The Coming Crackdown


by Patrick Appel

Babak Dehghanpisheh and Mandi Fahmy look ahead:

Will Mubarak soon be joining Tunisia’s Ben Ali in Saudi Arabia (as some protesters were chanting today)? For the moment, that seems unlikely. Egypt’s vast security apparatus is widely viewed as being much more brutal than its counterpart in Tunisia, and has managed to keep Mubarak in place for nearly 30 years. Wire agencies reported a handful of protesters being killed in today’s demonstrations. If the protests continue, the casualties will surely mount. “The regime is going to come back very strongly,” says Hamid, of Brookings. “Unlike their Tunisian counterparts, they’ll be more ruthless. They’re not going to simply sit back and let this protest movement grow.”

(Photo: Egyptian demonstrators protest near Egyptian police to demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak and calling for reforms on January 25, 2011. The protesters, carrying flags and chanting slogans against the government, rallied in a protest inspired by the uprising in Tunisia which led to the ouster of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. By Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)