Riots In Egypt: Mubarak Dissolves Egyptian Government; Obama Responds

January 28, 2011

Diane W. Collins


Pres. Obama Responds

Riots in Egypt, Mubarak Dissolves Government


Egypt - Riots and violence in the streets over the past four days led Pres. Hosni Mubarak to dismiss his cabinet and government saying he would appoint a new government tomorrow.


Mubarak does not intend to step down and told Egyptians he "takes the side of citizens to express their views." But, Mubarak also vowed to "safeguard the security" of the Egyptian people saying there is a fine line between "freedom and chaos,"... legitimate protest and riot. After the speech protestors chanted, "Down with Mubarak, down with the regime," indicating they may not have viewed the cabinet and current government as the problem. Mubarak attempted to paint himself as a "friend of the poor" saying, "I hear you. I know your grievances. I follow them daily."


President Obama reserved his remarks, waiting until President Mubarak had addressed the Egyptian people. Walking a very tight line, President Obama supported stability in the region, but said reforms needed to take place.

President Mubarak of Egypt

President Hosni Mubarak



The United States has long viewed Egypt as an ally in the Middle East. President Mubarak has been in power for three decades. Many see him as a dictator. Mubarak became president of Egypt in 1981 after the assassination of Anwar El-Sadat. Egypt is a key ally and receives $1.5B annually in foreign aide from the US. American Presidents have voiced their desire to see a more democratic government in Egypt that reflects the will of the people. And, Americans will always support a peoples' right to rule themselves, however, danger lurks in the fragility of new found freedom.


Many are referencing back to the 1979 deposing of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in Iran. Deja vu is not something we'd like to see. If Mubarak is deposed, the Muslim Brotherhood may attempt to bring about an Islamic fundamentalist government overtaking what many see as the moderate protestors looking for better economic conditions and more participation in the Egyptian government.


What happens next depends upon tomorrow. If the "new government" is nothing new, and there is violence against the people in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria... everything changes.


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