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Egypt: When Mubarak's Speech Fires Back

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

Mubarak addressing Egyptians. Photo credit: Sultan Al Qassemi

Mubarak addressing Egyptians. Photo credit: Sultan Al Qassemi

After keeping quiet as protests raged Egypt for four days in a row, a defiant president Hosni Mubarak addressed the nation early today, calling protesters “gangs” and “thugs.” He also fired the cabinet and said that he would reinstate a new cabinet today. Netizens from around the world are not only disappointed, but outraged with his speech.

The Angry Arab News Service's As'ad Abukhalil rants:

Mubarak is speaking live. He is digging a bigger hole for himself. He is insulting the protesters. HE said that he has been sympathetic to the poor all his life. Is that why billionaires surround you, you dictator?

In another missile, the Lebanese-American writes:

Has called for the resignation of his cabinet. Somebody needs to tell him: it is you that people want to resign, you fool.

And he compares Mubarak's speech to that of ousted Tunisian president Zein El Abidine Ben Ali, who was forced to leave Tunisia after 29 days of protests:

You may compare this speech by Mubarak to the last speech by Bin `Ali. It just made things worse. He talked as if the people are merely blaming prime minister Nadhif for their misery. How dictators fight to the last second. I personally think that Mubarak probably would have surrendered power today but the US pushed him to stay in power. I am speculating but I have a feeling I am right. I received information that the US is trying to install the Egyptian Army's chief-of-staff as the new leader.

UAE writer Sultan Al Qassemi, who has been paying close attention to Egypt since the beginning of its protests on January 25, describes his outrage and disappointment in a series of tweets.

He says:

He didn't raise curbs on the internet or the mobile phones. He didn't offer to meet with opposition leaders. He didn't acknowledge Egyptians

and adds:

He didn't even say he won't run again later this year, install his son or dissolve parliament! A new gov controlled by Gamal is all you get

and explodes:

The biggest bullshit speech that any aging dictator has ever made in history. What a load of crap.

Meanwhile, here are more reactions from around the world:

This tweet has been retweeted more than 100 times:

@sivavaid: To Mubarak, denial IS just a river in #Egypt.

US President Barack Obama too comes under fire for his “lenient” attitude towards what is happening in Egypt:

@SamiraAhmedUK: Mubarak's idea of change at the top:”I've sacked everyone except me.” Obama's address on the need for “concrete” change pretty weak.

And Vice-President Joe Biden doesn't fare any better:

@evgenymorozov: Joe Biden eagerly labeled Assange as a “high-tech terrorist” but is reluctant to call Mubarak a “dictator”. America at its best.

Some of Mubarak's statements drew laughs and ridicule on Twitter.

@nanawireko: Hahahaha RT @Zichivhu: #Mubarak, “I'm here to protect Egypt”. #YouLie #SOB

@Mayousef: The People just ousted Mubarak as the mayor of Egypt on @foursquare #jan25

@ringlunatic: RT @unessentialist: RT @yasminhamidi: Mubarak: To prove I am not a dictator, I will personally name a new government! #jan25 #egypt

@omarbaddar: Joke of the day — Obama: “Hosni, I think you need to write your goodbye letter to your people.” Hosni Mubarak: “Why? Where are they going?”

Others went back to the history books to remind us:

@MAlshehri “Mubarak is the third longest ruler in the 5000 year history of #Egypt behind Mohamad Ali Basha and the Pharoah Ramseis II #Jan25

If anything, it seems that the speech has created more outrage on the street:

@EANewsFeed: #Egypt: 1st-hand from Cairo “Spirit is defiant. Protests still going on.” http://tinyurl.com/6ysbf9a #Jan25 #sidibouzid

@monaeltahawy: #Mubarak behaves like dictator who deserves his people's fear. Instead, he's earned their hate & rage. And protesters DON'T FEAR HIM. #Jan25

@AhmadHKh: The images of #Egypt military tanks in Cairo with graffiti on them saying “down with Mubarak” is quite telling #Jan25

And there are more calls for Mubarak to pack and leave Egypt:

@UnitedArabs: #Mubarak, today is a fine day for you to gather your family members and cronies and take a one way trip out of #Egypt

@alykhansatchu: “Mubarak, Mubarak,” they shouted. “Saudi Arabia is waiting for you.” That's when the water cannons were turned on the crowd –

@aqsaaa_: First your people Then the US. Now your army. When your closest allies defy you #Mubarak it would be sensible to step down #Egypt #Jan25

Stay tuned for more coverage from Egypt as massive protests against Mubarak's 30-year rule continue for the fifth day.

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

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  • Lenny

    The USA condemns Castro, Chavez, Iran, Syria and others for not holding proper elections but does not condemn Mubarak, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Afghanistan and others for being dictatorships. Whats the difference well one lot kisses Americas butt and the others kicks Americas butt. So the USA tries to defuse another crisis which it created.

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