New Egypt plan: Let’s send Mubarak on permanent medical leave or something

posted at 5:06 pm on February 7, 2011 by Allahpundit

This jibes with the story in the Journal on Saturday about a compromise in the works to retain Mubarak as a “figurehead” president but have his powers devolve to VP Omar Suleiman and whatever parliamentary government hatches from the egg that’s been laid. Why Mubarak would find quitting intolerable yet accept being shipped off to Europe per some manufactured health crisis is unclear to me — wouldn’t leaving office as a perceived invalid be even more humiliating? — but such are the vagaries of a dictator’s pride.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak may travel to Germany as a patient in part of an exit strategy proposed by the United States, the online version of German newspaper Der Spiegel reported Monday.

The United States government’s plan to end to the political chaos in Egypt appeared to be a scenario wherein Mubarak travels to Germany for a “prolonged health check,” the report suggested…

Talks are already being held with suitable hospitals, particularly with Max-Grundig-Klinik Bühlerhöhe in the southwestern town of Bühl near Baden-Baden, Spiegel Online reported, according to sources close to the clinic.

The NYT also got wind of the “annual medical leave” idea, although its source was one of the opposition spokesmen who are negotiating with the regime — which makes me wonder if this is propaganda being cooked up by protesters to embarrass Mubarak or to make him paranoid that Suleiman is secretly selling him out.

Meanwhile, via the Christian Science Monitor, a curious detail that might corroborate the “medical leave” scenario:

Two Brothers had just come from the group’s first formal talks ever with a government that has hounded the Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest and best-organized opposition group, for generations. Along with secular democracy activists and reform-minded tycoons, they sought to present a united front for reform to Vice President Omar Suleiman, the former spymaster whose career was largely built on crushing Islamist movements.

But the moment had a hint of a climbdown. The Brotherhood backed off its demand that Mr. Mubarak step down immediately and make other concessions, for apparently little concrete in return. Suddenly, the one clear demand uniting them with the youths in Cairo’s Tahrir Square – Mubarak’s resignation – was gone…

“I don’t know what [senior Brotherhood leader Esam el-] Erian is thinking, I really don’t,” said a secular protest leader, who’s spent years trying to bring the Brotherhood into a broader reform camp. “We all know who Suleiman is and what he’s capable of. This is splitting the Brotherhood and could leave all of us isolated and in danger.”

Why would they concede the single biggest demand of the protesters at a moment when Suleiman is feeling domestic pressure and White House pressure to negotiate? The only explanation I can think of is that opposition’s been assured that Mubarak will lose day-to-day power but that he needs to be retained as some sort of ceremonial leader as a concession to his supporters in Egypt. That’s tantamount to having him step down, which means the core demand has been accepted. But, er, why would the Brotherhood expect Suleiman (and Mubarak) to honor that pledge? They’re inherently untrustworthy.

In case you missed it yesterday, below you’ll find Obama’s interview with O’Reilly in which he assures the public that the Brotherhood “don’t have majority support in Egypt.” That may be true at the party level — most of the analyses I’ve seen suggest that they’d take 25 percent or so in elections — but the Brotherhood doesn’t need a parliamentary majority to push its agenda. Remember that poll I linked last week showing Israel’s favorable rating in Egypt at, er, 3/92? When you’ve got support that massive, you don’t need to control the government. All you need is … democracy:

Muslim Brotherhood leaders interviewed by TIME in Tahrir Square consistently spoke of their commitment to the civil, non-sectarian nature of the state. “The Muslim Brotherhood takes Islam as a template, but we don’t have a religious state or God-ordained rule,” says Ibrahim Zakaria, a Brotherhood official and former member of parliament. “We believe in democracy and all its rules. We believe in the principle that the people are the origin and source of sovereignty, and that the people chose their leaders in free and secret ballots.”

On the subject of whether or not a new Egyptian government should cancel the Camp David Accord, they demurred. “We are not going to cancel any agreement previously made by the government,” says Zakaria. “But if there is a referendum about this or any other agreement, then we obey the people’s will.”

They’ll push their platform by calling for public referenda and then demanding that the government obey the people’s will. A perfectly legitimate democratic means towards a perfectly illiberal end. I’ll give ‘em this: They’re not stupid.

