Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak is to step down tonight, two sources have told NBC News, losing his 30-year grip on power after 17 days of mass uprisings across the country.The Real Effect
NBC's Richard Engel reported that a high-ranking source inside the president's office said the newly appointed vice president, Omar Suleiman, would take over. This was confirmed by a second source.
State television reported that country's supreme military council had expressed its "support of the legitimate demands" of the protesters after an all-day meeting. The latest developments came on the heels of repeated warnings by members of the regime of a military crackdown or coup.
Some pro-democracy protesters reacted cautiously to the reports Mubarak was leaving, saying they would only believe them if and when he announced his departure on television.
President Barack Obama on Thursday said the United States would do all it can to support an orderly transition to democracy in Egypt.
"We are witnessing history unfold," Obama said.
History indeed. It is very telling that there is a revolt in Egypt of all places. With the Coptic Christian murders on the 1st (New Year) precluding this seeming evolution of this country, one doesn't have to think very hard to see some parallels to some sort of magical thinking here.
Now of course the difficult part of any sort of numerological thinking is the definitions. When did the riots officially start, when did they officially end? All of this in some ways becomes purely speculative because we do not know the conditions that are required to fulfill this type of doctrine. A religious moving of the goal posts if you will.
However, with dead Christians in the wings, the Egyptian army firing on its people and the Pharaoh seemingly stepping down, people need to take notice because this could get ugly fast. Keep your eyes peeled for the Neo-Prince of Peace. He could very well make an appearance in this situation.