PBS News Hour: Turmoil in Egypt with Clemons, Samer Shehata & Steven Cook


PBS News Hour had me in evening before last along with Georgetown University’s Samer Shehata and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Steven Cook who was in Tahrir Square during the early part of the protests. Judy Woodruff anchored the discussion for which there is a transcript here.
steve clemons pbs news hour february 2011.jpgOne of the really interesting points of discussion were my and Samer Shehata’s views — as well as Steven Cook’s — of where the traditional Egyptian “establishment” was in these protests.
Two days ago when this show was recorded, I believed — and still do to some degree — that the “establishment” in Egypt thinks it will outlast the protesters and eventually have the opportunity to use legalistic methods to slowly strangle reform.
Shehata made an impassioned case that such an approach would not be wise for the establishment — but then Cook argued, as I did, that the elites in Egypt are really much more on the same page with each other and sending consistent, coordinated messages than the media tends to recognize. Given the announcement today that Gamal Mubarak, the heir apparent until recently to the Hosni Mubarak political franchise, has resigned his posts in the National Democratic Party, perhaps the more wealthy stakeholders in Egyptian society will begin to take reform more seriously as they see less chance of the Mubarak operation really holding on.
More soon.
— Steve Clemons


3 comments on “PBS News Hour: Turmoil in Egypt with Clemons, Samer Shehata & Steven Cook

  1. Eric Lowe says:

    I think that is a good sign for Egypt that that the government is realising that it has to drop the president if it wants to hang on to power. However that will not mean democracy outright. The country needs the government to transition into free elections if that senario is to happen. My thought is that the government will remain unchanged with only the hated Mubaraks out of the picture. It could only be the change of a new face since the president is the only focal point of discontent. Once he is gone, the military and members of the old regime could technically retain control.


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