Did Egypt’s Army Just Throw Mubarak Under The Bus?
It looks like Egypt’s dissidents got a major boost for their emerging revolution. The Egyptian Army reportedly issued a statement saying it will not crack down on the thousands of protesters, ahead of a planned general strike tomorrow that seeks to put a million Egyptians in the streets.
The Army says it “will not use force against the people,” the BBC reports, citing state television, which has shown a sanitized version of the uprising thus far. Al Jazeera’s English broadcast is blasting “Egyptian Army says it will not use force against protesters around the country” across TV screens worldwide.
That’s huge. The Army has acted with restraint thus far: journalist Issandr El Amrani posted the above video today, which shows a one-star general assuring protesters it’s not his job to suppress the protests or prop up the regime of President Hosni Mubarak. But there has been ambiguity about the Army’s intentions. Low-flying helicopters and fighter jets have circled above protest epicenters, raising questions as to whether a possible confrontation was in the works.
It also ought to cause a big sigh of relief at the White House. Top Obama administration aides told a group of D.C. think-tankers this morning that they were in “constant dialogue” to “restrain the Egyptian military from using violence,” according to a participant who asked for anonymity to discuss the private meeting.
“They want to see an orderly transition,” the participant said. “They understand they can’t just say Hosni has to go. They want to make sure the transition isn’t just to a military government.”
If the Army is essentially siding against Mubarak, he may not have much more time in power.
Also on Wired.com
Monday, January 31, 2011
Did Egypt’s Army Just Throw Mubarak Under The Bus? | Danger Room | Wired.com