Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: President Obama is certainly worried about Egypt, and probably appreciates my thoughts on the matter. Just saying.
Dear Mr. President,
With revolutions and cooking steaks, the tricky part is knowing just when to say, “We’re done!” I’m watching that in Egypt right now, as are you. I see those massive throngs of people demanding the departure of President Mubarak, and I understand their frustration with his latest speech.
Taken together with the comments of other government types, the message was an “I’m still in, but I’m out,” kind of deal. It’s like when a company let’s some mid-level boss’s contract expire, but he’s still got three weeks to hang around before the final day. No one in the office knows quite how to treat him or whether they should listen to anything he has to say.
So the protesters are left in limbo. They seem to have achieved their goal in all meaningful ways. Mubarak is done for. He’s packing the cardboard boxes with his mementoes, like his I’m the Boss coffee mug, his Garfield comics, and his Great Pyramids snow globe.
But the thing is, he is still in the process. His opponents want to see him out the door, pushed into a rattletrap car and driven off the edge of the Earth. Or put into jail. Or something like that. And some seem unwilling to break camp, go home, and take up the dirty, hard work of rebuilding their country until they see it.
I suspect this is a mistake. Absolute victory is rare in almost anything. He may wind up being ridden out on a rail, but that’s not very likely. And even if they get that, will it help them with their problems?
Like I said, figuring out when a revolution is done is difficult. This one may have a long way to go until all the issues in the Egyptian government are resolved to the satisfaction of the populace. But it is just as important to realize, that the desire for revenge or retribution may never be satisfied, and at some point every day spent seeking it is a day wasted - a day spent dwelling on the past when their country desperately needs to consider its future.
Just a few thoughts for a Friday. Did you try to call last night, btw? I thought I heard the phone ringing, but I was upstairs replacing a light bulb.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with