Thursday, February 10, 2011

Update on Egypt

So far the protests in Egypt have reached their 17th day, going on nearly three weeks in a country ruled for 30 years under emergency laws and fear. While on Monday Vice President Suleiman offered some concessions that seemed to meet the protesters demands, protesters rejected them in part sine it left Mubarak in power and probably more likely because a dictator can change their mind at anytime. Suleiman would also insist that protests must stop even though the regime would continue to rule with Mubarak until September when he claimed he would step down.

This was intended to divide the opponents to Mubarak and try to dilute the protests. Instead, the protests in Tahir Square actually grew with the largest crowd in two weeks taking part. In addition, the country went on strike as workers joined in the protests. Today we hear that the military may be asking Mubarak to step aside and assuming an administrative role.

The question here if Mubarak does step down is what will happen next? The protesters have already worked on some blueprint for a constitution post Mubarak. Whether the military is willing to cede control if they take it remains a question to be asked. Given reports that some in the military have tortured those who protested it's hard to say what will happen next. At this point it's up to the Egyptian people to create a new country after 30 years of a dictatorship. What happens at the protests tomorrow might be a sign of things to come here.

It will be interesting to see how things unfold.

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