promoted, that’s the only way to a peaceful change that doesn’t tear the army apart.

  37. barend claessens
    February 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    people of Egypt, ive been watching your revolution for days now.
    Try to keep this revolution peaceful. surround all key areas that are important marks for the government like the presidential palaces, tv station, … and so on. please keep asking the military to make a clear choice.

    myself, and a lot of people with me, keep hoping the military makes a statement pro the people and this revolution.

    congrats to all of you for keeping this up ! thanks to let us share this revolution with you. you guys are writing history and we are glad its peaceful till now.

    we really hope the military wont use force or this will be a bloodbath like not seen before….

    the people of Egypt should be very proud of what they did so far. long live the people.

    the people united can never be defeated !!!

  38. mona
    February 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    This is the army of and for the egyptian people, not the army of mubarak, right? Shouldnt the people have some authority over its own army? The people should be able to give an order to its army…

  39. valerie
    February 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    There are articles in circulation saying that the Egyptian Constitution requires elections in 60 days if Mubarak steps down completely. Are you ready for an election, under the old rules, in 60 days?

    I saw reference to the 1917 revolution up above, as encouragement to you. You and I both know how that one turned out!

    I heard Hossam Badrawy say Mubarak was going to “answer” the protester’s demands. I watched Mubarak’s speech because I knew “answer” is not the same thing as “give in to”. I knew, of course, that I was listening to translations.

    Mubarak is going to leave office. He may well die before September. He has already stepped back as much as he can, without triggering the 60-day election clause.

    Use the difference between 60 days and September to get the changes in the laws and the Constitution. Use your time also to organize and identify candidates.

    The question is, who takes over, after that? And I submit that you can win what you want, simply by following the plan you set forth already, in “The Way Forward.”

    This stage is not cathartic, but this is what the beginnings of real victory look like.

    God blees Egypt, and Heaven help us all.

  40. katherine optimus maximae
    February 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Two things, real quick:

    NYT reporting that military swears it will not use force against protesters.

    Second, in regard to the US aid, don’t sweat it. Been trying to tweet you for 24 hours. Mubarek might say go to hell, but Egypt’s army is American made. Without the US aid to buy parts, technical assistance, replacement equipment or ammunition, Egyptian army would be hard pressed to field a battalion in a few years or have two jets flying. I think they know they have no power without the right equipment and they have no equipment without the US.

    Otherwise, they become Saddam Hussein with a fleet of jets sitting on the ground ready to be targeted by JDAMs.

  41. Ayman
    February 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Sand Monkey,

    Just wanted to share my views about the situation and each of the points you made:

    1. Mubarak already said he will leave office at the end of his term in September. I am not sure how that constitutes “fighting the will of the people”, especially that many Egyptians agree with that decisions and don’t want him to leave right now.

    2. Mubarak has met the demands of the Wisemen Council. The Wisemen Council never asked Mubarak to resign now. They asked him to depart naturally at the end of his term, while overseeing the transition and the constitutional amendments.

    3. There are no signs of any split with the military. They already announced that they will guarantee the President’s promises and protect the country.

    4. Mubarak did not double-cross the White House. The bottom line is that the White House has no authority over Mubarak. Obama and Hillary need to shut up, take a chill pill, and let Egypt fix itself. Their interference will only worsen the situation.

    The bottom line is that Mubarak is the President of Egypt. And by the way, just because people who support the President’s plan aren’t in the streets burning cars, throwing rocks at the police, blocking traffic everywhere, and stopping people from going to their jobs doesn’t mean they don’t exist. So it’s not like there is only one side to this.

    This is a give and take situation. The demonstrators need to show some wisdom and open mindedness. The country is now in transition toward a new government/regime in September. Cooperate and there will be success. Stand against Mubarak’s reforms (which you asked for) and the situation will only get worse.

    p.s. Even before the demonstrations started, Mubarak wasn’t going to run for President again anyway, and his son wasn’t planning on it either. The opposition created a lie about Gamal and believed it. The 70 billion Dollars? Just another bullshit story that a lot of idiots believe. So relax and let history take it’s course.

  42. ayyam
    February 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    US has great leverage in Egypt but seems playing on wait and see game. I hope Israel and the US understand that this is our chance to live side by side in true peace not with a dictator but with the majority of free Egyptians. I think we will have to pay the price of freedom as no one will help us if we are so peaceful like this. Once more killing occurs, then it will be the start of fall of this oppressive and ruthless regime. And the army will learn a lesson not to ever backup a corrupt dictator!

