I have written that Mubarak is a tough old bird—but yesterday I wrote that it was likely that Mubarak would resign because the Army was throwing its weight behind the protestors. I was half right. Mubarak has resigned but has turned over his power to the Army–not to the protestors. This is an extremely positive development, but it remains to be seen how this will affect the protests–once the protestors absorb what has happened.
Apparently, one of the most interesting sidebars during the last 18 days was the behind the scenes maneuvering between King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and President Obama. The White House yesterday released details of an Obama phone call with Abdullah in which (according to Washington), Obama called to ask Abdullah’s help in stabilizing Egypt. The Saudi version of this conversation was that 4 days into the Egyptian uprising, King Abdullah called Obama and testily told Obama that he would not tolerate Obama treating his old friend Mubarak badly—and telling Obama that if the US cut aid to Egypt, Saudi Arabia would supply it instead. By the way, it was at this time that Obama’s tune began to change and the insistence that Mubarak leave immediately was dropped. Whose version of events do you believe?