Friday, February 11, 2011

Mubarak Out

There was no coup d’etat in time for the Short List, but shortly after it went up, Mubarak was out. Mubarak and his family left Cairo today, as protesters continued to spill into the streets surrounding for the first time both the state television headquarters and the presidential palace. Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that President Mubarak stepped down, leaving the Egyptian Armed Forces in control of the nation.

Whether Mubarak left voluntarily or left under threat of force or ultimatum from the armed forces is unclear. Nor is it clear what will emerge from this interim military government. It is instructive to bear in mind that weeks on from the ouster of Ben Ali in Tunisia, it is still unclear who or what will ultimatum take the reins of government there. 

Now, though, while little is settled by Mubarak's ouster, the mass of people in Cairo celebrating are a truly astounding sight. Two pro-Western dictators have been thrown out by mass protest in one month. As unrest persists elsewhere in the reason, 2011 looks more and more like 1848.

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