Say you have a roomate that has been stealing from you the entire time they have lived in the apartment. You pressure them to finally leave, and they say they want to at least stay for one more month. What would you do? That is pretty much what Egypt has to ask themselves about their President, Hosni Mubarak. A few hours ago he announced that he will not run for another term and will serve out the remainder of this one which ends in September. Ummm...Hosni? You're not Joe Lieberman. Liberman can do that because folks in Connecticuit aren't rioting in the streets demanding his head (well, they aren't rioting in the streets anyway). Your people want you to go yesterday! That might be a little rough for you to deal with, but there aren't too many people looking to back you up - except the expected crew on the right who just loooooves how you keep everyone in line over there with your dictatorial ways! Thing is, they don't have any pull and they are in tears over all of this now. As you should be. Leave now, Hosni. Because you know that thing you said at your press conference about how you want to die in Egypt? Egypt wants that too.
New York Times
CAIRO, EGYPT - President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt said he would not run for another term as president of Egypt.
His decision came after President Obama told the embattled president of Egypt, that he should not run for another term in elections scheduled for the fall, effectively withdrawing American support for its closest Arab ally, according to American diplomats in Cairo and Washington.
Mr. Mubarak issued the statement on Tuesday evening, saying it was necessary for the stbility of the nation.
But it was far from certain that the concession would placate protesters in the streets of Cairo, who have made the president’s immediate and unconditional resignation a bedrock demand of their movement.
The message from Mr. Obama was conveyed to Mr. Mubarak by Frank G. Wisner, a seasoned envoy with deep ties to Egypt, the American diplomats said. Mr. Wisner’s message, they said, was not a blunt demand for Mr. Mubarak to step aside now, but rather firm counsel that he should make way for a reform process that would culminate in free and fair elections in September to elect a new Egyptian leader.
This back channel message, authorized directly by Mr. Obama, appeared to tip the administration beyond the delicate balancing act it has performed in the last week — resisting calls for Mr. Mubarak to step down, even as it has called for an “orderly transition” to a more politically open Egypt.
It was not clear whether the administration favored Mr. Mubarak turning over the reins to a transitional government, composed of leaders of the opposition movement and perhaps under the leadership of Mohamed ElBaradei, or to a caretaker government led by members of the existing regime, including the newly appointed vice president, Omar Suleiman.
Ranya Kadri reported from Amman, Jordan, and Ethan Bronner from Ramallah, West Bank. Isabel Kershner contributed reporting from Jerusalem and J. David Goodman from New York.