Hosni "Hank" Mubarak sure is learning from the best criminals in the world.... Fast. Well over two years after Hank Paulson told Congress that the world would end unless he was given unlimited power to give the banks however much money the needed, Egypt's despotic president has done exactly the same, and in an interview with ABC's Christiane Amanpour, "said he's fed up with being president and would like to leave office
now, but cannot, he says, for fear that the country would sink into
chaos." And there you have it: the same mutual assured destruction strategy used by bankster and by despotic tyrant alike. One wonders - is there really any difference between the two.
From Christiane Amanpour:
I've just left the presidential palace in Cairo where I met for about 30 minutes with president Mubarak. He told me that he is troubled by the violence we have seen in Tahrir Square over the last few days but that his government is not responsible for it. Instead, he blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned political party here in Egypt. He said he's fed up with being president and would like to leave office now, but cannot, he says, for fear that the country would sink into chaos.
I asked President Mubarak about the violence that his supporters launched against the anti-government protestors in Liberation Square.
He told me, "I was very unhappy about yesterday. I do not want to see Egyptians fighting each other."
When I asked him what he thought seeing the people shouting insults about him and wanting him gone, he said, "I don't care what people say about me. Right now I care about my country, I care about Egypt."
I asked how he felt after giving the speech Monday night, saying he would not run for president again, he told me he felt relief.
For now, Mubarak remains in the presidential palace with his family, heavily guarded by armed troops, tanks and barbed wire. We were joined by his son Gamal, who was once widely considered to be his successor. Mubarak told me it was never his intention to have his son follow him into office.
And he pledged his loyalty to Egypt. I would never run away, he said, I will die on this soil. He also defended his legacy, recounting the many years he has spent leading his country.
While he described President Obama as a very good man, he wavered when I asked him if hour felt the U.S. had betrayed him. When I asked him how he responded to the United States' veiled calls for him to step aside sooner rather than later, he said he told President Obama "you don't understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now."
I asked him how he himself was feeling. He said I am feeling strong. I would never run away. I will die on Egyptian soil.
We forget: did Hank Paulson also say he would die on US soil when he used the same rhetorical contraption in September 2008? Or does he have everyone's permission to do so in a non-extradition treaty country, next to his stash of gold and his private jet?