Emboldened by the Tunisian uprising and frustrated by corruption, poverty and repression, protesters in Egypt have demanded that the 82-year-old Mubarak step
"The people want the regime to fall," they chanted. On Tuesday, the first day of rallies known as the "Day of Wrath" among activists, three protesters and a policeman were killed.
Security forces have arrested about 500 demonstrators over the two days, an Interior Ministry source said. Witnesses said officers, some in civilian clothes, hauled away people and bundled them into unmarked vans. They beat some with batons.
The coordinated protests were unlike anything witnessed in Egypt -- one of the United States' closest Middle East allies -- since Mubarak, a former air force commander, came to power in 1981 after President Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Islamists.
Two things to note: the age of Mubarak and the folks who killed Sadat. The Islamists have been operating in Egypt for a long time now but many of the bad actors have been outsourcing -- remember that Mohammed Atta was an Egyptian, as is Zaiman al-Zawahiri. Egypt is a crucial, crucial country and if it goes to the Islamists, things are going to get interesting, in the Chinese curse sense of the term.