Why is Mubarak toast? Everyone assumes that the Egyptian leader is a dead man walking, and given his speech on Friday, I can understand that sentiment. There are, however, remaining options for Mubarak to pursue, ranging from a full-blown 1989 Tiananmen square crackdown to a slow-motion 2009 Tehran-style crackdown.
Obviously, these aren’t remotely good options for anyone involved. The first rule in political science, however, is that leaders want to stay in power, and Mubarak has given no indication that he wants to leave. He could be packing up as I type this — but 80-year old strongmen don’t tend to faint at the first spot of trouble.
The Days of Rage have clearly altered the future of Egypt — Gamel Mubarak is not going to succeed his father. How much additional change will take place is unclear.