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SPECIAL BROADCAST: “Egypt is Free!”: The Post-Mubarak Future

NOTE: Find the original “Week in the News” roundtable morning broadcast here.

Egyptians celebrate the news of the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, who handed control of the country to the military, at night in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. (AP)

Thunderous history in Egypt today. And Hosni Mubarak, this time, is really out.  Finished.

After 18 days of unprecedented public outpouring in the streets of Cairo, Egypt’s strongman ruler — and U.S. ally — of 30 years is gone. Wild tears of joy are being shed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square tonight. And around the Arab world, after Tunisia and now Egypt, the crackling sense of a stunning political wave in motion.

Now, the questions. How will Egypt’s military handle its central role? Will Egyptians get the democracy they fought for?

-Tom Ashbrook


Rami Khouri, director of the Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University in Beirut. Internationally syndicated columnist and editor-at-large for Lebanon’s Daily Star Newspaper.

Ashraf Hegazy, executive director of The Dubai Initiative at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He grew up in Egypt and around the world. His mother was his country’s first female diplomat.

Nicholas Kristof, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and an Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times. He joins us from Cairo.

Mona El-Gobashy, professor of political science at Barnard College. For the last decade, she has been looking at protest waves in Egypt.

Anthony Cordesman, Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

Max Rodenbeck, correspondent for The Economist.

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  • geffe

    wow, all the comments are gone.

  • Sam Wilson

    Wow.. this is unprecedented..

    May Egypt get a better government!

    A Government that is Of The People, By The People, For the People!

  • Pingback: Mubarak steps down | globalnews4790

  • Jwihbey

    Note: This morning’s show is moved over to the blog — all the comments are there. We are in the process of reposting the audio above. -John, producer

  • Ellen Dibble

    Did all those six guests, Khouri through Rodenbeck, participate Friday morning? I was tracking the BBC out of Egypt and could have missed it. But I thought maybe there was an add-on hour out of Boston, and it would have overlapped Obama’s statement at 3:00, and all sorts of statements presented over the BBC throughout the day. The “special report” seems to be the same 10:00 AM audio.

    • Ellen Dibble, Massachusetts

      Producer (John Wihbey), today I figured out that the Special Report, the afternoon hour, which yesterday was NOT queued up here, is now (Saturday) available. Thanks.
      I am listening now.

      Apparently OnPoint created a careful post to answer my question here from 4:23 Friday, and I’m pointing this out because I never saw it. Or rather, it flashed across my screen just now (12:10 PM Saturday) like a bird flying across the window, very fast, and then disappeared.

  • Rennie

    If the clarity between the division of good and evil is clear in this situation, then does this means that it’s clear that the United States works (is in bed) with evil? That is, is it finally clear that the coozy relationship for decades between the U.S. and the Mubarak (renditions for torture, etc.) is/was evil? Will this revolution offer any clarity to the American public about its own government’s complicity with “evil”? Will this media feast of televised revolution provide any context to American policy and funding in support of Mubarak’s “evil” regime? Probably not–even after the jubilation fades.

  • Jay

    All those tens of billions of dollars we sent to Egypt over the years are really going to help Hosni Mubarak live like a king in Abu Dhabi. Isn’t foreign aid great?

  • geffe

    The army has taken over and for some it’s not all fun and games.

    As Egypt’s army vows democracy, prisoners decry abuse

    Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/02/11/108595/as-egypts-army-vows-democracy.html#ixzz1DhDt0rc5

  • Beverly


    You’re absolutely right! Are we in the Twilight Zone? Is the end of the world nigh? Martians? I blame Wikileaks.

    Just my luck, I finally have a few minutes to read a bit, and there’s almost nothing to read. Last night I posted something, & was very confused by the new format. Haven’t been here for awhile. Is today the first time it’s been used? Anyway, to my great surprise, my entry showed up, errors & all.

    Then I thought of something else, & typed another one. It vanished, so I tried again, & was informed that it was being processed, or something. It never stopped, so I waited a few more minutes, & began typing again, then tried to send it. The same thing happened, so I just let it do its thing overnight. This morning, still no luck.

    Thought I’d check to see if it/they somehow appeared; maybe they managed to escape from a black hole in cyberspace, & found their way back here. Now even the one that made it here last night is lost in space! I wonder if transmitters worn by those Vulture spies have anything to do with it?

  • Beverly


    Thank you for your help. (Now I just have to try to get there, using my iPhone.)

    Love “On Point”, by the way.

  • Beverly

    JAY, (12:22p.m.)

    Wouldn’t it be better if Conservatives started to pay attention to, & take care of, those who have already been born, who are alive, & who elected them to do just that?

