More Questions Than Answers

After a week, pro-Mubarak mobs are finally making their presence felt:

Thousands of supporters of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak besieged anti-government forces ensconced in Tahrir Square on Wednesday, leading to violent clashes and some injuries.

Pro-Mubarak forces tried to push their way into the square through numerous side streets and were met with, in some cases, cordons of peaceful protesters and, in others, by those throwing large chunks of stone or concrete.

A couple items of interest here, the first in the form of a question: It took a week for the regime to put together a counter-protest worthy of notice? That strikes me as either incompetence or complacency. Neither is a good sign for a country in need of China-size economic growth to get the unemployed into jobs and off the streets. Anyway — and this should come as no big shock — those counter-protestors might just be Army officers wearing civvies. Still: A week?

The second item is the Army itself. It appears to be doing the bare minimum. The generals can see the writing on the wall, I’m sure, but worry about keeping their mostly-political positions and, of course, about keeping all that US military aid. They know Mubarak is toast, but they don’t want to get hanged by the revolting peasants, either.

In any revolution, it’s the colonels you have to watch. They’re the ones who see room for advancement and have far less to lose. If they side with the protestors, then Mubarak is gone. THe thing to worry about is how many of the colonels are Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers.