I asked my friend who is an Egyptian historian and lives just blocks from Tahir Sq. if he had heard that Mubarak was stepping down.
This was his reply…
“Yes, we heard this too, I literally just came back from Tahrir Sq. 10 minutes ago, the rumor is that he has already left the country, that a taped televised speech will be broadcast very soon. In addition the army shall be making a statement. Earlier, an army general stated to the crowds in Tahrir that he would have news that would satisfy the expectations of the population.
I include a comment I made to a Mr. Abrams on one of the articles written online, by the way I use a pseudonym when I write these comments, hopefully I shall not have to that anymore…
‘….While your analysis is interesting, it is however much stronger as being US centric than it is being Egyptian-centric.
Your assertion that Egypt; “…cannot return to any democratic past…’ is a completely inaccurate statement. On the contrary, the democracy demonstrators are actually demanding; the political system that Egypt actually possessed from 1922 until 1954, a civilian, parliamentary system with competing political parties.
Its head of state was at first the former monarchy (a constitutional monarchy) and later President Mohamed Neguib, who, upon the end of the state of emergence following the coup d’etat of 1952, attempted to return to civilian rule in 1954. Because of this plan he was placed under house arrest during the military counter coup by Gamal Abdel Nasser in that year.
Subsequent to this a ‘Presidential’ system was established to strengthen the rule of a military dictatorship, a dictatorship that has lasted until the present day. While the liberal Egyptian parliamentary system of 1954 was not perfect, and there were serious shortcomings to it, there is no evidence that the Egyptian institutional structures at that time would not have been able to improve and modernize it (they were swept away and banned by the totalitarian military dictatorship of Gamal abdel Nasser).
The Wafd party is one of the few political parties to have survived until the present day. Most important, the memory of this political period has not gone away in Egypt. What is more telling is that I have not seen any supposed expert from the US or Europe even mention or discus this in any of their analysis on the subject of present developments in Egypt….’”