'This Week' Transcript: Revolution in Egypt

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR (voice-over): This morning, witness to a revolution.

A president tells us he will see out his term, but the people tell him he's out of time. They want a nation reborn. Now...

(UNKNOWN): President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down as president.

(UNKNOWN): (inaudible) [And he's gone. We can do everything.

AMANPOUR: Will democracy take hold in Egypt? What kind?

OBAMA: This is not the end of Egypt's transition; it's the beginning.

AMANPOUR: And what will it mean for the United States and the world? "This Week," "America and the Revolution," starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Good morning, and this week, the world has experienced a massive tectonic shift, people power peacefully overcoming 30 years of repressive rule. Egyptians put their stamp on their future.

And today, the military has been pulling down tents on Tahrir Square, and ordinary citizens this weekend, armed with brooms and trash bags, literally swept out the old to usher in the new.

Egypt's prime minister has said now the priority is to restore security. We'll try to navigate the fallout for the United States and the region. We have exclusive interviews with the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak.

It is still not clear what the future will look like there, but surely those 18 days in Egypt shook the world.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR (voice-over): It was an epic showdown between the people and an authoritarian regime they had chafed under for decades. But on Friday, the people won. Egypt won its freedom from a man who had ruled them for 30 years.

In 18 days, they won the support of the rest of the world, as the irresistible pictures of their struggle played out across the globe, on the Internet and on television. And they won a victory for the revolutionary idea that democracy could now sweep across the Middle East.

Word spread Friday morning that President Mubarak had left Cairo for his vacation home on the Red Sea. And my colleague, Terry Moran, was outside the presidential palace when the crowd there learned that he had also left the presidency.

MORAN: The news hit this crowd like an enormous wave. In an instant, there was ecstasy.

AMANPOUR: Less than a week ago, President Mubarak had told me in this palace that he had resigned himself to leaving the presidency eventually, but said that he couldn't do it anytime soon for fear the country would descend into chaos.

But by the end of this week, on Thursday, the biggest crowds yet had gathered on Tahrir Square, unsatisfied by the concessions the government had already granted. They demanded nothing less than President Mubarak's resignation.

The tension inside the square ratcheted up as a rumor swirled that the army would launch a crackdown.

(UNKNOWN): Believe me. We have half-a-million soldiers in our army that we love and respect. But if they turn on us, we'll turn on them.

AMANPOUR: But then the opposite happened: A promise, a pledge they had been waiting to hear from the lips of one of the country's highest-ranking military officials.

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