ON THE STREETS: The beginnings of anarchy. The police have thrown in the towel, leaving the maintenance of law and order to the army -- but the soldiers inside the tanks, who have chosen for the most part to stand by inactive while crowds pour into the streets in defiance of the dawn-to-dusk curfew, are also doing little to keep the protesters safe.It's definitely worth a click to read the whole thing. Here's some video of the army and the protestors interacting:
More from Ms. Levy:
WITHIN THE MILITARY: Egypt has the draft. Unlike its policemen, its soldiers are not in uniform voluntarily. From Mubarak's perspective, the men inside the tanks could have gone either way, and they are indeed showing themselves to be undecided at best: they are neither cracking down on the protesters nor actively defending them. Many striking images are circulating of soldiers emerging from their tanks to be held aloft on the shoulders of protesters, but less mention is being made of the protesters urging the soldiers to open fire on the riot police -- a step they refused to take. The army has not formally taken any side and is unlikely to do so until it becomes clearer whether or not Suleiman -- an ex-general who is perceived as the army's candidate -- will take power.Check out all the wreckage in the streets. Also, consider this: the streets themselves are being wrecked. An M-60A1 tank, Egypt's primary tank, weighs in at around 50 tons. Once you start doing donuts around the main streets, the asphalt is toast. After this thing dies down and Egypt returns to something resembling normalcy, shipping within Cairo is going to be problematic.
On the plus side, those tanks are delivering a Keynesian's dream: shovel-ready projects. Yay!
Update: Dig the looting going on in the last 30 seconds of the video. I love the guy with the plasma TV in a box.