After the CIA and the Egyptian military said he was going to resign, he didn't, which further escalated the tension around the question hanging over Cairo: Who is the military going to side with?
Is it the bloated kleptocrat and his bloody sidekick, Omar Suleiman -- the ally the generals have been in bed with since the State Of Emergency was declared in 1981 -- or the Egyptian citizens who refuse to leave Tahrir Square and demand a suspension of the constitution, then fair and open elections.
For the military the choice seems like whether to let go of your 300-pound mother as she's pulling you into powerfully raging floodwaters. If you don't let her go, she's going to drag you into even more dangerous waters that will assure all your doom.
As a veteran of decades of anti-militarism activism in America -- child's play here compared to Tahrir Square -- I feel the people in Tahrir are my brothers and sisters. Like many, I'm moved by their bravery and determination.
Always hanging over them is a relentless wet blanket, an oppressive, smothering force represented by the militarist juggernaut reaching from Washington DC, through Israel and Saudi Arabia, to the deeply funded and entrenched military class of Egypt.
After Mubarak's speech on Thursday, the chants rose in Tahrir Square: "The people and the army! Hand in hand!"
Amazingly, the Egyptian Army, by all standards probably one of the more corrupt military institutions in the world, is now the peacemaker in Egypt, perched above it all like a vulture calculating how long the Tahrir Square forces can hold out and how long Mubarak and his fat cronies can keep believing they're leading Egypt.
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