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Michele Dunne on Hosni Mubarak’s legacy and the roots of the uprising in Egypt

There is an old joke about Hosni Mubarak: When he first became president of Egypt, he got to a fork in the road, and he asked his driver which way his predecessors went. The driver said, “Sadat went to the right, and Nasser went to the left.” And Mubarak answered, “Signal left, but turn right.”

So what does that joke tell us about Hosni Mubarak and his statement that he will step down in September, that he’s not going to run for reelection? Need to Know asked Michele Dunne, a senior associate at the Carnegie Center for International Peace. As Dunne, explaining the roots of the popular uprising now taking place in Egypt, put it, “What Hosni Mubarak really did was idle the car at the intersection, and never go either way. What he really became famous for was stagnation.”