Hosni Mubarak, in a speech this morning:

“Mistakes can happen in any political system and in any country, but at the same time, the most important is to recognise them and trying to put things on the right track as quick as possible, and to punish those who commit crimes. And I tell you here, as a head of state, I do not find any embarrassment at all in listening to the youth of my country, and to satisfying their demands. But the embarrassment would only lie in the fact — and I would never permit — is that I would listen to any sort of intervention that would come from outside, from the outside world, whatever the source is, whatever the intention behind them are.

“Dear youth of Egypt, dear citizens, I had already announced before that I am not going to run in the upcoming presidential elections. I have already given a lot to this country for more than 60 years of my effort, whether during the years of war or years of peace, and I am going to adhere to this decision, and at the same time adhere to the decision of shouldering the responsibility in defending the constitution and the national interest of the people until the transfer of power and the transfer of responsibility, which is going to be to the one that the people will choose as their leader in transparent and free elections where guarantees are going to be there for full transparency and for freedom.

“This is the offer that I undertook before Allah almighty and the people and I’m going to keep my promise so that we would put Egypt on a path of security and stability, and would already out a perspective for coming out of this crisis and to satisfy the demands of the youth and the people in a way that respects the constitutional legitimacy and would not restrict it in any way. And at the same time put a framework for a peaceful transition of power through respectful dialogue between the different political parties of Egypt and with a sense of honesty and transparency.”

Niccolo Machiavelli, the Discourses on the First Decade of Livy, 1519:

“Every prince can be advised that he will never live securely in his principality so long as those live who have been despoiled.

“Princes should understand, therefore, that they begin to lose the state from that hour when they begin to break the laws and ancient institutions under which men have lived for a long time. And if as private citizens, having lost the State, they should ever become so prudent to see with what facility principalities are kept by those who are counselled wisely, they would regret their loss much more, and would condemn themselves to greater punishment than that to which others have condemned them.”

Peter Fray

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