Chris Cassidy

Chris Cassidy is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. His writing has been featured in the Harvard Law Record, Justice Watch and the Huffington Post.

Recent Articles

Vice President: Mubarak "Waiving" the Presidency.

Millions of protesters across Egypt now need new signs. Thirty years of Mubarak's dictatorship collapsed today after 18 days of defiance, with hundreds dead and thousands wounded. "Anything now seems possible," one pro-democracy activist told Al Jazeera English . "I'm so proud." Vice President Omar Suleiman took to the airwaves just after the 6:00 p.m. call to prayer to announce the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak. In his brief statement, Suleiman said that President Mubarak is "waiving" his office and has asked the armed forces to rule the country. Under the Egyptian constitution, the president's resignation mandates elections within two months. Suleiman previously stated that Egyptian democracy first requires "the culture of democracy." What that means, and whether the military will endorse Suleiman's previous warning has yet to be seen. In his 20-second speech today, Suleiman made no mention of democracy or elections. Another constitutional effect of Mubarak's...

Mubarak Speaks; Egypt Erupts.

With speculation and widespread reports predicting his resignation, Hosni Mubarak struck an apologetic tone, but insisted on remaining president. Mubarak did make further concessions to anti-regime organizers, including five constitutional amendments, annulling a prior amendment, and transferring the authority he maintains as president to his hand-picked Vice President Omar Suleiman . According to Al Jazeera English , the constitutitonal concessions fell well short of protesters' demands. By merely ceding his presidential powers, Mubarak avoids forcing an election onto the country within two months, as would be required if he resigned. It thus appears that both the regime's promise of a September election, and the regime itself, remain standing. Mubarak's speech initially silenced a crowd in anticipatory celebration, roaring, "Go away!" Upon hearing the news that Mubarak would not resign, masses of protesters across Egypt erupted in disgust. Halfway through Mubarak's speech, as he...

Mubarak's Resignation Imminent.

Hosni Mubarak is stepping down tonight, according to the statements leaking from both Cairo and Washington, D.C. The president is reportedly at the Red Sea port of Sharm El Sheik, from which he is expected to depart the country within hours. Former intelligence chief and newly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman is the most likely candidate to take presidential authority under the Egyptian constitution. Suleiman is a longtime confidant of Mubarak's, who has strong ties with Western governments and the Saudi royalty. As the military's top intelligence officer, Suleiman oversaw Egypt's involvement with the United States' extraordinary-rendition program. Another possibility under the Egyptian constitution for Mubarak would be that the speaker of the People's Assembly, Ahmad Fathi Sorour , is ceded presidential authority, in which case the Egyptian constitution would require elections within 60 days. Those elections must occur without constitutional amendments, leaving in tact the...

Obama's Egyptian Tightrope.

The United States needs Egypt. President Barack Obama and his national security team may harbor preferences about who represents the Egyptian people, but whoever emerges on top will be subjected to heavy American wooing. Until that person is anointed, however, the Obama administration is trying not to take sides and irk the eventual leader of a new Egypt. Egypt is the most populous country in the Middle East and, excepting Jordan and occasionally Turkey, the only state to maintain anything but frigid ties with Israel. (This is not necessarily a condition that would continue under a democratic Egypt, however, as 92 percent of Egyptians view Israel unfavorably .) Since becoming the first neighboring country to recognize Israel in a 1979 peace treaty, the U.S. has provided Egypt an average of $2 billion in aid annually. Of that aid, the bulk is military in nature . In the coming year, Egypt is slated to receive F-16 fighter jets, naval vessels, ground-to-air missiles and surveillance...

The Muslim Brotherhood: Fact vs. Fiction.

What's the alternative to an autocratic Egypt? If you ask embattled President Hosni Mubarak , he will tell you a well-rehearsed tale of an American ally slipping into the hands of reactionary Islamists who would threaten the existence of Israel and diminish the reach of American power in the region. "If I resign now, there will be chaos," Mubarak said last week. "And I'm afraid the Muslim Brotherhood will take over." Yikes. Everyone knows that little scares the American public more than the idea of empowered Muslim brothers . It's an oft-repeated meme among Western opinion-shapers -- one that defies reason and seems entirely inconsistent with the facts on the ground. To borrow a line from one of Mubarak's old friends , there are things about the Muslim Brotherhood that we know we know, and things that we know we don't know. We know that the Muslim Brotherhood has a long, checkered past. Founded in 1928 as a response to Western meddling in Egyptian politics, the Muslim Brotherhood...

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