ThursdayProtests

by Patrick Appel

Michael Wahid Hanna fears for the future of Egypt:

The actions of the Egyptian government should not inspire confidence. If the regime is willing to employ such violence in front of rolling cameras and worldwide attention, the international community should contemplate what the regime will be capable of doing once that attention has faded.

With the current regime committing to solely cosmetic changes, those in the Ministry of Interior who have been the primary repressive apparatus for the state will still be in place and will continue to backed by an emergency law granting them essentially unfettered discretion to continue their activities with a much broader list of regime opponents from which to draw.

The state does have constituents in addition to security forces and paid thugs -- people who are worried about their positions in a post-Mubarak Egypt, or who legitimately fear an unstable transition. Mubarak is manipulating their fears, and there is some risk that he will succeed at driving divisions among different classes of disenfranchised Egyptians.

(Photo: Egyptian anti-government demonstrators gather at Cairo's Tahrir square on February 3, 2011 during clashes with pro-government opponents on the 10th day of protests calling for the ouster of embattled President Hosni Mubarak. ABy Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)

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