'This Week' Transcript: Crisis in Egypt

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) AMANPOUR (voice-over): This morning, a special "This Week." Nation on the brink, an ancient civilization, land of the pyramids and home of the pharaohs, now swept up in a massive political uprising with uncertain consequences for all of us.

Which side will blink first? We go inside a historic political showdown. What will the outcome mean for America?

OBAMA: The United States will continue to stand up for the rights of the Egyptian people.

AMANPOUR: We get the very latest from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and an exclusive interview with Egypt's ambassador to the United States, Sameh Shoukry. Live from Cairo, a special "This Week," "Crisis in Egypt," starts now.


AMANPOUR: Good morning. How often have we asked, when will democracy come to this part of the world? And what will it look like? Well, here we are in what looks like a massive tectonic shift, first Tunisia and now Egypt, the biggest, most populous Arab country and America's biggest ally.

Here, for the sixth straight day, tens of thousands of people are out on the streets. The military is arrayed in tanks and on foot. The question: Will the army fire if ordered to do so?

For Complete Coverage of the Crisis in Egypt, Featuring Exclusive Reporting From Christiane Amanpour, Click Here

Today, in the last 10 minutes, we have heard and seen fighter jets buzzing Tahrir Square, where the crowds are, an enormous, alarming, incredible sound. They have been flying low.

But the protesters are still out there. They've been reacting. They're carrying slogans and chanting right now down below me "Illegitimate." Despite the reforms that President Mubarak has done shuffling the government, the people are saying that's not enough and that he must go.

So far, what they're saying and what we're seeing -- and you can hear the fighter jets behind me now -- they are saying that this is secular, this is a popular uprising. We have seen no signs, no slogans, no clerics of any Islamic favor or flavor.

And in the meantime, as we wait and watch and wonder how long the government here can hang on, the United States and other countries are urging their nationals to leave. The U.S. wants all Americans out and, we understand, is arranging special planes to bring them home starting tomorrow, Monday.

We saw many, many people stranded at Cairo's airport when we landed last night.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): It was nighttime, well after curfew when we landed in Cairo. We found the airport full of stranded tourists, desperate to leave the country, and residents returning, but afraid to venture into town until the curfew was lifted in the morning.

(on-screen): We've got a small car. As you can see, all the baggage has been strapped to the -- to the roof of the car, and we're going to try and get to our hotel tonight.

(voice-over): It's a long drive from the airport into Cairo. And at first, it was eerily quiet. But every hundred yards or so, we were stopped.

(on-screen): We're driving from the airport into town. It's practically deserted, very few cars. But there are bands of vigilantes, ad hoc neighborhood watch groups, young men and boys out with wooden batons, metal bars, even machetes. They are watching out for looters and any kind of crime spree, because there is no security.

(voice-over): They had gathered to protect their property. And while it was tense, they were also friendly and waved us through.

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