Krauthammer: Egypt at a ‘tipping point,’ predicts ‘explosion’ when the mosques empty tomorrow

Hosni Mubarak’s vague address to the Egyptian people on Thursday has led to uncertainty in the country that has some prognosticating the worst.

On Thursday’s Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” Charles Krauthammer accused the Egyptian president of being delusional, and said his response will lead to “an explosion.”

“That was a shocking speech and what is shocking about it is they had raised the expectation of the crowd in the square,” Krauthammer said. “There was an announcement by the military earlier that their demands would be met, as we saw all of the dancing, and all of a sudden you get a speech where the president of Egypt is clueless, delusional, speaking in paternalistic tones the way he did two weeks ago, as if nothing has happen[ed] — speaking to the demonstrators as his children. They see him as their tyrant. It seems to me that they are at a point where they are going to have an explosion.”

Krauthammer laid out three scenarios contingent on whether the military turns on the people, breaks up and does nothing or, the best of the scenarios, institutes a “soft coup.”

“When the mosques empty tomorrow, there’s going to be a mass of people that will be extremely angry and here I think we’re at the tipping point,” Krauthammer said. “The question is — what will the army do? It’s always been the central issue — what will the army do. Either it’s thrown in its lot with Mubarak, in which case I think it’s looking at a catastrophe because it will have to shoot on the crowd and lose all the stature it has, or it won’t shoot and it disintegrates and we’re in chaos. Or I think, the one possible outcome that might be a beneficent one would be a coup of some sort — a soft coup in which Mubarak and those around him are pushed out in dignity, they’re not shot, and the military takes over, has a provisional government, appoint technocrats and has a transition to elections and democracy.”


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Mixed signals have been sent as to whether or not Mubarak or Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman is in charge.

“Clearly that is a spin that the Mubarak administration is putting on right now,” Krauthammer said. “If that was so and that was intended as the message, it should have been at the top of the speech, spelled out openly and clearly. It was at the end of the speech, in the middle of ramblings about being buried in Egypt, and it wasn’t clear that some of the powers or all of the powers. And to say that he is no longer the president, only de jure and not de facto, seems to be a patch on to something that was a disaster that the Egyptian administration is trying to undo. I’m not sure it will convince anyone. He is still in power. Unless he goes, there is going to be violence.”