    What about protecting OUR lives? Do we have to find a womb to crawl into before they’ll let US have health care?

  • Joan

    Yes, Egypt is free of the terrible dictator who made their lives miserable for the last 30yrs while he bowed to his Israeli and US apologists–all at the expense of his poor people and their human rights…

    What a horrible injustice he and previous US leaders are guilty of…all to keep the racist Zionist regime next door all propped up too… Someone, called it right when they said if the Egyptian army ever turned their
    Americans guns on the Egyptian people —it would have created rage
    on American streets…

    It should go without saying–it is beyond time to keep propping up the
    racist Zionist entity in Palestine with American aid and weapons…in
    violation of Federal laws governing aid and military assistance to
    known human rights….)

    And to think of how the Egyptian people wanted to shed their dictator
    and his militarism and compare this with the Israeli peoples’ desire to amass theirs–is so morally wrong and evil….This must must end too.

    Or they must go…..

    • geffe

      Interesting diatribe, and a bit much considering this is about Egypt, and not Israel.

  • Hubert Melvin

    I am an avid listner of your program and enjoy it very much. However; as a Black American and very pleased with the recent events in Eygypt but having a problem with comments with one of your guest. He said to the effect that ” Eygyptians has over 5000 years of exprience of ruling and sited all the autrocities done to them by the Brittish, French and the Americains through doctrines of imperialism and colonialism.” I agree but he didn’t address the fact that the original Egyptians were Black and were overthrown by the Arabs and killed,enslaved and minimalized. These Black Egyptians continues to be minimalized,shuned and discriminated against. The last time I’ve every see any image of a Black Egyptian in any way was that of Anwar Sadat and he distanced himself a least politically from his blackness.

    I would like see you or NPR to open up this conversation.

    Thank you.


  • Ellen Dibble, Massachusetts

    I’m listening to OnPoint’s Special Report from Friday afternoon. Cordesman is asking: If the elites go, does Egypt, with poverty and illiteracy rampant, have the wherewithal to build a modern state. I heard some Egyptian saying on the Charlie Rose show last night that the wealth created by corruption/cronyism should not be taken away. If you want the country to hold together, you don’t start out with vengeance; you start with the South African model of Reconciliation. You do a re-set. Otherwise he said there would be score-settling, starting at the top, and trickling down to everybody’s next door neighbor who had done x, y, or z. You have to transcend that ASAP.
    I’ve heard others saying the Egyptian expatriates — those who were smart enough to get out of Egypt in the past — might want to go back and start to build their own country. Who will count and report that?
    I’ve heard the military is 30 percent of the Egyptian economy, and another large percent is tourism. Private enterprise has been deterred from investment because of the large degree of cronyism.
    Big issues, to be sure.
    I do think that just as in the Soviet Union there were organizational strengths that surpassed those in the USA because it had to withstand the secret police, had to have much stronger bonds of trust. Because of the LACK of public organizations, there was more muscle, shall we say, “on the ground,” without sponsorship or membership. There was not a lot of reporting that I saw about exactly how that played out.
    I’m trying to think if I would feel safe camping out in the local square for two weeks. Would others stand guard so I could sleep? Would various “camps” manage to co-exist respectfully beyond a day or so?
    So now we have Algeria, next “up to bat,” and what will Osama bin Laden be thinking about THAT?

  • Beverly


    Please help! One of my missing messages mysteriously turned up when I tried to type this message. I tried, numerous times, to send it somewhere. Sent it to everything available, though I don’t know what any of it means, but saw it nowhere. It’s stuck in the “waiting room”, so I can’t send anything until it’s out of the way. I just tried to reply to someone’s comments, & in the space where I should have been typing, was the thing I’m not able to send.

    Also, several things I’ve sent haven’t shown up anywhere, as far as I know. Using “back” arrow, with iPhone, used to bring back what was just typed, but it doesn’t work anymore.

    Thank you. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Finally, very frustrated, had to delete intended comments, (never sent, & lost in cyberspace until very recently), so I could send this to you.

    What should I do to retrieve all lost comments, & where should they be sent, to end up at blog?

    Earlier, I sent a reply to someone. My reply turned up in one place, but comments I was replying to were somewhere else. I re-sent everywhere, with no luck.

    Things I tried to send during the night have turned up in “ready to be sent” area.

    I don’t know what’s going on. Please help.

    Life used to be so easy . . . relatively . . .

  • Beverly


    My last cry for help was typed last night, but couldn’t be sent. Just found it, & thought I’d try again. Decided to add more, continued typing.

    Since ther’s no way to scroll down, so the entire message may be viewed, I didn’t realize that there was more to the message (typed last night), below what I typed a few minutes ago. This has happened to me here more than once.

