Michael Totten

Egypt on Fire

This is a 1969 photo of one of America's political philosopher and scholar, Hannah Arendt. (AP Photo)

Egyptians are hoping to replicate Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution and overthrow Hosni Mubarak’s calcified military dictatorship. It’s hard to tell what, exactly, is happening there because the government completely shut off the Internet, but some reports are trickling out.

Mubarak’s headquarters were reportedly set on fire.

Police officers are using live ammunition on protestors, and, unlike in Tunisia, the military is backing them up and has even sent tanks into the streets.

Nobel Laureate Mohammed ElBaradei has been placed under house arrest.

Lee Smith, who lived in Cairo for a couple of years, doesn’t expect this to end well. I don’t either. I wish I did, but I don’t.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden says Mubarak is not a dictator. Egypt has never been ruled by anyone but a dictator. Let’s not pretend he’s something else just because he’s an “ally.”