Can Mubarak Sustain ?

A protestor holds up an Egyptian flag in Cairo, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011. The Arab world's most populous nation appeared to be swiftly moving closer to a point at which it either dissolves into widespread chaos or the military expands its presence and control of the streets - A protestor holds up an Egyptian flag in Cairo, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011. The Arab world's most populous nation appeared to be swiftly moving closer to a point at which it either dissolves into widespread chaos or the military expands its presence and control of the streets | Ahmed Ali/The Associated Press

How much longer can Mubarak cling on?

Robert Fisk reports from Cairo on the protests that refuse to die
Independent, Jan 31, 2011

The old lady in the red scarf was standing inches from the front of am American-made M1 Abrams tank of the Egyptian Third Army, right on the edge of Tahrir Square. Its soldiers were paratroops, some in red berets, others in helmets, gun barrels pointed across the square, heavy machine guns mounted on the turrets. "If they fire on the Egyptian people, Mubarak is finished," she said. "And if they don't fire on the Egyptian people, Mubarak is finished." Of such wisdom are Egyptians now possessed.

Shortly before dusk, four F-16 Falcons – again, of course, manufactured by President Barack Obama's country – came screaming over the square, echoes bouncing off the shabby grey buildings and the giant Nasserist block, as the eyes of the tens of thousands of people in the square stared upwards. "They are on our side," the cry went up from the crowds. Somehow, I didn't think so. And those tanks, new to the square, 14 in all that arrived with no slogans pained on them, their soldiers sullen and apprehensive, had not come – as the protesters fondly believed – to protect them.

But then, when I talked to an officer on one of the tanks, he burst out with a smile. "We will never fire on our people – even if we are ordered to do so," he shouted over the roar of his engine. Again, I was not so sure. President Hosni Mubarak – or perhaps we should now say "president" in quotation marks – was at the military headquarters, having appointed his new junta of former military and intelligence officers. The rumour went round the square: the old wolf would try to fight on to the end. Others said it didn't matter. "Can he kill 80 million Egyptians?"

For complete article, click here
Related:
Obama administration aligns itself with protests in Egypt with call for 'orderly transition' - Washington Post
Q&A: What's at stake for U.S. in Egypt unrest - Reuters
Egypt: Log on to the Revolution - Huffington Post
Mubarak shows no hint of caving to protests - Globe and Mail (picture source)
The Rebellion Grows Stronger - Democracy NOW

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