This has left the military to decide, more or less, how to run the transition and what its destination will be. Do they pursue former officials or not? Do they prosecute Mubarak? Or do they simply move on in the hope that the past can be left to itself? Presently the answer seems to be that they pursue those they don’t like (such as associates of Hosni Mubarak’s son Gamal), and only go after others when failure to do so generates popular anger. The military will always ensure its own interests in the regime are preserved, which may well limit the kind of structural reform that is possible in Egypt. And without a clear, revolutionary leadership, who has the authority to intervene?
This matters. To the extent that Egypt has inspired the Arab Spring, failure at the last hurdle will be a major symbolic blow to the region. Colonel Gaddafi’s horrific stubbornness in Libya is already deflating. So too the lack of progress in Bahrain and the absence of western interest or a clear avenue to success in Syria.
It’s a pivotal moment….