It will take an Academy Award performance today for me to feign interest in the advertising copy on my desk. My thoughts are entirely with the millions of Egyptians who are defying Mubarak—and by extension his paymasters in the United States—through their continued mobilizations and strikes.
Stratfor, the global intelligence guru service, lays out the Egyptian military’s options as follows: 1) allow the protesters to push past Mubarak’s security and take over; 2) turn on the masses and crush the revolution; or 3) stage a military coup.
There is some credibility in these scenarios, especially the latter option, but at every turn the honchos have underestimated the will, bravery and intelligence of a people who have endured repression for longer than 60 percent of the Egyptian population has been alive.
SocialistWorker.org contributor Mostafa Omar, in Tahrir Square, explains: “There is concern that the army might try to impose a military junta–an open military dictatorship. There are discussions in Tahrir Square on whether the army is ready to use force. At the same time, there are a lot of chants and a lot of discussions in which people are saying that they are willing to sacrifice to win. Many people don’t believe the army is willing to use force. Others believe there are preparations being made for a massacre.
“But the demonstrations and marches are going to be enormous. The activists have renamed the event tomorrow as the Day of Challenge—the day of challenging the regime.”
Mostafa is a dear friend and he flew back home to Cairo earlier this week. He spoke this past Saturday night to a standing-room-only crowd of 300 at Barnard Hall, which I post below. The university freaked out when they heard an Egyptian socialist would be speaking in the midst of social upheaval thousands of miles away and initially tried to bar him as a “security risk.” Enjoy Mostafa’s clever retort to the administration along with his insights about the dynamics at work in Egypt today.
Update: For Mostafa’s regular updates from the streets of Cairo all day Friday, Feb. 11, please go to socialistworker.org.