  43. Moron99
    February 11, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    like my name says … but still … i think they way out of this with victory is to play it like Obama plays the republicans. Mubarak says he won’t run. He says he wants free and fair elections. He says he want emergency law lifted. He says, he says, he says. But he does not do anything. So make him agree to what he says he wants but take away his escape.

    I think they way to get what you want is to agree to what mubarak says as long as he agrees to two things.
    1) set a specific date for admendmant that allows any egytpian citizen to run for any office, and a specific date for a general election that president, vp, and parliament.
    2) give an impartial group like the UN full access to all levels of Egyptian governance and to monitor and report on all activities and progress from this day until completion of elections. If possible have the UN administer the elections so that there is less chance of fraud.

    I think mubarak gets what he says while the protestors get what they want. Its a win-win for everybody.

  44. Katrin
    February 11, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Yeah – Sandmonkey, you did it!!!!

    Our best wishes for Egypt’s future. Never let your country step into the enemy trap (Israel etc) trap. Just build your future on human rights and democracy. I know you will and hope for your country that it’ll stay on track.

    Big hugs from Germany,

  45. Richard
    February 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    According to Suleiman, Mubarak has resigned! So now four choices: Suleiman picks up where Mubarak left off, the jihadis, the wiseman’s council (sort of), and you and your 5 million friends. Hope you made some progress on that registration stuff. Good luck SM and congratulations.

  46. Ann - USA
    February 11, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    CONGRATS TO YOU SANDMONKEY AND ALL EGYPTIANS. MUBARAK HAS STEPPED DOWN. WOW! Now go forth and make all the rest of your dreams, reality!

  47. Peter
    February 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Congrats from Denmark !!

  48. jan
    February 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    he’s gone!!! 馃檪

  49. valerie
    February 11, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    The New York Times is reporting that Mubarak has stepped dow, turning the country over to the military for administration.

    Your work has just begun.

  50. EV
    February 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Congratulations from Zurich, Switzerland!!!!

    I am deeply impressed and moved.

  51. Kat_Mo
    February 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Congratulations! You have a democracy. Please keep it. Love and prayers, Kat

  52. thewiz
    February 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    You won….maybe. You have won the first battle but the most dangerous time may yet lie ahead of you. There are many elements that will manipulate the situation in an attempt to seize power. I am sure that elements of Hamas, Hezbullah, Iranian agents and more are infiltrating into Egypt as we speak. Please be very careful in the coming days.

    The people of Egypt have been remarkably restrained and have resisted the urge to violence and I commend them for such amazing discipline. But there are people both within Egypt and from the outside that will take power for their own benefit if allowed to.

    The military is in control for now. Hopefully that will give the country time to organize multiple political parties and have true fair and free elections. Use the time wisely and bar anyone that encourages violence or tries to manipulate the system in the coming weeks and months.

    I suggest that you work closely with US AID, and division of the US State Dept. They have lots of experience in aiding countries organize elections in places like Bosnia, Kosovo, Liberia, Iraq, and around the world. They can be a great assistance in developing a strong democracy in Egypt.

    I would avoid the UN at all costs. They are a very corrupt organization and are not to be trusted. They are controlled by dictators from around the world and fear democracy and will do little to aid its development. Same with the Arab League.

    Roger Daltry sang “Meet the new boss…same as the old boss” But in this situation, the new boss may turn out to be worse than the old boss, as bad as he was.

    Don’t allow the Path Forward to be a giant step backward.

  53. ayyam
    February 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    He is gone…I love you sandmonkey my man! I love the world …

  54. Yossarian
    February 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Right now, the egyptian people are an inspiration for people everywhere. I’ve followed your blog for 5 years now and I am so happy that the struggle has succeded. Greetings from Denmark.

  55. The Freedomlover
    February 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Congratulations to the people of Egypt! You have won a great victory for freedom. Now you have the great responsibility to grow and maintain that freedom by establishing a true democratic republic that respects the rights of all the people of Egypt!

    Good luck and may God bless you.

  56. mangar (israel)
    February 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    The hard part comes now.. 馃檪

  57. Jim Batley
    February 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Congratulations for surviving. I was worried. Did not want to lose your excellent reporting. 馃檪 You helped clue me in to the logic in your constitution that explains Mubarik’s attempt to meet the demands for election reform by staying in office. We in the US are experiencing a leader who does not believe in constitutions: Egyptian, Honduran, and the one he has sworn to defend.
    Keep your head down. Keep reporting, but stay safe. I am a Korean and cold war veteran and appreciate the military, but they can be severe when crossed.

