Mubarak steps down

Egypt’s Vice President Suleiman has told Egyptians that President Mubarak is stepping down. ABC News reports:

“My fellow citizens. In this difficult time that the country is going through, President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak has decided to relieve himself of his position as president and the Supreme military council has taken control of the state’s affairs. May God protect us,” Suleiman said during his somber one-minute announcement on TV.

TV networks are showing jubilant crowds in Tahrir Square celebrating the announcement.

Egypt’s future remains cloudy. Undoubtedly there will be calls for removal of Suleiman prior to scheduled elections in September.

The Muslim Brotherhood is highly organized, while the civil institutions of a democratic republic are weak to non-existent.

For the moment, Egypt has been spared a violent revolution at the hands of a mob angered by Mubarak’s intransigence yesterday.

Now comes the hard part.

President Obama is slated to address the situation in Egypt at 1:30 PM EST.

More claptrap from Clapper

ABC News is reporting that a spokesman for DNI James Clapper has “clarified” remarks made by the intelligence chief before the House Intel Committee yesterday.

Among other things, Clapper claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood was a “largely secular” organization that had “eschewed violence.”

White House spokesman Jamie Smith:

“To clarify Director Clapper’s point – in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood makes efforts to work through a political system that has been, under Mubarak’s rule, one that is largely secular in its orientation – he is well aware that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization.”

How much the Muslim Brotherhood has eschewed violence and decried al Qaeda is subject to debate. Critics of the group point to its ties with Hamas, a terrorist organization according to the US State Department, for instance.

Does the administration believe no one watches video? Clapper clearly was not talking about the Egyptian government being secular. He was saying the Brotherhood was largely secular. If anything, the clarification makes Clapper out to be even more ignorant.

The Brotherhood has “eschewed” violence as a tactic, not as a question of conducting jihad. As I point out in my piece at today, the supreme leader of the Brotherhood urges other Islamists to carry out war with the west – even women. They have never renounced violence, only dropped it temporarily as a tactic of jihad.

Clapper has got to spend more time with his family, don’t you think?

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