The Republic Of Tahrir's Split

Graeme Wood reports from post-Mubarak Egypt:

There have been two groups of protesters in the square: the radicals, and the tourists. The radicals shed blood and risked everything to get rid of Mubarak, and the tourists supported them but didn't show up until the danger had passed. During the heady early days of the protests, none of the radicals indicated that they would be satisfied with anything less than democracy and the most severe justice for Mubarak and his people.

Already, we've witnessed the gratifying spectacle of ex-Mubarak ministers' being denied permission to leave the country and, presumably, flee to luxurious exile. Early in the protests, Amr Bargisi warned in The Wall Street Journal that the protesters would commence a reign of terror if they won. "The next step," he said the protesters promised, "will be to knock on the doors of suburban villas and ask the owners: Where did you get the money to afford these?"

Where, then, are the Arab Jacobins, and should we fear them? The presence of elites out there, shoveling garbage with the common man, must be met with some ambivalence, I suppose: some among them are, for the moment, supporters of the revolution, and others could potentially be its victims. So far, the protesters have shown little appetite for gore and have cleared no space for a guillotine in Tahrir Square. Perhaps it is the military's role to stifle and suppress the most eager of these protesters and to allow the villa owners, many of whom have military connections, to prepare themselves for justice. The radical wing of protesters has shown little flexibility about anything so far, and eventually it will demand, in a word, satisfaction.