A “Muhammad” is coming down from the mountain


by Danny Schechter

Politics hates vacuums.  Political change demands leaders.  And so, it is coming to pass that an NYU Grad (who went to Law School, I believe, alongside Geraldo Rivera), and Nobel Laureate (for encouraging an end to nuclear proliferation) Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei, globally known and media blessed, is emerging as the choice of the diverse opposition in Egypt.  The so-called international community is comfortable with him.  He has been a mostly reliable functionary.

He was a long shot–but now he seems to be the only shot.  Anthony Shadid of the New York Times puts it this way:

“Though lacking deep support on his own, Mr. ElBaradei, a Nobel laureate and diplomat, could serve as a consensus figure for a movement that has struggled to articulate a program for a potential transition.  It suggested, too, that the opposition was sensitive to the uprising’s image abroad, putting forth a candidate who might be more acceptable to the West than beloved in Egypt.”

Last night, he had some advice for Washington: “It’s better for President Obama not to appear that he is the last one to say to President Mubarak, it’s time for you to go,”  Mr. ElBaradei said.

The Washington Post reports they are hearing him, kind of and cautiously:

“The Obama administration firmly aligned itself on Sunday with the protest movement that has overtaken Egypt, calling for an “orderly transition” to a more representative government amid rising U.S. concern that the demonstrations are turning violent and that unrest could spread across the Arab world.

On the 7th day of the protests, it is the people who are continuing the pressure to remind us that “its not the ship that makes the waves but the motion on the ocean.”  The Financial Times reports this morning: “Egyptian protesters remained camped out in central Cairo on Monday, the seventh day of anti-government demonstrations and vowed to stay until they had toppled the president, Hosni Mubarak.”

But the modern day Pharaoh Hosni Mubarak is not the only enemy of the Egyptian people.  He may be going – but what is coming?  Don’t be fooled into thinking that the US financed military is the savior.  And don’t be fooled into thinking a political “reform” is enough.


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