Friday, January 28, 2011

The Egyptian Revolution Continues

The revolt against Sunni autocracies throughout the Arab world shows no signs of abating...especially in Egypt.

Demonstrators are defying the curfew, torching buildings and attacking police vehicles, and their ranks have been swelled by the membership of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has officially ordered its followers to join the protests.

The protesters attempted to storm the Foreign Ministry and the State TV station in Cairo,but were beaten back. Thousands have been arrested and a number have been wounded as police have now started using live ammo on the protesters instead of rubber bullets and water cannons.

Last night, the regime issued orders to the imams (who are state employees) to use their sermons today to promote calm and keeping the peace and not to participate in the anti-government demonstrations.But it's unlikely that the imams will dare defy the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mubarek has finally ordered the army into action, but he may have left it too late. With the size and momentum of the demonstrations, its not certain whether the officers would order their men to shoot demonstrators, or whether the soldiers would obey.

According to one of my sources, the army so far has refrained from firing on the protesters and were actually greeted with cheers in Cairo and Suez, as opposed to the hated police. In Cairo's Tahrir square, the protesters climbed on tanks and APC's, cheered the soldiers, and chanting pro-army slogans.

If the army decides to stand aside and not defend Mubarak's regime, we are either looking at a military takeover under a new strong man or a Muslim Brotherhood Islamist regime.

The Iranians, of course, are absolutely giddy at what's going on in Egypt.

The next 48 hours are going to tell the story.

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