The hundreds of thousands were not only resilient, but peaceful. It was remarkable, almost unbelieveable that so many could gather for so long and the only violence came from the paid goons of the government. The "grandchildren" have shown a maturity, that confounded the "geriatrics" in power. Until the end, those in power, still treated them as spoiled children, telling them to go home.
Now, the season of discontent has entered a dangerous phase. There is a mini vacuum of power. The military is now in charge. Will they be willing to give up power and huge wealth that they have acquired over the past 30 years. They have been praised past deeds and for not taking the side of Mubarak, but now wiil they continue to respect the people and act with restraint? This is where the Obama administration and especially the close relation between the Egyptian and American military ( while the older senior officers, like Mubarak, were mostly trained in Russia, the younger ones were trained in the USA), WILL BE PUT TO THE TEST.
America fears instability in the region and previous administrations had sided with the autocrats, to hold the line. In Iran, in the Philippines, in Chile, in Indonesia they diddled and sided with th Shah, Marcos, Pinochet and Suharto, because of the fear of "communism". Unlike Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton, Obama emphasised the need for change and sent strong messages to Mubarak. When Mubarak hesitated and blamed "foreign" influences, Obama did not back down, and when yesterday, Obama felt that he had been misled, he reacted strongly, and made it clear that he was fed up with Mubarak. A few hours afterwards Mubarak resigned. Now the State Department, with the Defence Dept. must co-ordinate and ensure a steady, peaceful change to civilian rule. It cannot happen overnight, but some visible, needed changes have to be announced now.....plans to reduce poverty and unemployment, plans to defang the Interior ministry, plans to regain the looted wealth of the nation, plans to hold those responsible for the death of the 300 or so killed during the "revolution".The people must be convinced that real change is coming and not in years. The "streets" can come back, and then it will not be so peaceful.