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Sunday, February 20, 2011

What the Saudis told Mubarak

I suppose it's not too surprising to hear what advice the Saudis gave Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt’s military, calculating that it was no longer worth defending an 82-year-old, out-of-touch pharaoh with no palatable successor and no convincing plan for Egypt’s future, ultimately sided with the protesters on the street, at least for Act 1.

In so doing, they ignored the advice of the Saudis, who, in calls to Washington, said that President Hosni Mubarak should open fire if that’s what it took, and that Americans should just stop talking about “universal rights” and back him.

As the contagion of democracy protests spread in the Arab world last week, Bahrain’s far less disciplined forces decided, in effect, that the Saudis, who are their next-door neighbors, were right. They drew two lessons from Egypt: If President Obama calls, hang up. And open fire early.
In fact, the Egyptian military defied orders from Mubarak to open fire. That may be why Libya and Bahrain are using mercenaries.

But the Saudis will open fire on protesters if they feel they need to do so. No one should fool themselves about that.

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At 12:12 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

In Libya, too. The remaining Arab dictatorships stay in power by shooting their own people and they have large and loyal forces that can be counted to ensure their population doesn't get any ideas about challenging the regime for freedom and democracy.

This is the Arab way.


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