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Wayne Root: Mubarak Ego Plunges Egypt into Tragedy

By Wayne Allyn Root, Former Libertarian Vice Presidential Nominee and Best-Selling Author

On Thursday Egyptian President Mubarak turned a crisis into a tragedy. His disastrous decision not to resign could very well lead to the end of Egypt as we know it and will almost certainly lead to Egypt burning. Mubarak is so tone deaf that he stoked the flames of the anti-Mubarak revolution. Now there is no way for this to end peacefully. This Egyptian crisis is now all but fated to end in tragedy.

Mubarak’s right move was obvious. In order to end the crisis, clear the square, stop the protests and fighting, and return his nation to normalcy, Mubarak had only to announce his immediate resignation, hand the country to his hand-picked successor, put the army in charge of security, and announce a transition plan to allow multi-party elections in September. Mubarak could have told the protestors that they won and now it’s time to go home, go back to work, and get our country (and economy) running again. Unfortunately, the massive ego of a tyrant just wouldn’t allow it. To the bitter end he had to have the last word, even if it causes massive bloodshed and chaos, and leads to Egypt falling into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Would anything have changed for the people of Egypt if Mubarak had resigned, but handed the keys to the country to the army, and his hand-picked successor? Probably very little, at least right away. Life would have returned to normal, business would have resumed, and tourism would one day (but not very soon) return. But the fact is, it would have allowed the protesters to save face and feel they had accomplished something historic: forced out a 30-year General and Dictator from a Middle Eastern nation, and opened the door to more freedom for themselves and their children.

But Mubarak just couldn’t get out of the way of his own ego. He couldn’t let the protesters in that Cairo square save face. He couldn’t give them even a small victory. That’s how it is with tyrants — it’s all or nothing. Mubarak has decided to go down with the ship. What comes next will not be pretty.What is so sad is that Mubarak’s decision hurts those that supported him- business owners, moderates, the army, anyone not interested in seeing Egypt fall into chaos and quite possibly the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Now we all watch a possible tragedy unfold. The protestors cannot back down now. They know to back down means Mubarak will arrest, imprison and torture all of them that the secret police can find. To leave the square in Cairo and disperse with Mubarak still in control is a non-starter. It’s either fight the revolution together, or die separately. That is their only next move.

The fear now is that Egypt will turn to the worst possible option — the Muslim Brotherhood. Mubarak could have ended his 30-year reign quietly and moved on with his legacy slightly intact. If he really cared about Eqypt, he could have paved the way toward a peaceful transition. But his ego would not allow it.

Now America can only watch and wait. In the end, none of it is our business. It is all proof of why we should never take sides in the first place. Never send billions to tin pot dictators — even friendly ones. Never send billions in sophisticated military equipment to tyrants. Because all of it can and will eventually be used against us. It is time to let the Egyptian people determine their own fate. I’m just scared and sickened at the thought of what we are about to watch happen.

Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee. He now serves as Chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. He is the best-selling author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts.” His web site:

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  1. LP Rot LP Rot February 11, 2011

    Money is not the ROOT of all evil
    WAR is!

    Stop striking at the branches, STRIKE THE ROOT!

  2. d.eris d.eris February 11, 2011

    “to what extent people will still identify with the Islamic opposition groups when they are free to form alternative parties.”

    There were a fair number of plain old independent candidates in Egypt’s last election, if I remember correctly from the articles I scanned at the time. Independent trade unions appear to be pretty well organized too.

  3. LP Rot LP Rot February 11, 2011

    As Thoreau said, stop striking at the branches, STRIKE THE ROOT!

  4. Robert Capozzi Robert Capozzi February 11, 2011

    Paulie, you’re scaring me…I was thinking that VERY thought this morning…Root as demi Trump.

  5. paulie paulie February 11, 2011

    Trump: GOP :: Root: LP?

  6. Steve Steve February 11, 2011

    Sorry to hijack a thread, but I just saw this and this was the newest Root thread: according to Politico, Donald Trump’s CPAC speech included the line “The people who went to school with him, they never saw him, they don’t know who he is.” I wonder if he got this from Root?
    Then scroll to their report card for Trump.

  7. Steve Steve February 11, 2011

    The great unknown is to what extent people will still identify with the Islamic opposition groups when they are free to form alternative parties. I’d predict an immediate assumption of power by the Brotherhood, but how far they go in implementing a religious state is going to be tempered by how willing they are to risk be through out in another revolution a few years from now. Of course, the Islamic groups draw a lot of their popular support from stirring up real or imagined fear of the external enemy, so how Obama handles the regime change and the continuing occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan will go a long way in determining the outcome.

