The PJ Tatler

Round and round: Intelligence chief Suleiman Egypt's new VP

Mubarak has named Omar Suleiman – head of Egyptian intelligence since 1993 – as the new vice-president of Egypt. Suleiman – a known name to those who follow the Middle East (he’s been involved with all manner of negotiations) – was clearly chosen to reassure the West and encourage Obama and others to lay off Mubarak, who is hanging by a thread. Fear of the Muslim Brotherhood is the Egyptian president’s trump card, because few outside the region want to see the biggest Arab country taken over by Islamists.

The US is stuck in the middle – trying to support democracy without ushering in the Brotherhood. Some predicament. It’s hard to trust Obama in this situation since he disgraced himself so completely during the Iranian demonstrations, failing to speak up for the demonstrators when they most needed outside support. Now the mullahs are roundly supporting the Egyptian demonstrations because they think the Brotherhood will take over. So it goes, round and roundly, where it stops, nobody knows.