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Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

THE QUESTION

Egypt's Mubarak: Can an entrenched leader chart a new course?

Egypt's unfolding political crisis raises a broader question: Can an entrenched, powerful leader, one who has resisted change, successfully lead a country or an organization in a different direction if circumstances suddenly demand it? Or is it necessary to bring in new leadership?

Posted by Steve Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti on February 1, 2011 10:08 AM
FEATURED COMMENTS

fridamulindayahoocouk: Changing a leader alone will not help, unless everyone in the system is changed!...

fridamulindayahoocouk: Changing a leader alone will not benefit the people, unless everyone in the system is changed!...

al_N: Given the highly volatile and fluid situation developing in Egypt right now begs us to look forward rather than ponder upon what could have ...

Make a Comment  |  All Comments (14)

ALL COMMENTS (14)
kengelhart Author Profile Page :
 

It is irrelevant whether or not Mubarak can change the political structure in Egypt. This decision must be made by the Egyptian people.

 
allset707 Author Profile Page :
 

This is a good lesson for American voters and voters everywhere to learn from this experience in Egypt: Once an appointed winner of an election or one voted into office as in American law they become tantamount to the being anointed as a new King. Any mention of removal will be will be met with cold disregard. It would well take the downfall of a government to be able to actually remove a man who borders on being a dictator out of office. Our Supreme Court here in America has the last word on such matters, but I always remember what the well known host of Omnibus on TV Alistair Cooke once said," If the Americans ever stop believing in the decisions coming out of their Supreme Court, heaven help 'em."

 
garoth Author Profile Page :
 

Mubarak's only concern is to maintain power, and he will do it in any way he can. He is an autocrat, determined to rule, and would use his "remaining" time to consolidate his power. We tend to support these autocrats, in the name of "stability." Our country was founded by a revolution. It's up to the people of Egypt to decide their leader - not us. We should be supporting the people - not autocrats of any stripe. We supported the Palestinians, when they wanted a democracy, then immediately stopped supporting them because we didn't like who they voted for. We missed a historic opportunity for the spread of real democracy, as well as to have the Palestinian people see us as an independent voice in the mid-East. We should not make that mistake again. We should support their people in the move toward democracy, and engage whoever they choose to be their leaders.

 
roynunoo Author Profile Page :
 

The Egyptian people must maintain and preserve their enviable status as the preeminent Arab Leaque Nation which was entrusted upon them by the role of their Presidents Gamel Abdul Naser and Anwar El Sadat. President Hosni Mubarak missed the big red flag to announce an end to his Mayday MayDay 1981 three decades rule shortly after his successful surgery in France for health reasons.The fact still remains that sixteen of the nineteen 9/11 terrorists were Egyptian Nationals and the jury is still out for a peaceful,chaos-free post-Mubarak era.

 
roynunoo Author Profile Page :
 

The Egyptian people must seek to maintain and preserve their enviable status as the preeminent Arab League Nation which was entrusted upon them by the role of their Presidents Gamel Abdul Naser and Anwar El Sadat. President Hosni Mubarak missed the big red flag to announce an end to his MayDay MayDay 1981 three decades rule shortly after his successful surgery in France for health reasons. The fact still remains that sixteen of the nineteen 9/11 terrorists were Egyptian nationals and the jury is still out for a peaceful, chaos-free post-Mubarak era.

 
arjay1 Author Profile Page :
 

"Egypt's Mubarak: Can an entrenched leader chart a new course?"

The instant a person holding political power tries to pass it on to a family member, he becomes illegitimate. He is saying that 'power' belongs to HIM and he is free to do with it whatever he wants because of the 'ownership'. This is a throw back to the genetic heritage of the ape-man past because it is exactly the same as an ape's 'silverback' dominance of a ape society. As Cro-Magnons took over the earth in the past 13000 years, the 'silverback’ leader such as Pharoahs, Huangdis, or Sultans began passing on political power to dynasties as an owned property but they also created an addictive mental state or ‘creative fog’ that almost never failed to wreck the governed society.