  8. d.eris d.eris February 11, 2011

    “I’m just scared”

    Watching the US news and blog coverage of Egypt, I have been extremely embarrassed by how common this sentiment is among Americans. What aren’t people afraid of nowadays? Pathetic.

  9. paulie paulie February 11, 2011

    TLK and Steve, both valid points..thanks

  10. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp February 11, 2011


    Yes, a lot of people conflate the Brotherhood with al Qaeda and such, when in fact its splinter/opponent, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, is the local al Qaeda affiliate (or at least the organization that provided al Qaeda with its second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri).

    I don’t doubt that the Brotherhood will assume increased importance/power in whatever outcome transpires, but I just don’t see them having the gas to achieve power on the level of e.g. the Khomeini regime in Iran.

  11. Steve Steve February 11, 2011

    Egypt probably has the best chance of any Middle Eastern country (save perhaps Jordan) of transitioning to something resembling a secular democracy. The Brotherhood has long since purged its most radical, violent members who left for the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. But the fact that they are the only real organized opposition leaves open the question of how many are in it for ideological reasons and how many are just have no other outlet, or what the combination of the two is.

    That said, I might still bet on outcome #1, depending on what odds are given.

  12. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp February 11, 2011

    Paulie @ 21,

    I don’t really have a “prediction.” I don’t know how things will come out.

    But, if the likely outcomes are reduced to two:

    1) The Muslim Brotherhood seizes power, proclaims an Islamic Republic, imposes sharia law, puts Egypt on a highly belligerent footing vis a vis Israel, and joins itself to the Islamist “new global caliphate” effort; or

    2) Something else …

    I’d bet long on outcome #2.

  13. Robert Capozzi Robert Capozzi February 11, 2011

    fastest16: [Asked by Paulie what could Root do that would satisfy him, likely Sipos.] If, whenever he changed, he’d say, “I know that I said XYZ, but I was wrong. This is my new position, and here is why I changed”.

    me: This might be an interesting exercise. Root could reflect on how his thinking has changed over time, but, based on some in the LP’s lack of ideological flexibility, I’m not sure I’d advise Root to do this, and I’m not a Root supporter. For ex., if Root explained that he’s no longer an outright hawk, but he laid out a foreign policy that is less interventionist, but that he still honors treaties as they are unwound, he would likely be savaged by “strict” non-interventionists as “unprincipled.” The attacks on Root have reflected a profound level of ill will, such as the calls to purge him. In such an unforgiving environment, admissions of evolving thinking would likely be like blood in the water to a shark.

    Perhaps Ruwart’s more adult approach can heal this environment, but I’m not holding my breath.

  14. Robert Capozzi Robert Capozzi February 11, 2011

    war: That’s how it is with tyrants — it’s all or nothing.

    me: Tyrants of all stripes, including ideological ones.

    Our inner control freak wants a certain outcome in Egypt, as well as in most things. Standing back and letting it happen as it should takes patience.

  15. Root's Teeth Are Awesome Root's Teeth Are Awesome February 11, 2011

    “With [Root’s] winning personality, famous smile and hearty handshake…”

    Don’t forget his deep love and respect for Islam and for all Arab peoples.

    Root is the only honest broker who can forge a lasting and fair peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

  16. Libertarians for Mubarak-Duvalier 2012 Libertarians for Mubarak-Duvalier 2012 February 11, 2011

    You people are looking at this the wrong way.

    Hosni Mubarak can’t begin his journey of bringing hope to the people of the United States as the Libertarian Candidate for POTUS 2012 until he has vacated his previous position as President of Egypt.

    There is an LNC meeting that will be filling two At Large vacancies coming up, and Hosni Mubarak needs time to gather support among LNC members and hangers on to convince them that himself and J.C. Duvalier should fill those two At Large seats in preparation for a 2012 run.

    Now, why is Wayne Root being all jealous of Hosni Mubarak? Is it just because when Mubarak comes to the US and gets on the LNC, he will immediately replace Root as the frontrunner for the Libertarian Presidential nomination?

    Perhaps Root is genuinely concerned for the hard working Republican millionaire small businessmen of Egypt, who are about to get robbed of everything they worked so hard for by the insolent communist, anarchist, islamist peasants. This is a valid concern. If Mubarak does not move fast enough, Suleiman may not be able to hold on to power and the Anarcho-Islamist hordes will take over the whole plantation.

    Only one man save the people of Egypt now.

    And that man is Wayne Root.

    Since Hosni Mubarak will be taking Root’s place in the USA, there will be no more need for Root here, and there will be an opening in Egypt.