    As a result, the comments aren’t as I intended. What I typed moments ago, ended with the “thank you” sentence. I had no idea that all that stuff was hidden below, & inaccessable.

    Thank you.

  • david

    I find it strange those who would justify the killing of the unborn(abortion) in the name of inconvenience; but would have mercy (anti-capital punishment) on those who kill the living in the name of convenience.(murders)

  • David

    I hope someone over there finally gets off their rear end and pick up the trash and sweep the streets. I visited Egypt two years ago and was amazed how dirty it was just about everywhere we visited. When I visited Asia I always saw a person sweeping in front of their shop, home, etc..no trash tossed about, but in Egypt, it was just one big trash heap. What are they waiting for? Just clean it up.

  • Zinovy Vayman, Galilee

    Egypt is not free at all. The coup d’etat took place since the octogenarian president should have been thrown to wolves to pacify some strata of the society.
    No democracy–this Germanic invention–can be reproduced in the Middle East…

    However, long live to the semi-independent Sinai where Mr Mubarak continues to function at the former Israeli town of Ophira !

  • joan

    Re: Geffe ….Not about Israel

    Geffe, I pity your short sightness….If you don’t think the oppression of the Egyptian people for the last 30yrs at the hands of its dictator Hosni
    Mubarak and the infrigments on their human and political rights is not about Israel and indeed overall US designs in the Middle East and be-yond then I afraid you are missing the Big Picture and the root cause
    of the Egyptian unrest today…

    Grant it there are major economic problems in Egypt and a shocking distribution of wealth there also –yet it is my understanding this is
    only part of the big picture.

    I believe Mubarak’s constant bowing to Israel and the US was a sore reminder of how unjust Egypt’s Peace Treaty with Israel was as it de-prived the Palestinian people of their human and political rights too.

    Now this calls to mind something MLK, jr wrote from a Birmingham Jail
    on what constituted a just law (which is appropriate here when one
    of a just peace). King wrote when a law doesn’t benefit the needs of
    all people it cannot be considered just…( check out his letter with URL
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_from_Birmingham_Jail )

    Thus Egyptian’s peace treaty with Israel is unjust as it benefits only
    Israel and not the Egyptian people or the Palestinian people either ..

    And indeed it is becoming more unjust with the criminal isolation and barricade of the Gaza Strip by Israel and patch work of Israeli settle-
    ments slicing up Palestinian land in the territories and making their or-
    dinary lives next to impossible too… Not to mention how it is adding
    insult to their aspirations for statehood seem impossible too.

    Well, paradoxically this concept is resurfing close to home again as
    people like myself recognize how our own government’s militarism
    and expansion in the Middle East and beyond is infriging on other peoples’ statehood and their desire for their sovereign rights –and
    are demanding it must all end –for the good of all. Joan

    • geffe

      Interesting view of the Middle East, but the uprising in Egypt has nothing to do with Israel. Granted Israel has a treaty with Egypt, which is still being honored. What do you think the new Egypt should do? Start another war with Israel? Is this your idea of peace in the region? You have a very skewed view of the politics of the region.

  • z. Vayman, Galilee

    The peace treaty between the State of Israel and Egypt (non-Arabic name of the country on the Nile) is relatively good for all sides including Palestinian population consisting of Arab and Hebrew speakers . It is also good vor the Sinai Bedouins who do not want Egypt to occupy their land. Do they want foreign troops of the US, Italy, Hungary, Fiji, etc. to be stationed on their Peninsula? Answer my question, please.

  • Tom from Hingham

    I just heard that CBS reporter Lara Logan was brutally beaten and gang-raped on the streets of Cairo last Friday. It took the news media until now (Tuesday night) to tell us. Although I had cheered the Egyptian peoples’ desire for freedom, this beating and gang-rape has only increased my hatred of Islam and its attitude toward women. I revere Jesus and the Buddha, but revile Mohammed. Check out on Google the writings of the late Italian journalist Oriana Falacci and her savage assessment of Islam. My hero right now is Charles Martel, who beat back the Muslim invasion of Europe at the Battle of Tours in 732 AD. My hatred for Islam has nothing to do with whatever God its adherents believe in. It has rather to do with how these adherents treat their fellow men and women–in the here and now and on this earth, rather than in heaven. Way to go, Muslims–I was an enemy, but thought I might become a friend as a result of your desire for political freedom. But I was wrong–I’m still an enemy because of your core, inhuman, beliefs. The Crusaders were right after all!

  • z. vayman , Galilee

    Cheers to Napoleon Bonaparte who proclaimed Jewish state in
    Palestine more than 200 years ago !
    He spoke at the Crusaders’ fortress of Acre (Acco) not far from here.

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