The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Mubarak’s Ceausescu Moment?

February 10, 2011

Marc Lynch calls Mubarak’s speech “The Worst Speech Ever.”

His assessment:

With the whole world watching, Mubarak instead offered a meandering, confused speech promising vague Constitutional changes and defiance of foreign pressure. He offered a vaguely worded delegation of power to Vice President Omar Suleiman, long after everyone in Egypt had stopped listening. It is virtually impossible to conceive of a more poorly conceived or executed speech.

Maybe, but watching Mubarak tonight reminded me of watching the delusional Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu in Nicolae’s last speech on December 21, 1989. Apparently they thought increasing wages by a 100 lei/month (less than $10 bucks was all that was needed to avoid the revolution). The disconnect from what’s happening in the streets coupled with the vapid bureaucratic language was eerily similar in the two speeches. The crowd turns on Ceausescu at the 2:30 mark leaving both he and Elena stunned:

Don’t know what will happen to Mubarak, but it didn’t end well for the Ceausescu’s….

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Jon Western has spent the last fifteen years teaching IR in liberal arts colleges at Mount Holyoke College and the Five Colleges in western Massachusetts. He has an eclectic range of intellectual interests but often writes on international security, U.S. foreign policy, military intervention, and human rights. He occasionally shares his thoughts about professional life in liberal arts colleges. In his spare time he coaches middle school soccer, mentors the local high school robotics team, skis, and sails.