If President Hosni Mubarak wanted to impress the world by showing that among the millions of people protesting his regime there are also a fervent pro-Mubarak group, he radically failed. The pro-Mubarak groups seen on television have broken all the rules by raiding the opposition camp and beating and injuring thousands as a scare tactic to break up the masses. Sadly, we can see that these organized groups of thugs have only one thing in mind: to cause as much chaos as possible, minimizing death (5-6 people killed) and injuring high numbers (thousands). And, indeed the fact that the army remained neutral, gave the chaos a pogrom type characteristic; however, in a show of force and unity the anti-government protestors held their own.
After a night of protests which included a war of Molotov cocktails, rocks, and sporadic gun fire, Mubarak regime’s looks even more tired, corrupt, and above all authoritarian. While affixed on our television and internet, it is clear that the situation could have been much worse. With Friday prayers coming up tomorrow, marking a week since the anti-government supporters’ Day of Rage, Mubarak’s regime is holding on to its last days. Tomorrow will be crucial for rallying the masses and showing that they have not given into the violent outbursts of the pro-Mubarak groups. In fact, tomorrow might hold a few surprises for all if the anti-government forces come out in the millions.
After last night’s violence Mubarak is at risk of losing support within his own government. It is quite possible in attempt to capture the reins of the state, newly appointed Vice President Omer Suleiman might abandon ship and work to lead the country through a transformation period. It is also clear that the army has lost its patience. If yesterday they sat on the sidelines while the two warring sides were fighting, this will not be the case if the pro-Mubarak supporters/thugs adopt a new violent onslaught. Furthermore, the top generals need to start worrying about the fact that if they don’t move quickly, an internal revolution in the army could lead to the toppling of the generals close to Mubarak, spelling an end to the regime, and ushering in even more chaos.
Therefore, today Wednesday, February 3 2010, it seems like if in my last blog entry I talked about it being the “beginning of the end,” we are now at the stage of the “middle of the end” of Mubarak. If the anti-government protestors remain steadfast, their wish for Mubarak to step down will happen quicker than the President ever imagined. However, after yesterday’s show of cheap tactics, my optimistic option for Mubarak of remaining in Egypt with a bit of respect is no longer feasible. It seems likely that Mubarak and his family will soon need to board a plane and leave the homeland. Truly, a political tragedy for someone who did not know when to step down and never estimated correctly the hate which so many Egyptians (from all walks from life) had acquired for him over the years. For now, let us hope that yesterday’s violence will be the peak since Mubarak still has the means which could make the struggle for democracy a much more bloodier revolution than has been up to now.