Tuesday, February 01, 2011

BRKG. NEWS: What Obama Had To Say re. Egypt Minutes Ago

Here's a summary of what B.O. had to say on Tuesday evening, Feb. 1, 2011, after the speech from Mubarak saying he'd step down in elections.

He spoke a little while ago on the phone with Mubarak for 30 minutes -- he could have delivered the message to him directly, never mind through emissaries.  And is now about to address the nation.

While we wait, there are reports of a possible uprising in Jordan, but the King is taking faster action to bring about changes.    Also in Egypt -- biggest protests yet but nowhere near the two million that some media are reporting.   There's also a possibility of a food crisis in the country.  Banks are planning to restock ATM machines tomorrow.  Protesters late into the night at "liberation square" are still demanding Mubarak leave now and are waving all their shoes in the air -- a big sign of disrespect and insult when they showed Mubarak the soles of their shoes. 

And what is going on with the military in Egypt these hours?  Mubarak indicated he was a "man of the army".  And the military is silent right now.  But they won't likely support him if shove came to push.   They would not likely shed blood on his behalf, according to some analysts.

The U.S. president's speech here may be tougher and more significant than the one he made in Cairo.  The liberals are starting to present this as a formidable speech that can help raise the president to new heights.  Let's see what happened.

Now to B.O. and some of the key highlights of what he said: (speech started at 6:42 p.m. EST)

  1. his administration in close contact with many on this in Egypt, in the region, and around the world.
  2. first we opposed violence and he commends the Egyptian military for their behavior; he urges them to continue those same efforts
  3. second, U.S. stands for universal rights of people and he listed those; recognized the power of technology; U.S. will continue to support democracy
  4. third, he has spoken out for the need for change; Mubarak recognizes the need for change; this is a big moment of change for Egypt again; only the Egyptian people can decide what kind of change comes about; but it must begin now; and it must be free and fair and responsive to people's aspirations
  5. we will continue to help when asked and cooperate fully; their approach has been an aspiration to many; (really??? is he encouraging more of this???)
  6. many questions about the future remain unanswered but the people will find the answers together.
Speech ended 6:47 -- about 4.5 minutes.  There you have it.

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