Exit question: Would an Islamist upswing in Egypt force the U.S. to make regime change in Iran the new cornerstone of its Middle East policy? A “realist” might argue the opposite, that we should actually back off Iran now to create a balance of power based on the loathing between Shiite fundies in Tehran and Sunni fundies in Cairo. That’s a dangerous game, though — really dangerous, potentially — and it might create space for Iran to try to reach a detente with the Brotherhood based on their mutual anti-U.S. interest. Remember, the mullahs have been isolated by Sunni regimes in the region for a long time now; making common cause against the west and Israel with fanatics in Egypt would break that Sunni bloc. In fact, Iran has already achieved this on a small scale by sponsoring Hamas, which is really just the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian chapter. (That’s why Khamenei sounds so excited about the protests in Cairo.) The U.S.’s best option now to bust an Islamist bloc before it congeals might be to aid the green revolution in Iran, which would surely replace the mullahs with a more liberal (albeit maybe only slightly more liberal) regime.



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Iran first… Egypt later…

Khun Joe on February 7, 2011 at 5:09 PM

and it might create space for Iran to try to reach a detente with the Brotherhood based on their mutual anti-U.S. interest.

100% correct.

They may hate eachother, but they have a mutual hate of the USA, and that alone will unite them against the “infidels” and our allies.

If there ever were a more dangerous Powderkeg in the middle east, I can’t remember it.

portlandon on February 7, 2011 at 5:12 PM

So will Obozo join him and his billions?

tarpon on February 7, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Exit question: Would an Islamist upswing in Egypt force the U.S. to make a regime change in Iran the new cornerstone of its Middle East policy?

Not with Obama in the WH.

upinak on February 7, 2011 at 5:14 PM

This sums up the Obama admin. on Egypt…or “As the wind blows“.

Schadenfreude on February 7, 2011 at 5:16 PM

They’ll push their platform by calling for public referenda and then demanding that the government obey the people’s will. A perfectly legitimate democratic means towards a perfectly illiberal end. I’ll give ‘em this: They’re not stupid.

Pure democracy suits their aims perfectly in this case. What is the one common goal uniting all Arabs? Eliminating Israel.

a capella on February 7, 2011 at 5:16 PM

If there ever were a more dangerous Powderkeg in the middle east, I can’t remember it.

portlandon on February 7, 2011 at 5:12 PM

only pakistan, but they are not in the middle east…. though just as bad.

But you put them all together and that is a lot of hotheads with explosive powder.

upinak on February 7, 2011 at 5:16 PM

I just can’t watch that video of BHO…I’ve tried, I just can’t…

d1carter on February 7, 2011 at 5:18 PM

A “realist” might argue the opposite, that we should actually back off Iran now to create a balance of power based on the loathing between Shiite fundies in Tehran and Sunni fundies in Cairo.

Whatever, their true enemy is the USA and a certain other democracy in the region, and I don’t mean Iraq.

rob verdi on February 7, 2011 at 5:21 PM

only pakistan, but they are not in the middle east…. though just as bad.

But you put them all together and that is a lot of hotheads with explosive powder.

upinak on February 7, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Very true. With NoKo, Pakistan, & Egypt/Iran, it could be a very dangerous couple of years.

It’s a good thing we have Captain Barry navigating us through the naval mines, huh?/

portlandon on February 7, 2011 at 5:21 PM

So, Egypt may well become a poorer and more violent place to live.
It’s just sad.
And dangerous.

tomg51 on February 7, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Paging Ken Starr…Mr. Ken Starr…Please pick up the white phone….paging Mr. Ken Starr……

BobMbx on February 7, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Nah, make him PLO – “Permanent Latrine Orderly”

mojo on February 7, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Remember: these are the Clydes who are running around trying to convince you that Palin doesn’t know WTF she is talking about.

The entire region is about to go down the Islamist Ty-D-Bowl.

That part about a “referendum” on peace with the Zionist Entity should warm the cockles of everyone’s heart.

“Medical leave” indeed! That’s how they got the SHAH OUT OF TEHRAN!

This gang in the White House makes the cast of a Ron Jeremy film look like the Athenian Assembly under Pericles.

Nice goin’ Barky!

victor82 on February 7, 2011 at 5:26 PM

This is chilling,and DejaVu,

Obama said,that Hosni’s time is up………………….

Carter said,The Shah’s time was up and had to go…….

Egypt is a few weeks into this………………

Iran,went on for over 440 days………….

