As millions of people daily make their voices heard on the streets of Egypt, as foreign leaders demand meaningful action, as human rights groups expose the uglier side of his 30 year regime of repression and torture, President Mubarak stepped out on Thursday to paint a picture of exactly how he interprets his position, and sees himself.

 

I will remain adamant to shoulder my responsibility, protecting the constitution and safeguarding the interests of Egyptians.’

 

Juan Cole tries to make sense of the massive cognitive dissonance involved in Mubarak's characterization of his own behaviour:

 

Most likely, Mubarak interpreted what he planned to do in his own mind as a kind of stepping down, […] The danger is that by raising expectations and then dashing them, Mubarak may have created an even more volatile revolutionary situation, which could easily deteriorate into violence and a spiral of violence.

 

Not that Mubarak is alone in attempting to rationalise away a reality that he cannot stomach.

 

As my colleague Imran Garda recently pointed out, it's standard behaviour among  “strong leaders”. (Or you may insert your own preferred description here… where exactly does Mubarak fit on the continuum from "strong man" through autocrat, dictator, psychopath?)