Hopes that the Army would side with the protesters were misplaced. NPR reports
Egypt’s military threw its weight Friday behind President Hosni Mubarak’s plan to stay in office through September elections while protesters fanned out to the presidential palace in Cairo and other key symbols of the authoritarian regime in a new push to force the leader to step down immediately. The statement came several hours after Mubarak refused to step down or leave Egypt and instead handed most of his powers to his vice president Omar Suleiman, enraging protesters who pleaded for the military to take action to push him out.
If violence breaks out, the Army will of necessity have to step in. And that could result in a lot of bloodshed.
Mubarak is a smart man- he’s biding his time, calling in his numerous resources, and will leave office when he wants, not when anyone else does. And he has the backing of the army. The protesters may as well go back to their lives or outright rebel. The present tactic of protesting isn’t working, and won’t. If there isn’t a full fledged armed uprising by the population at large, nothing will change. And if there is, many will die. I suppose the Egyptians have to decide whether real liberty is worth death. A dicey question.
- Egypt crisis: protesters vow ‘massive’ demonstrations to dislodge defiant Hosni Mubarak (telegraph.co.uk)
- Mubarak Clings On As Cairo Crowds Gather (news.sky.com)
- Obama leads world criticism of Mubarak (guardian.co.uk)
- Cairo tense after Mubarak speech (bbc.co.uk)