  58. Liron
    February 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Katrin, why would you say that Israel is Egypt’s enemy?
    Israel and Egypt signed a peace agreement more than 20 years ago and it has been a stable and worthy agreement in good and bad times.
    Please explain.

  59. Andy (Germany)
    February 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Mubarak has retired, impressive what all Egyptians have reached today… historical!

    Peace and freedom to all of you!


  60. James
    February 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I cannot adequately express my shared joy and pride in the Egyptian people. When I started reading your blog 3-4 years ago, I never imagined following the change of the world here. As I listen to the jubilant voices from Tahrir, my heart swells. No matter which way it goes forward, this is the beginning of a new era for all of the Arab world, of no less importance than the fall of the Berlin wall and the break down of the East Bloc communist regimes. No longer can anyone dismiss the possibility of a better future in the Arab world with a shrug and “you know, the Arabs seem to like their dictators”.

    A post-revolution is always a perilous time, ripe with opportunists who swarm like flies to the possibility of being the first to grab the money and power. The Soviet Union being pieced out to oligarcs, and the thieves and oppressors of communism being replaced by thieves and oppressors dressed up as capitalists and democrats. And history is ripe with brutal dictatorships being replaced by new brutal dictatorships and cleptocracies. I hope with all my heart that you (you, SandMonkey, and you, the people of Egypt who want democracy and freedom) realize that your work has just now begun, and your intense diligence is required for the years to come.

    But somehow I am full of hope and confidence for your future. Perhaps this can truly be a revolution of the people that for once results in governance of and by the people, and won’t fall victim to the crooks, left and right. My hopes and my (agnostic) prayers are with you all.

    Very best wishes as you move forward.

  61. ferenjito
    February 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm


  62. Angyouma
    February 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Congrats Egypt!
    You are giving a major lesson to the world, and this will be for sure a great landmark for any fight against an opressive regime.
    Don’t let anyone from the west take part in the decission around who your president must be; build your country with democracy and human rights, not
    with the interests of the US.

    Best hopes for you all egyptians, freedom is in your hands; lead the way

  63. kelly
    February 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    i feel the same way as this poster so i had to borrow what he said “I cannot adequately express my shared joy and pride in the Egyptian people. When I started reading your blog 3-4 years ago, I never imagined following the change of the world here. As I listen to the jubilant voices from Tahrir, my heart swells.— Sandmonkey– i have been reading you blog for much longer and yesterday i could not work, i was watching and listening to AlJezeera online and was so so angry when he (mubarak) double crossed us all! and last night i could not sleep knowing that it was friday daytime in Egypt and that you brave Egyptian people were not going to stop! finally i went to sleep dreaming of my time in Egypt and when i can come again. I awoke and looked at your twitter and am so so happy, i feel such pride for you and your countrymen and women. congratulations and of course there is much more work to do but today Celebrate and enjoy this wonderful victory! Long live Free Egypt!!!!! Sandmonkey and Wael for president and vp of Egypt!!!!!!

  64. Dutch Girl
    February 11, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    You did it. You really did it!

    As an example to the peoples of the world, the Egyptians showed us that, united & strong, we can make things right without violence.
    We have all watched in awe how Egyptian people from all walks of life and religions came together and demanded a better life for all.

    One day I hope to visit Egypt and meet some of it’s special people. I have never before seen a people command such respect from the world, and I may never see it again. My son and I have been glued to the TV and internet and I hope that the power of what he has witnessed will stay with him for the rest of his life.

    Maybe we’ll never meet. But the spirit of the Egyptian people will always be with us as we remember Feb. 11th, 2011.

    Stay strong, stay safe, stay united.

  65. barend claessens
    February 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm


    a lot of people support and believe in you!!

    now work for a democratic state like the people of Egypt wish to have one , not one laid down on you by anyone!!!

    greetings from Belgium, a great country with no government 馃槈

  66. Mrs.ZGeist
    February 11, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Congratulations to you and to ALL Egyptians! A hearty thank you for you blog posts, your tweets and commentaries that have engaged me since #Jan25. Best wishes to you and your free and independent countrymen as you move forward in a Democratic and free Egypt! You are all truly an inspiration and guidepost for peace. Thank you!

