February 10th, 2011
04:59 PM ET

What signal would Mubarak resignation send to Mideast?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Two weeks ago – nobody estimated the size of the story that was unfolding in Cairo. And I'm not sure anybody still does.
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It's entirely possible that what we've been seeing on our TV screens for the last two weeks could reach far beyond the borders of Egypt.

There are already rumblings across the Middle East that something much larger is happening.

If and when Mubarak steps down - he'll be following Tunisia's president, who was pushed out of power last month after similar popular uprisings.

Yemen's president has said he won't seek re-election when his term is up - and that he won't hand power over to his son.

And, after calls for reform - Jordan's King Abdullah sacked his whole government and appointed a new prime minister.

Meanwhile - protests, facilitated by technology like Facebook and Twitter, have sprung up everywhere from Algeria to Sudan and Syria.

It seems that after decades of repression in some of these countries... the people are finally being heard.

Earlier this week, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was asked about a possible domino effect in the region. He described what's happened in Tunisia and Egypt as a "spontaneous manifestation of discontent" coming from people who have both political and economic complaints about their governments.

Gates says he hopes that other leaders in the region take note of what's going on in Egypt and Tunisia and start addressing their citizens' concerns.

My guess is they may not have much of a choice.

Here’s my question to you: What signal would Mubarak's resignation send to other Middle Eastern countries?‬

Filed under: Egypt • Middle East
February 10th, 2011
04:58 PM ET

Getting Americans into the street like Egypt's protesters?


People enter Tahrir Square as news of the possible resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak seeped out today in Cairo. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

They have come for more than two weeks now. Egyptian protesters by the hundreds of thousands filling Tahrir Square and demanding change. Now it looks like they're going to get it.

These courageous people have been risking their lives day in, day out because they have finally had enough.

They've put their lives on the line for political change in a country where many of them have known nothing but Mubarak's regime. This is a country where the median age is 24.

Mubarak has been in power for 30 years.

Mubarak's government became corrupt and inefficient. Egyptian citizens got fed up with high unemployment and a bleak future while their leader, Hosni Mubarak, became one of the wealthiest men in the world, worth as much as $70 billion.

As the days passed, the movement has only grown stronger. Remarkably, it has remained a largely peaceful revolution. There was almost no violence until the day that armed pro-Mubarak thugs rode in on camels and horses.

Some demonstrators paid the ultimate price. Human Rights Watch confirms 300 Egyptians have died during the uprising and they say that number could double or triple or go even higher.

As Americans sit back and watch this history unfold from the comfort of our living rooms, it's hard to imagine what - if anything - could compel us in 2011 to do the same.

We did once, but that was long ago and much has changed. How bad would things need to get in the United States for Americans to stand up and demand change?

Here’s my question to you: What would it take to get Americans into the street like Egypt's protesters?

Filed under: Egypt • United States