From Sky News:
As anti-Mubarak demonstrators continue their protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, away from the area there are signs of growing divisions among their ranks.
One protester, Ahmed, fought the president’s hated riot police a week ago but he has now stopped going to the square.
For him, Mr Mubarak’s concessions, including stepping down at the next election and promising reforms, is enough.
He told Sky News that as the protests continue he “doesn’t want chaos”…
The report goes on to note that some are still willing to keep it up – but how long, really, can you keep up a demonstration? Eventually, people have to get back to work if for no other reason than they need to obtain food and other necessities. It is still possible that the rebels will prevail, but I consider this a fast-disappearing possibility.
Things will not go back to normal, however – new men and forces have been thrown up in this rebellion and various second and third tier players in the regime now will see their opportunity to clear out the upper levels, thus allowing their rise to power. The Moslem Brotherhood, while not officially un-banned, has had the lid taken off – they will now have far greater ability to organize and propagandize. But for the mass of Egyptians, things will not improve – because they will still have a regime which does not allow free expression of the will of the people, nor will they shed their crony-capitalism/state-socialism economic model.
If this rebellion does fizzle, it will be because of the essential mindlessness of the revolt – just wanting a tyrant out doesn’t do the trick, even if you get him out. A tyrant is not a stand-alone operation. All tyrants have massive support systems built in to their societies. Mubarak has had his willing participants in his rule – if you want to have a revolution, then you have to know what you want to put in place of the old regime. I doubt the masses in Tahrir Square had any ideas beyond getting rid of Mubarak and maybe a vague idea of “democracy”, for which concept they may or may not have a realistic view. Because there was no firm direction of the revolt, it was unable to garner the sort of hard force necessary to topple a regime and install a new one – the army first stayed aloof, and then clearly decided to protect the regime.
If the Egyptians are to get any political change, they’ll have to decide what they want – and the really bad news here is that “democracy” has failed, while the Moslem Brotherhood has been strengthened and will now be able to carefully explain just what they want to do – and in contrast to a disastrously failed “democracy” movement, the MB may seem a good alternative to what will remain a corrupt and repressive Egyptian government.
UPDATE: Some things to keep in mind about Egypt:
…The regime’s weakness, in turn, reflects the dysfunctional character of the country. 35% of all Egyptians, and 45% of Egyptian women can’t read.
Nine out of ten Egyptian women suffer genital mutilation. US President Barack Obama said Jan. 29, “The right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny … are human rights. And the United States will stand up for them everywhere.” Does Obama think that genital mutilation is a human rights violation? To expect Egypt to leap from the intimate violence of traditional society to the full rights of a modern democracy seems whimsical…