  67. James Raider
    February 11, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    @ Sandmonkey,

    We communicated over the years, you and I, and while I enjoyed the clarity of your writings, . . . who knew it would come to this?

    Your work has just begun. I wish you all the best as you proceed, using your common sense to help shape a real and open democracy in Egypt. Too often, revolutions do not end well. You have the ability to affect influential energy toward making sure a positive outcome results from the pain that has been suffered to reach today.

    You will see influence come from the likes of Iran, or from the Saud family, to push for a theocracy, royalty, or for another dictatorship, but the majority of Egyptians have made clear, they don’t wish for a stifling, oppressive government. Egyptians have not done this for a replay of the past.

    As you know, real freedom is precious and so difficult to achieve. We wish you well on your way to discovering it and keeping it.

    Be well.

  68. Jonathan Edelstein
    February 11, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Congratulations to you and all Egypt. You have won the revolution and now must keep it. Who will be your Zaghloul?

  69. Jeff Kaufman
    February 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. Congratulations on your success in making a true revolution.

    When you sober up, can you let us in the US know what you think we could do to help your transition to democracy?

  70. JamesinTN
    February 11, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Congrats Sandmonkey!

    I to have read your blog off and on for years. Was worried when all this started.

    Congrats to the egyptain people.
    But as others have said now the hard part begins.

    First to organise political parties. Then your election.

    Iran once had that chance. It damned itself to decades of rule by tyrannts and mad men hell bent on war.

    So you can either damn yourselves or rules yourselves

    Welcome to the burden of the free…….

    Dont fuck it up lol

  71. Greg from USA
    February 11, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Congratulations! Your struggle has just begun. Hopefully Egypt will benefit from the lessons of Iraq. At this instant in time we are all Egyptians. You all play for the same team. You are all brothers.

    Mubarak may have Billions of dollars meant for Egyptian infrastructure, but if you can govern yourselves without an Iraq style civil war, ten Billion dollars will be a bargain. He may be a thief but he made the right decision when it counted, so if he keeps a few million he actually deserves it.

    The Islamists want a caliphate that resurrects the former power and glory of the Islamic Golden Age. They can get what they want. Egypt can form an alliance with Iraq for the mutual strength and prosperity of a new union of states.

    However this will only work by standing up for freedom and without bloodshed. Free will is the only way people will put their hearts into a cause for any period of time. That is why AQI failed in Iraq. You can’t cut people’s fingers off for smoking and expect them to stand with you.

    The Islamic Golden Age was characterized by the phrase “the ink of a scholar is more holy than the blood of a martyr”

  72. scone
    February 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Congratulations from New Hampshire, USA! Our thoughts, hopes, and prayers are with you and all of Egypt! WOOHOO!!! 馃檪

  73. jukers
    February 11, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Amazing. Brilliant. Congratulations. and alf alf alf mabrouk. now i can really feel what John Lennon was talking about. Power to the People. Make love, not war. Amen.

  74. Ole
    February 11, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Another congrats from Denmark…!

    For the last couple of days in the news broadcasts we have seen Egyptians, living in Denmark, being hopeful, anxious, thrilled and glued to their tv sets – hoping for the better for their country – hoping for Mubarak to leave.

    Now it has happened at last! Indeed! The dream has come true!

    Joy and celbrations to everyone!

  75. changememe
    February 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Congratulations, it’s an amazing start.

  76. Notumbo
    February 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Here in the US, not everyone wants to tell the people of Egypt what to do now that they have achieved their first goal in their marvelous fight for freedom. Here in San Francisco, there were cheers coming from people’s houses this morning when the news first hit that the dictator had fled.

    I want to wish the people of Egypt the very best future imaginable, but I would be naive to suggest everything would be smooth sailing from here on. The work you face is enormous, but I believe you have the desire and determination to get there.

    You have given the people of the US something it desperately needs from time to time – a reminder of the true face of democracy, in it’s truest sense – of the people, and for the people. Thank you, and may Allah and God bless your path forward.!!!

  77. Kathy Kinsley
    February 11, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Congratulations Egypt!

    And best of luck going forward.

    I think you probably know the dangers post-revolution, you’ve seen it in the neighborhood. Avoid that, and maybe in a few years, you can teach the USA how to do democracy right. 馃槢

  78. Taszi
    February 11, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Congratulations from Spain, Sandmonkey. The real struggle begins now, though!