It was only after the evolution of constitutional authority with its inherent ability to cause 'term limits’ that the addiction to power ownership was diminished to the point that a 'society’ could progress over long periods of time. The function of the 'silverbacks’ using force to control society always involved a society in crises that required a form of equal and opposite force to maintain social equilibrium. Some thought might be given to the leader of Egypt who for many years used force to create equilibrium and infrastructure progress, but his legitimacy ended when his relatives began positioning themselves to stay in power without elective consensus. A constitutional consideration that allowed for ten year positions of power in Egypt might be as evolutionary as anything in its long history.

If America has several crises going at the moment (deficit, health, energy, property)what would be a non-destructive 'term limit' for Electeds? Certainly not two years or four years.

 
jbc1950 Author Profile Page :
 

Given Mr. Mubarak’s 30-year history of repression of dissent, of arbitrary arrests and torture, of ruling by “emergency decree”, if you were a demonstrator who had been on camera, or even worse, had been named on tv or in the press, would you trust Mr. Mubarak and his security forces to remain in power until September without carrying out reprisals against you and your colleagues? Given today’s use of plainclothes security forces and hired thugs, quite obviously organized and equipped by the police, isn’t it obvious that Mr. Mubarak knows only the language of deception and amoral violence? Today’s events make it clear that Mr. Mubarak has to go now: Mubarak and “peaceful transition” are a contradiction in terms.

 
jbeeler Author Profile Page :
 

No. He has overstayed his "welcome" which was in reality at the behest of the people. When they decided enough was enough, he is not only not effect, he is as ineffective as one can be. In essence he is jeopardizing the people more staying than by turning over the seat. Having someone in power by way of the people's choice is less harmful than retaining someone not wanted.

 
sedlakjf Author Profile Page :
 

Mubarak is still living in the past mainly because that's where old people like him live! Unfortunately, he is the president of Egypt as a result of corrupt elections that have been supported by the US government. The US is also a major financial supporter of Egypt in several ways - it provides more than a billion dollars to Egypt annually in aid that is returned to the US because it is spent by Egypt to buy US products that more than total the billions in foreign aid. These purchases are mostly for weapons made in and sold by the US.In many ways therefore the US government has been supporting this tyrant by supporting itself. So, when this tyrant leaves it's possible that the US has lost both a recipient of foreign aid and the loss of an important customer. Is this confusing or what?

 
yameenzusnet Author Profile Page :
 

Learn from Iran experience. We rejected the secular revolution of Premier Musaddeq and reinstalled the Shah. They came back with an Islamic revolution of Khomeini and we have Ahmadinejad. This will repeat in Egypt. This is an ideal environment for the fundamentalists in Egypt to empower themselves not because they are in majority but because we are foolish.

 
DavidSims92 Author Profile Page :
 

While it is plausible that a firmly entrenched leader could in fact chart a new, perhaps even effective course for their country, I can't imagine the citizens of that nation allowing the sort of trust and respect that is necessary to successfully implement any sort of change. Once a leader oversteps his authority to the point that the people see it necessary to revolt, as is the case in Egypt, a situation of even hesitant forgiveness or cautious retreat by the people in response to some sort of statement by the leader suggesting that he/she is willing to change is highly unlikely. In the particular case of President Mubarak in Egypt, the oppression and indifference he has shown over the past 30 years towards a large portion of his citizens has been so prevalent that it significantly outweighs any of the credit he deserves for striving for relative peace at various times during his tenure as President. For this, President Mubarak has condemned his image as the head of state in Egypt to a symbol of oppression of the lower classes and the suffering that they have endured as a result. President Mubarak must step aside and allow new leadership in Egypt in order for order to be restored among the people and progress to be made towards undoing many of the wrongs committed by President Mubarak.

 
fridamulindayahoocouk Author Profile Page :
 

Changing a leader alone will not help, unless everyone in the system is changed!

 
fridamulindayahoocouk Author Profile Page :
 

Changing a leader alone will not benefit the people, unless everyone in the system is changed!

 
al_N Author Profile Page :
 

Given the highly volatile and fluid situation developing in Egypt right now begs us to look forward rather than ponder upon what could have been in retrospect. It is very naive to imagine that the events unfolding in Tahrir Sq. and other parts of Egypt are solely the result of what one individuals 30 plus year of non-democratic(ally) means of ruling a country. The entire international community should shoulder the burden of lives and limbs being lost in Egypt.

 
 
 
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