Egypt: Were the Army and the Cops in Cahoots All This Time?
|12:53:33 AM, Thursday, February 03, 2011|
“The people of Cairo are now waiting to learn the toll from the battle of Tahrir Square on Wednesday. The clashes, which broke out barely an hour after the government allowed Internet connections to resume, have added a new twist to the drama that has gripped the Arab world's largest country: Has the army been on the side of the government after all?
Since military tanks moved in across Egypt on Jan. 28, the army has largely held the support of the anti-government demonstrators and the city's residents. "The whole military is supporting the revolution," said Taher Mohamed, a lawyer, as he headed into Tuesday's so-called march of millions. The sentiment was widespread: the army is neutral; it represents the people; it has refused to fire on demonstrators. Protesters hoping to see President Hosni Mubarak fall paused to shake hands with soldiers or cheer them from the tops of tanks. (See TIME's exclusive pictures of the turmoil in Egypt.)
But on Wednesday, busloads of Mubarak supporters armed with sticks and machetes as well as a small army of men on horseback were able to get through Cairo's many military and civilian checkpoints, advancing into Tahrir Square seemingly without hindrance from the military. All of this occurred on a day when pedestrians and drivers had to weave their way through practically impenetrable army roadblocks all around downtown Cairo…”
-- That's what I've been afraid of since their apparent declaration of neutrality. There's too many unknowns. Hopefully this revolution does not turn in to a civil war.