  79. A German from Berlin
    February 11, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Alf Mabruk!!!!

  80. LeRay
    February 11, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Congratulations from Louisiana, USA on the amazingly non-violent accomplishment! I’ve been worrying every day that at any moment the violence would start. But you people held it together, stayed as brothers and sisters together, and resisted any dividing influences.

    Now,……. the hard work begins. Revolutions historically turn and bite their creators. Patience, patience, and keep your eyes on the final prize through the difficult times ahead. BTW, there are some good ideas to be found in our founding fathers’ writing of our Constitution and Amendments. Worth a read.

    Remember, many Americans support you and your goals. Carry on.

  81. Egyptian in Germany
    February 11, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Hi SM,

    This is a proud moment for all Egyptians!!

    Alf Mabrouk to all of us,

    Hope for a better future

  82. Craig
    February 11, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Gratz Sandmonkey! I’m very happy for you 馃檪

  83. the new Egyptian
    February 11, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    “tahia masr hora mostaqela”, long live Egypt freedom and independence.
    Egypt is now an inspiration to the youth in the whole world.
    history will be rewritten. !!!!
    to say a revolution is an understatement, given the bravery and bright peaceful tactics used, it is more. it is a new human EVOLUTION, a new dawn in human history, or so I hope.
    may GOD guards Egypt. and congratulations to the free people of the world.

  84. Jupiter
    February 11, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    HOLY SHIT! Congratulations!

    Watch out for the banksters and Goldman Sachs ( the notorious “vampire squid, wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”.) They really did a number on post-soviet eastern Europe, scavenging all the wealth out of the nations before anyone saw what was happening.

  85. yogi
    February 11, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Just heard the news – congratulations, SM.

    I hope that you and people like you steer Egypt into the 21st century, and hopefully you don’t end up in the dark ages, like Iran.

    So much great potential in Egypt, the heirs of the Pharaohs – so much of it wasted for so long. Hopefully, now it will be realized.

  86. well done
    February 11, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    your people are one of the cradles of civilization, i was listening to one of your old people on” democracry now”,a briliant life force, a femininst.
    she said egypt does not need anyone to tell them the way forward.
    your example has relighted the possiblity of being human on a global scale.
    thanks it maybe become a contagen.

  87. NelleChan
    February 11, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I have been glued to Twitter, the News on the net and TV every spare minute since January 25th, anxious and hopeful for the Egyptian people. I and everyone I have talked to (here in Canada) are so happy and excited for you. This is an historic day in Egyptian history. February 11, 2011 is the dawn of a bright new era in the history of Egypt.


    Now the difficult part begins. There is much work ahead and potentially dangerous times. Post #64, thewiz, gives sound advice and warning. Please, Mahmoud, heed his words. You and Egypt will continue to be in my prayers.

  88. Publicola
    February 11, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Cheers !

  89. bitman
    February 11, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Today has been a GOOD day. Congratulations to Egypt, it’s people and to you Sandmonkey. You have collectively shown the world how to do it. What a beacon of positive non-violent uprising this has been.

  90. BBD
    February 11, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    I just want to say: ALF MABROUUUK YA MASR!!!

  91. James Raider
    February 12, 2011 at 12:53 am

    @ Sandmonkey,

    Your biggest challenge will now be to address the influence of your pen toward coalescing a positive party movement that can stand for election in the governing of a newly open society.

    Other governments, such as those of Iran and Saudi Arabia won’t be helpful to your cause.

    Best wishes with energizing the “Free” thinking and believing elements of your country.

  92. Katrin
    February 12, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Liron, this is a misunderstanding. By enemy trap I mean that many leaders build up an imaginary enemy in order to distract from their purposes. Israel is no enemy and I know Sandmonkey doesn’t consider it as an enemy. But there is a potential in Egypt who might build politics on this wrong assumption and this would be very sad.

  93. mjazz
    February 21, 2011 at 12:27 am

    The Copts will most likely still be oppressed, no matter what.

  94. cabbage soup diet
    February 28, 2011 at 1:24 am

    I have to say, I dont know if its the clashing colours or the dangerous grammar, however this weblog is hideous! I imply, I dont need to sound like a know-it-all or anything, however could you could have presumably put a little bit extra effort into this subject. Its really fascinating, but you dont signify it well at all, man. Anyway, in my language, there usually are not much good supply like this.
    cabbage soup diet


21Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Mubarak’s gamble


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