Editor’s Update: Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman [PHOTO] has been sworn in as vice president of Egypt, and may be Mubarak’s heir apparent. That may not make him viewed favorably by Egyptians. See Reuter’s Factbox for details and bio. Interesting fact: “Vice-president is the post that Mubarak occupied before he was promoted to the presidency following the assassination of his predecessor Anwar Sadat.”
All is less than meets the eye. The demos will exhaust their enthusiasm to defy the State, and the State will respond with mass arrests and economic manipulations over the next days.
From the US POV, the Cairo videos will dominate the weekend news and refocus the Sunday gabfests to foreign policy and who is to blame for the turmoil in the Maghreb and across the ummah. TV geniuses soon calling Mrs. Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice and of course the omnipresent Valerie Jarrett to present the case that POTUS Obama supports reform and proportionate response to the yearning of… and-so-forth palaver.
The details do not support the POTUS case that reforms are useful or adequate to the circumstances.
Any reforms must come at the barrel of a weapon.
The detention of ElBaredei is a warning. Mubarak will fight.
My information from Europe is that significant Arab voices from many nations, including the House of Saud and the dissenters of Syria, are raised in disdain for the conduct of POTUS Obama so far. Mrs. Clinton’s statement in these last hours that the US insists upon peaceful demonstrations, and peaceful policing of the peaceful demonstrations, and peaceful reforms for the peaceful demonstrations who are peacefully policed, is a naked illustration that POTUS Obama has no Plan B.
The reaction will be swift and massive in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. The hangman will be busy. The army has now moved to establish authority. Martial law is de facto and may well be made actual within the next hours or days. Watching capital flight from the Egyptian markets.
POTUS Obama will be moved to make another statement on the rioting and crackdown as the videos pour out of the ummah. Will POTUS address the nation as Egypt burns? Unlikely. But then again, the Obama Cairo speech was the launch of his Obama policy of diplomacy to the ummah, and now Cairo is gone, Istanbul is gone, and Riyadh is in doubt as long as King Abdallah of the Sauds is dying slowly in Morocco.
– From the blog for the nightly, nationally syndicated John Batchelor Show.