Egyptan Military Ousts President Honsi Mubarak

Honsi Mubarak, the President of Egypt was overthrown in a bloodless Coup d’etat on Friday. The military demanded and got Mubarak resignation on Friday after relinquishing some of his power to Vice President Suleman and refused to quit  Thursday. From AP via Yahoo News:

Cries of “Egypt is free” rang out and fireworks lit up the sky as hundreds of thousands danced, wept and prayed in joyful pandemonium after 18 days of peaceful pro-democracy protests forced President Hosni Mubarak to surrender power to the military, ending three decades of authoritarian rule.

Ecstatic protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir, or Liberation, Square hoisted soldiers onto their shoulders Friday and families posed for pictures in front of tanks in streets flooded with people streaming out to celebrate. Strangers hugged each other, some fell to kiss the ground, and others stood stunned in disbelief.

Chants of “Hold your heads high, you’re Egyptian” roared with each burst of fireworks overhead.

“I’m 21 years old and this is the first time in my life I feel free,” an ebullient Abdul-Rahman Ayyash, born eight years after Mubarak came to power, said as he hugged fellow protesters in Tahrir Square, where crowds remained all through the night.

An astonishing day in which hundreds of thousands marched on Mubarak’s palaces in Cairo and Alexandria and besieged state TV was capped by the military effectively carrying out a coup at the pleas of protesters. After Mubarak’s fall, the military, which pledged to shepherd reforms for greater democracy, told the nation it would announce the next steps soon. Those could include the dissolving of parliament and creation of a transitional government.

World leaders commented on situation including President Barack Obama:

At the White House, President Barack Obama said “Egyptians have inspired us.” He noted the important questions that lay ahead, but said, “I’m confident the people of Egypt can find the answers.”

The White House’s message during the 18 day protests has be confused:

The United States at times seemed overwhelmed during the upheaval, fumbling to juggle its advocacy of democracy and the right to protest, its loyalty to longtime ally Mubarak and its fears the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood — or more radical groups — could gain a foothold. Mubarak’s fall came 32 years to the day after the collapse of the shah’s government in Iran, the prime example of a revolution that turned to Islamic militancy.

In Israel, the government  and  Israeli people are watching the events that had unfolded in Egypt. They  worried that 1979 Peace Treaty would be revoked :

Neighboring Israel watched with the crisis with unease, worried that their 1979 peace treaty could be in danger. It quickly demanded on Friday that post-Mubarak Egypt continue to adhere to it.

Any break seems unlikely in the near term. The military leadership supports the treaty. Anti-Israeli feeling is strong among Egyptians, and a more democratic government may take a tougher line toward Israel in the chronically broken-down peace process. But few call for outright abrogating a treaty that has kept peace after three wars in the past half-century.

Other Arab states are racing to make reforms before the demand change:

From the oil-rich Gulf states in the east to Morocco in the west, regimes both pro- and anti-U.S. could not help but worry they could see a similar upheaval. Several of the region’s rulers have made pre-emptive gestures of democratic reform to avert their own protest movements.

The lesson many took: If it could happen in only three weeks in Egypt, where Mubarak’s lock on power appeared unshakable, it could happen anywhere. Only a month earlier, Tunisia’s president was forced to step down in the face of protests.

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