Earlier in the week a concentration of reports predicted where former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would seek asylum. Aside from Saudi Arabia, where Mubarak enjoys a long, personal relationship with King Abdullah, Germany was cited as a possibility due to prior medical treatment. We speculated earlier that Saudi Arabia is the logical choice.
But journalists from CNN and Al Jazeera happened to coincide when reporting on the fate of Mubarak’s family, said to have left the presidential palace by helicopter to join him at Sharm el-Sheikh. And both mentioned Germany as a probable destination.
Germany still appears a second option given the Western world’s potential loss of credibility. The Saudi Kingdom seemed to be his only secure refuge, where he would enjoy preferential treatment under guard of state police. King Abdullah has received treatment in New York City, yet Mubarak would receive the highest quality health care in Saudi Arabia. A key question is what priority Mubarak places on his health, and whether his personal wealth and familial power assumes a higher priority. The latter favor Saudi Arabia.
Why Mubarak wouldn’t hide in Saudi Arabia is a matter of space - there’s not enough room for another dictator. With King Abdullah losing his closest ally and seeing the walls inch closer, the King allegedly believes that Zine El Abidine Ben Ali is enough. He can’t go about collecting the Middle East’s fallen lords, lest they send the wrong impression of his Kingship.
Obviously the entire world’s media is following this story, so information should be forthcoming shortly. Mubarak can’t vacation in Sharm el-Sheikh indefinitely. Many people just want him gone, but many others want him prosecuted for his crimes. He has to flee the heat if only temporarily, under the belief that he’ll return one day to a hero’s welcome. Anything is possible.
Except this kind of heat usually doesn’t go away.