Obamas response to Egypt..lackluster

Carters response to Iran Feeble!
————————————-

If Egypt falls,so does the Middle East,and watching todays
release of the movie online, is a mirror of 79′!

http://www.iraniumthemovie.com/
******************************************************

This is America’s National Security,and Egypt must not
fall,somwhow,someway,this cannot be Obama’s decision,
as America’s safety,and the Western Free World is at
stake!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on February 7, 2011 at 5:26 PM

So, Egypt may well become a poorer and more violent place to live.
It’s just sad.
And dangerous.

tomg51 on February 7, 2011 at 5:23 PM

That’s how many “democratic freedom movements” end up.

the_nile on February 7, 2011 at 5:33 PM

I’m convinced Barry Soetero has Crohns disease. Will he please step down?

SouthernGent on February 7, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Didn’t the Shah also leave Iran for “medical reasons” ( I was 10 so pardon me if my memory is faulty)

And then they go ahead and tell you the hospital they are thinking of bringing him to? I guess there are no Muslim terrorists with hate for Mubarak in Europe hmmmm?

journeyintothewhirlwind on February 7, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Damn now Obama is pushing his healthcare plan to include the entire world !

William Amos on February 7, 2011 at 5:36 PM

“We believe in democracy and all its rules. We believe in the principle that the people are the origin and source of sovereignty, and that the people chose their leaders in free and secret ballots.”

And Obowma believes in off shore oil drilling…

Seven Percent Solution on February 7, 2011 at 5:39 PM

This sounds like the theme in Egypt!
======================================

The winner must promote social justice, remove corruption and discrmination, and stand against political, cultural and economic plots.

Ayatollah Khamenei
=========

“I have … so far prevented the lighting of a fire in this region which would be hard to extinguish, … but all should know that a very great and wide danger is quite near.”

Ayatollah Khamenei

canopfor on February 7, 2011 at 5:39 PM

It’s a good thing we have Captain Barry navigating us through the naval mines, huh?/

portlandon on February 7, 2011 at 5:21 PM

So Kim Jung Il, is that a Nuclear Bomb in your pocket, or are you just happy to blow us up./

upinak on February 7, 2011 at 5:44 PM

hopefully someone is gaming this out. the suez canal impact the EU more than us. basically shutting it down would force ships to go around africa making the shipping costs much greater. but this is survivable, and would do a lot of damage to Egypt.

So i think that the Suez will be ok. Also, I would note that we have always been able to keep the straits of Hormuz open, although i’m sure that Iran would love to close it once in a while.

Israel has the most to fear.

I have no clue why some discount the idea of some wanting a new Caliphate.

The Ottoman Caliphate wasn’t that long ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Caliphate

r keller on February 7, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Either Ojugears is just plain stoopid, or he secretly delights the idea of the Middle East aflame and the resultant painfully expensive U.S. oil and gas prices.

==============================================================

A chicken in every pot!

Volts for the folks!

hillbillyjim on February 7, 2011 at 5:48 PM

…delights in the idea…

hillbillyjim on February 7, 2011 at 5:49 PM

I’m beginning to doubt the ability of our Kenyan in Chief to do anything without WTFing it up.

pugwriter on February 7, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Does this Administration understand the concept of quiet diplomacy?

Every other hour, another “stance” from the Administration…

If Mubarak had doubts as to trusting the United States a few months ago…he sure as hell has confirmed all reason for doubt by today.

Barack, baby, pay attention.

Mubarak is leaving. He is going away. Not today, not tomorrow but a lot sooner than he had anticipated. Allow him to do so. Allow the Egyptians to figure out their own best course of action over the next few months.

This Egyptian thing is not about you…not at all about Obama…as much as you’d like it to be. {See another Nobel Peace Prize on your horizon, do ya?]

Allow the Egyptians to establish a few basic foundations for representative democracy in their own country…like a real national assembly chosen by the people without intimidation. Allow the Egyptians to come to grips with a few elements in their society who couldn’t care less for Egypt but do care a lot about being part of a greater Islamic Caliphate, and will get one over the dead and broken bodies of thousands and thousands of Egyptians in the process…bet on it. Then allow the Egyptians to chose their own leadership from among their own national assembly or from candidates that are authentic Egyptians. But allow them the right to do so.

But above all…will somebody tell the White House to shut up?

Seriously.

coldwarrior on February 7, 2011 at 5:52 PM

coldwarrior on February 7, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Amen.

hillbillyjim on February 7, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Let’s export Obama to Egypt and let them make him their new President. On second thought that could make Egypt Israel’s worst nightmare, so disregard. I guess we can’t export him anywhere. Who would want him.

