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by Chris Bodenner

Uri Friedman compiles some snap analysis of the president's forthcoming speech (which Al Jazeera says will be delivered live and "shortly" - watch it here):

Mubarak May Have Lost Military Support, suggests Dan Murphy at The Christian Science Monitor. Murphy believes the military doesn't want to risk further violence and harm to its reputation. He notes that the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces met today but Mubarak didn't chair the meeting as he usually does and "didn't get the kind of four-square backing from the military he's relied on during his almost 30 years in power."

Army Is Offering Mubarak As a 'Fig Leaf', claims Middle East analyst Julien Barnes-Dacey, as quoted by Reuters. He says the army elite is trying to preserve the regime and they figure that if Mubarak abdicates power, the protests may ebb, clearing "the way for the army to take a tougher line saying it is in the interests of stability."

Max Boot sounds off:

A change at the top may not change much on the ground unless the regime makes a real commitment to lifting the “emergency laws” that have been used to repress all dissent. It is probably a good thing that the army is moving to make an orderly transition, but the U.S. has to make sure that the transition is to democracy, not to another dictator. If Suleiman now tries to rule as Mubarak did, there will surely be a continuation of popular protest that will create an opening for the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremists.

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