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February 10th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #752 'What's next in Egypt?'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama is clearly calculating every day how to address each new development in Egypt. I’m calculating how much sleep I’ll get if I can finish this letter in the next fifteen minutes. Ha!

Dear Mr. President,

Our dog has been in a wonderful mood lately. Can’t say exactly why. For that matter, I can’t guarantee that I even know what her “mood” is, it just seems that way. Lots of prancing around, barking, and giving us those adorable looks that say “Hey, I feel great. Want to go out back and bite sticks?”

Not sure why I am mentioning it to you, other than the fact that it is very late as I write this and she is curled up at the other end of the sofa.

I suppose you don’t have a lot of time for considering such things, what with Egypt still boiling around. It’s been interesting to watch the standoff over there. A real test of wills, wouldn’t you say?

I was talking to some Middle East experts and asking them, “So what do you think the government of Egypt will look like once all of this is over?” Most of them seem to share the apparent view of your White House - that Mubarak and company are done like a piece of chicken fried steak. But beyond that it gets murky.

Will the next regime be pro-American? Maybe a bit, but not likely to the degree that we’ve known in recent years. Will it be willing to go along with past deals on the relationship with Israel? To a point. The Egyptians, these experts suggest, realize that all sorts of things from American aid to tourism hinge of some kind of passably peaceful co-existence with Israel, so while they will undoubtedly toughen up their stance, they might wisely avoid full-on provocations.

But like I said, the further you get into it, even the best minds end up saying, “Who knows?” I’m sure all that just makes your job tougher. So my advice is to play it like chess right now: Don’t make any move without considering the move after it, and the move after that. That won’t show you necessarily what is coming next, but like the folks in Tahrir Square these days, you have to prepare for a lot of contingencies.

Good luck with that, and hope we can talk sometime today. I’m around, give a buzz.

Regards,
Tom

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Farris Haj

    letter to President Mubarak:
    don't you have any shame
    don't you have any shred of decency
    don't you know what it means to love your country and love your people ?
    the time is here and now for you to ship out and go far far away.
    give Egypt back its dignity, its honor, and its pride. the people have spoken, and they've spoken to get rid of you, and your posse. it's time .

    F. Haj

    February 10, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  2. alemayehu

    Hi Anderson

    Tonight Mubarak was ready to announce his resignation and that was the whole aggrement and plan. That was he supposed to announce, but once he got to the podium he completely forgot everything because of his alzhimer and suddenly thought he was invited to address a crowd in some kind of celebration. He doesn't mean to say what he said. Please he is 82 years old.

    February 10, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  3. pen

    Hi,
    " Why are we raising funds for elections, we can use those hard earned tax dollars for health care reform. The 2012 election should be a fait accompli for Pres Obama. The Gop will only attract BLUE HAIRS who will only elect another GW BUSH. Please do not use our hard earned tax dollars to put another BUSH in office for reasons such as weapons of mass destruction. BUSH created and left a massive mess. They will always be frustrated and only display scowls on their faces."

    February 10, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  4. Nermin

    Dear Sir,
    Just wanted to clear a point in Mubarak's speech.
    Hosni Mobarak said he will leave his political power to his vice president. Only three points in the constitution that will be left out. So legaly Mobarak has no saying in any part. Another word Omar Sulaiman holds most power now.
    His speech was very long and maybe that is why we were all confused.

    Thank you

    February 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  5. Courtney

    It truly speaks to how, while outwardly appearing diverse, the US is unfailingly not so. A great shame for one's who espouse such moral superiority in this world.

    February 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  6. Courtney

    Is it just me or is there some kind of media exclusion of any dark skinned Egyptians who are not of Arab decent. From what I understand, Egypt is more diverse than the panels of experts and such would have your audience believe. Generally that is my same argument for how unbalanced coverage in Africa is on a whole. Very very lopsided.

    February 10, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  7. Dusty Putorium

    Mr. President, Keep standing up for the Egyptian people enough of defending Mubarak and the 70 Billion he has made off the backs of his people for 30 years and we have supported this one man telling 80 million what to do? Is he a God? Not in my viewpoint. As a mother, grandmother I cry out to these beautiful people in Egypt Let My People Go! We can no longer let anyone just take over lives of a people like we did with Castro and look at that country now? Time we go into Cuba too and stop this kind of govt. that makes a people like slaves cannot go on anymore stop it now, Mr President stop it now!

    February 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  8. joe

    There are some excellent presidential candidates in the crowd of protesters. I'm voting for the man that said "Give me Liberty or give me death!"

    February 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  9. jacqueline stewart

    Anderson, Bush invaded Iraq because of the dictator Saddam Hussein, this is a situation that calls for similar action. I don't want American lives to be lost over this but, Mubarak is as brutal as Hussein. We are between a rock and a hard place, but something has to be done to help these brave Egyptians.

    February 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  10. Sam Hargis

    What seems to be getting overlooked by all the major media scources, is the real reason for the crackdown on reporters just prior to the violence in the square, and why the govt's plan didn't work.
    Just when the square had been totally cleared of outside new cameras and all live feeds removed, one scource reported(likely CNN) that several bus loads of new, special, black clad troops, had very quietly arrived on the scene. But, despite all of their efforts, they were unable to totally stop foreign scorces from at least verbally reporting events as they happened. So, the storm troops were never deployed to crush the uprising.

    It is satelite TV, and internet scources like facebook & Twitter, that are the new dimension to media control, and one the current regime has yet to learn how to effectively silence.

    February 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  11. Halil Simsek

    I listened to Mubarak's speech in Arabic, he said that he had transferred some of his presidential powers to the vice pres. Omar Sulaiman "in accordance with the contstitution" which means that he did not make any concessions in this matter either, because it was the constitution that empowered the vice pres. with vice presidential powers.
    This man is sick, he needs treatment. he believes that everything in egypt "the egypt" derives its existence from him, and therefore, were he to step down there will be Egypt no more. what if he were to die of natural causes today? would Egypt plunge into chaos?

    February 10, 2011 at 4:21 pm |