    Root already has solid contacts on the ground in Egypt who can fill him in on the situation and provide translation services if they are needed. He can hit the ground running. With his winning personality, famous smile and hearty handshake, he can take charge of Egypt the way he has taken charge of the LP, prevent anarchy and restore order.

    Wayne Root already has extensive experience keeping anarcho-islamists in check within the Libertarian Party. He can do the same thing in Egypt.

    We need to get Wayne Root to Egypt before the evil Marxist mastermind Obama thwarts our brilliant plan!

  17. Wayne Root's Massive Ego Plunges LP Into Tragedy Wayne Root's Massive Ego Plunges LP Into Tragedy February 11, 2011

    Wayne Root’s Massive Ego Plunges LP Into Tragedy

    Stay tuned for

    News at 20:12

  18. paulie paulie February 11, 2011

    I was wondering WTF are they celebrating , the VP stepping up isnt going to change anything

    That might change things…for the worse.

    He has been the guy in charge of the secret police and secret prisons, notorious for running a massive torture program.

    Think of Suleiman to Mubarak as Cheney was to Bush.

  19. paulie paulie February 11, 2011

    TLK hint: The Muslim Brotherhood is neither the worst possible outcome nor the most likely entity to come out on top

    What’s your prediction?

  20. LibertarianGirl LibertarianGirl February 11, 2011

    JJM_That premise being that the Egyptian people who are now gathering by the millions to get rid of their current regime and it’s dictator, would be hunky dory if only Mubarak would go away.

    me_ I was wondering the same thing yesterday when for a minute the news was reporting that he would step down…. the people were ecstatic , but it was reported his VP would step in so….
    I was wondering WTF are they celebrating , the VP stepping up isnt going to change anything

  21. LibertarianGirl LibertarianGirl February 11, 2011

    credit where its due baby …EXCELLENT article by Wayne …. one of my favorites

  22. Fastest Root Flip Flop Yet Fastest Root Flip Flop Yet February 11, 2011

    @7: “Is there anything Wayne could ever say that you would like…ever?”

    Yes. I’d have some respect for him (as opposed to none) if he stopped always trying to bury his history.

    If, whenever he changed, he’d say, “I know that I said XYZ, but I was wrong. This is my new position, and here is why I changed”.

    Instead, Root has a “massive ego” (what he accuses Mubarak of). He speaks as though he’s The Greatest since sliced bread. The Best Thing to ever happen to the LP, or to gamblers, or to anyone else who comes into contact with him. A man who’s never wrong.

    Root resembles a narcissist, a sociopath, a highly insecure man. Like Clinton, Root seems incapable of ever admitting a mistake.

    I could more easily forgive Root’s missteps if he were to show honesty and humility. But Root’s massive ego won’t allow for that.

    I believe that Root’s character (his hubris, dishonesty, arrogance, and shamelessness) turn off more people than do his unlibertarian views.

    Root’s unlibertarian views are problematic, but other LP members fall short and are forgiven. It’s that Root is so dishonest and arrogant, setting himself up before the media as a “leading libertarian thinker” is what makes Root truly awful.

    The more “successful” Root is in getting media face time, the worse the LP looks.

  23. John Jay Myers John Jay Myers February 11, 2011

    First of all, he didn’t mention Obama, that is a miracle. Praise the lord.

    But am I the only the one that thinks the entire rest of the article is based on a really bad premise?

    That premise being that the Egyptian people who are now gathering by the millions to get rid of their current regime and it’s dictator, would be hunky dory if only Mubarak would go away.

    So they wouldn’t care if he is replaced by a guy Mubarak himself hand picked last week to take his place? Do you really think that is what these people are fighting for?

    Does no one else see that in Waynes essay he is indeed siding with his Egyptian businessman friend, who simply wants this to be over and to go back to what would be the same as before.

    Does anyone really believe that Omar Suleiman would be any less a puppet? Why would that be?

    Basically this article says “take your pseudo victory and go back to your slave life pee ons”.

    If Mubarak goes away and it goes straight to Suleiman, nothing will have changed and what could have been a chance at a real revolution would be lost.

    And lastly, Mubarak has 70 billion dollars worth of money we have given him over the years, this is blood money and it needs to be returned to Egypt. (Better yet, to us)

    Blood money that kept a people oppressed for 30 years, blood money that cost America more than we know, and will continue to cost us for years to come.

  24. Mack Orwelly Mack Orwelly February 10, 2011

    I think this is an indicator that the respectable Egyptian business community must have turned against Mubarak. That means his days are almost certainly numbered, and those numbers could be counted on your fingers without even having to go to the toes.

  25. Brian Brian February 10, 2011


    Does this mean you know support the marxist, anarchist hordes that have been leading the protests? Say it ain’t so! Stand with your anonymous business contact and Mubarak until the very end!

