The World

Feb 3, 2011

Egypt: Mubarak’s hair-brained promises just a comb-over

If Mubarak’s war on his own people widens, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will have to consider what role they played, however indirectly, in encouraging it with their inept and slow-witted response.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

It’s clear now that Hosni Mubarak’s promises for reform yesterday was about as authentic as that awful hair dye job the 82-year-old dictator insists on maintaining. He has now declared war on the protesters calling for him to leave, sending in waves of thugs and uniform-less security forces to rain Molotov cocktails on them, charge them and beat them.

And while there have been more deaths and hundreds of casualties, it’s been a decidedly shoddy operation from Mubarak, whose handling of these protests has, from all perspectives, been astonishingly clumsy. His thugs this morning were unable to drive protesters from Tahrir Square, with the latter quickly adapting, forming barricades and sourcing their own petrol for Molotov cocktails. Some pro-Mubarak thugs have been caught and their police ID held up for all to see. Some of those charging on camels have been pulled off and beaten. And the targeting of journalists seems perfectly designed to increase Western attention on Egypt. You can kill dozens of locals without attracting too much attention, but beat a Western journalist, and look out.

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5 thoughts on “Egypt: Mubarak’s hair-brained promises just a comb-over

  1. Norman Hanscombe

    I don’t disagree with the sentiments of the article, but if I were (for example) an Egyptian intellectual I don’t think I’d be sleeping soundly. Mind you, if I were ANY sort of Israeli, I’d possibly be sleeping even less soundly?

  2. michael r james

    Mark Corcoran of (Australian) ABC Dateline and his crew were beaten up and robbed by these Mubarak goons last night. This hasn’t stopped Nick Kristof of the NYT from reporting on site. See his video reports at:

    He also had to retreat from the pro-Mubarak part of Tahrir square because the crowds were threatening to destroy his camera. Curious that the army vetted the hundreds of thousands of anti-Mubarak protestors for weapons etc but the much smaller numbers of pro-Mubarak protestors managed to get into the square without similar vetting. Kristof and other reporters have noted how these pro-Mubarak crowds have professional looking and very similar placards, an indication they have probably been organized by official Mubarak forces.

  3. baal

    I realise true pedantry is the province of wiser trolls than I but I just have to say that the term ‘hair brained’ is not ‘hair’ but ‘hare’ and refers to the proverbial lunacy of hares (in March). So the pun is ruined.

  4. nicolino

    Imagine the U.S. apologising for anything.

  5. Norman Hanscombe

    Baal, you aren’t being pedantic, and you’re not even splitting hairs so [on this point anyway] well done.

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