THE BLOG

Egypt Revolution: Mubarak's Imitation of Khedive Ismail Grandiose Delusion And Extravagance

President Hosni Mubarak refused to face the reality that the Egyptians people have spoken loud and clear that they no longer wanted to tolerate his authoritarian regime. In fact, he shared some parallels to Ismail Pasha, also known as Khedive Ismail, the Viceroy of Egypt from (1863-1879). Like Khedive Ismail, Mr. Mubarak misjudged his own people. He plunged his country into debts and its economy into a total disaster. He is a leader known for squeezing the peasants for money by oppressive taxation, ruining Egypt by his lavish spending and despotic ways. While Khedive Ismail had to dealt with the fall out of the uprising called Urabi revolt that consumed Egypt and later led to his dismissal as the viceroy despite his delusionary tactics.

Mr. Mubarak is torn apart about his own ambition and what is best for his country. The honorable thing for him to do now is to relinquish power to a caretaker government without further delay. The fact that he appointed Omar Suleiman as Vice President is a welcome development, and it is also a positive sign that Mr. Suleiman announced the offer of a dialogue with political forces for constitutional and legislative reforms. However, Mr. Suleiman is a puppet of President Mubarak, and it remains uncertain how he is going to be effective in delivering on those promises or different from his boss.

The Egyptians are not buying into any of the promises or talks of reforms by President Mubarak because they have heard plenty of those things before in the past. President Mubarak should realize that what is at stake is the future of Egypt. He should step aside, by listening to the demands of young and old people cravings for democracy on the streets. The chaos on the ground is too big to ignore.

Mr. Mubarak has lost the confidence and trust of Egyptians and he is morally inept to lead a government till September when the next election is planned. He should listen to the voice of the people. This is not the time for him to be obstinate like that of Pharaoh. This is not the time for his supporters or his military backers to begin crackdown on protesters. Or attacking and harassing journalists because the President suspect 'they fuel the rage.'

This is a moment President Mubarak should seize upon to display rare leadership skills as someone capable of putting his country best interest above his own self centered and narrow minded selfish ambition.

If President Mubarak refuses to relinquish power to a caretaker government to overseeing the transition period, I think it is imperative for the Obama administration to make a bold stand by cutting the U.S financial assistance to Egypt which topped $1.5 billion last year.

Any attempts by President Mubarak to remain in power till September will be imperilous, it will further embolden the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood and the party could actually get huge sympathy on the streets and from the moderates activists as a result of that. If a scenario like that occur, Egypt's revolution could actually be hijacked and turned into an Iranian style revolution. Or it could escalates to further unrest by those wanting a return to Caliphate period. And these circumstances will pose a national security threat to the United States and States of Israel.

The Obama administration must be firm, swift and tough on Mubarak. They should not only demand his immediate resignation now, the White House should start planning for a post Mubarak Egypt by offering support to moderates like Mohammed El Baradei or Ayman Nour who are likely going to be candidates in the next election.

Finally, President Mubarak should know that "Pride goes before a fall." He should stop denying the reality because his grip on power is shaky because the inevitable outcome had overtaken him.