  26. Bryan Bryan February 10, 2011

    I couldn’t believe that WAR was throwing his rich “business” friend in Egypt under the bus…in less than a week…OMG…wayne is a freakin’ JOKE!

    But this write up is perfect…no matter what happens in the coming days or weeks…he can claim that he was right…and unlike Obama or the republicans…he “took a stand”…even if it was two stands in a weeks period.

  27. Michael Michael February 10, 2011

    @7: “D) His piece last week was not as one sided as many think. See my comments on that one.”

    His piece last week was not one-sided at all. It was multi-sided. That’s a big problem with WAR. He flip-flops within his own essays. This week, he contradicts his essay from last week.

  28. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman February 10, 2011

    This morning all the cable news networks ran a banner at the bottom saying the CIA had determined that Mubarak was about to leave office. That should have been the tip-0ff that he was intent on staying in power.

    The CIA has been wrong on every major issue in the Middle East.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp February 10, 2011

    Paulie @7, part D,

    You’re right.

    And in fact Wayne may have been right on the facts, if not on the implied sentiments.

    There are huge crowds in Cairo and Alexandria, and smaller ones in some of the Red Sea and Suez port/industrial centers, but it may very well be that the rural population and at least parts of the urban middle and upper class are either firmly behind Mubarak’s regime or at the very least scared in a big way of what would replace it (they may indeed believe that the protesters are communists, anarchists and Islamists).

    As someone on Al Jazeera pointed out, much of that rural population doesn’t have access to the Internet or satellite TV. The side of the story they’re getting is whatever the state media is putting out.

    We’re probably going to find out two things tomorrow:

    1) Whether the revolution has enough gas in its tank to try and take it all the way, i.e. physically march several hundred thousand people to the centers of government and send Mubarak scurrying for a plane out of the country; and

    2) What the military will do if (1).

    The upper echelon of the military is obviously intent on saving the framework of the regime, while easing Mubarak out of the driver’s seat.

    If the crowds march on the presidential palace, etc., they may very well order a crackdown.

    Whether or not the privates and corporals will obey that order, stand aside and let what happens happen, or even actively join the crowds is probably a question much on Egyptian minds right now.

    As Wayne astutely observes, the one thing that isn’t going to happen is the crowd packing its trash and going home. They know that if they do that, the “ringleaders” — and probably a lot of regular protesters — will quickly disappear into Mukhabarat prisons and it will be back to business as usual, albeit possibly with Suleiman rather than Mubarak as the figurehead.

  30. Ayn R. Key Ayn R. Key February 10, 2011

    Wayne, I thought Mubarak was a poor misunderstood friendly guy, not a dictator.

  31. paulie paulie February 10, 2011

    A) Agreed with Knapp

    B) @ 3 and 4

    Is there anything Wayne could ever say that you would like…ever?

    C) Progress is not usually unidirectional. I actually do think Wayne is overall getting better and better, but there are some times from my perspective when he gets worse. What I like is that he is willing to change his mind, but I don’t think it’s to the extent of someone like Mitt Romney or some other big two party establishment politician…I think he is genuinely wrestling with new ideas.

    D) His piece last week was not as one sided as many think. See my comments on that one.

  32. George Whitfield George Whitfield February 10, 2011

    This is an excellent article, Wayne.

  33. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp February 10, 2011

    While I don’t agree with every word of it (hint: The Muslim Brotherhood is neither the worst possible outcome nor the most likely entity to come out on top), this is a well-written and thoughtful piece …

    … and although I promised I wouldn’t mention it again, it’s good length for op-ed publication. I hope he’ll submit it to a number of papers (if only a few, I’d suggest the Washington Times, the Orange County Register, The Las Vegas Journal-Review and the Christian Science Monitor).

  34. Fastest Root Flip Flop Yet Fastest Root Flip Flop Yet February 10, 2011

    First Root says the Egyptian people support Mubarak — then days later, Root claims Mubarak is a “tyrant.”

    This is the fastest, most shameless Root flip flop yet.

    Even faster than his initial decision to testify at the anti-Obama trial.

    I suppose Root is hoping that his previous support of Mubarak can be buried and forgotten.

    And his supporters will say, “Wow, Wayne keeps getting better and better!” — as suggest that it’s unfair to judge Root by anything other than his more recent position.

  35. Michael Michael February 10, 2011

    That’s a good one. WAR is mostly schizophrenic. His essay last week was mostly pro-Mubarak.

  36. paulie paulie February 10, 2011

    @1 You didn’t know Obama’s other name is Mubarak?

  37. Michael Michael February 10, 2011

    Best essay I have ever read by WAR. (He did not mention Obama even once!)

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