JimGeb on February 7, 2011 at 5:55 PM

But above all…will somebody tell the White House to shut up?

Seriously.

coldwarrior on February 7, 2011 at 5:52 PM

This Administration has been Micromanaging us into Complete Collapse since 2008. Why not spread his “skills” onto the international stage and finish us all off?

portlandon on February 7, 2011 at 5:56 PM

But above all…will somebody tell the White House to shut up?

Seriously.

coldwarrior on February 7, 2011 at 5:52 PM

But that goes against the progressive’s impulsive need to appear to be doing something. Everything is a dog and pony show with these people.

pugwriter on February 7, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Maybe the White House position is evolving. Yeah, evelving. That’s the ticket.

Honestly, they’ve changed positions so many times that our Egypt policy should be called Kama Sutra diplomacy.

hillbillyjim on February 7, 2011 at 5:58 PM

But above all…will somebody tell the White House to shut up?

Seriously.

coldwarrior on February 7, 2011 at 5:52 PM

coldwarrior:Double Amen,when the suicide bombers start in
Egypt,then,the idoits/and sheeple,will see the
true picture!:)

canopfor on February 7, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Obama & O’Reilly. Two azzholes.

JimP on February 7, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Can we trade Obama for Mubarak with a 2nd round draft choice to be named later?

angryed on February 7, 2011 at 6:03 PM

From PJTV, a little info on the Muslim Brotherhood.

pugwriter on February 7, 2011 at 6:03 PM

I am not watching that interview. A$$ kissers make me wretch.

pugwriter on February 7, 2011 at 6:06 PM

In fact, Iran has already achieved this on a small scale by sponsoring Hamas, which is really just the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian chapter.

If Shite Iran funds and directs Hamas and Hamas is the Pali chapter of the Brotherhood, there can’t be all that much hatred between Sunnis and Shia can there? confusing isn’t it?

But as Jeb might say, “Islam contains vast amounts of wisdom, peace and awesomeness”.

BL@KBIRD on February 7, 2011 at 6:09 PM

New Egypt plan: Let’s send Mubarak Barack on permanent medical leave or something

(Corrected headline to present a much better idea…)

landlines on February 7, 2011 at 6:10 PM

coldwarrior on February 7, 2011 at 5:52 PM

I couldn’t agree with you more.

onlineanalyst on February 7, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Lest we forget, this is why we are defending Karzai and brave little Afghanistans fledgling demockracy. Allowing justice to proceed openly and following the laws of the new constitution. Hopefully Egypt will join Afghanistan in a bright subsidized future.

BL@KBIRD on February 7, 2011 at 6:31 PM

They put Saddam Hussein on ‘medical leave’ too. He had an acute neck issue, IIRC.

ted c on February 7, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Didn’t the Shah also leave Iran for “medical reasons” ( I was 10 so pardon me if my memory is faulty)

journeyintothewhirlwind on February 7, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Unlike Mubarak, the Shah actually had cancer. In a moment of National Shame, President Jimmy Carter, for seven long months, refused the Shah’s entry into the U.S. for medical treatment for his illness. Not a proud moment to be an American. Crappy treatment for a former ally.
See: http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/archives_roll/2003_01-03/dauherty_shah/dauherty_shah.html

BigAlSouth on February 7, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Exit question: Would an Islamist upswing in Egypt force the U.S. to make regime change in Iran the new cornerstone of its Middle East policy?

As has been tirelessly pointed out since this began, Obama is not against an Islamist upswing in Egypt or the Middle East. In fact, the evidence is he’s for it.

Cindy Cooper on February 7, 2011 at 7:33 PM

I’d say this presidency is based on the rolls of a 20-sided die, but that’s 19 more moves than Obama seems to have.

Chuck Schick on February 7, 2011 at 8:25 PM

I’d say this presidency is based on the rolls of a 20-sided die, but that’s 19 more moves than Obama seems to have.

Chuck Schick on February 7, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Magic 8-ball?

hillbillyjim on February 7, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Barack should take a permanent vacation ASAP.

His full pension would be worth it if he would go now.

profitsbeard on February 7, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Let’s send Mubarak on permanent medical leave or something

WTF NO WAIVER?

roflmao

donabernathy on February 8, 2011 at 2:02 AM