Pray for Egyptians and hope the Army protects the people, not the regime

 

It’s difficult to think of anything but Egypt, and the dangers that Egyptians face, tonight or tomorrow. Hundreds of thousands have gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, many having been there for a week or more. They were led to believe —by statements from a senior Army general who came to talk to them today—that “All your demands are being met.”

Their hopes were dashed by President Mubarak’s speech at 11pm Cairo time, in which he blamed the unrest on rash youth who had been stirred up by “satellite television stations” foreign provocateurs, and his favorite long-time bogeyman, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mubarak spoke after the military high command had met, so it’s logical to assume that he has the support of the Army.

The demonstrators are angry. They’re not going to follow Mubarak’s suggestion that they return home and then to work. Tomorrow, Friday, the Egyptian weekend starts, and the biggest crowds yet will mob central Cairo. They likely won’t be docile and they might not be satisfied to stay in Tahrir, perhaps heading for the Presidential palace.

The Army has appeared to be on the side of the people up to now, but after today’s events it appears that it has decided to back the regime.

What’s an American to hope for? The President is lying to the people, the regime is as corrupt as any in the world, and millions of Egyptians from all walks of life are determined to risk everything for democracy—whatever that might eventually mean in Egypt. Should they blink or retreat in the face of the evil state and its Army? This is as clear a case of right and wrong as we’ve seen in a long time. The people are risking their lives. They’re right to do so. We can only pray they succeed.

 

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