Day of thugs

CAIRO — Feb. 2 actually started out as a pretty good day for the anti-government protesters still massed in Tahrir Square. The usual festive mood and sense of community reigned after another chilly night outdoors. When Internet service abruptly returned around noon, the good news spread throughout the crowd. It was taken as a sign ...

Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

CAIRO — Feb. 2 actually started out as a pretty good day for the anti-government protesters still massed in Tahrir Square. The usual festive mood and sense of community reigned after another chilly night outdoors. When Internet service abruptly returned around noon, the good news spread throughout the crowd. It was taken as a sign that the government's grip was weakening and the tide was turning toward a resolution of the weeklong standoff with President Hosni Mubarak.

That turned out to be a gross miscalculation. By nightfall, the streets around Tahrir were littered with wounded protesters who were frightened, enraged, shell shocked, and desperately short of medical supplies.

Read more.

CAIRO — Feb. 2 actually started out as a pretty good day for the anti-government protesters still massed in Tahrir Square. The usual festive mood and sense of community reigned after another chilly night outdoors. When Internet service abruptly returned around noon, the good news spread throughout the crowd. It was taken as a sign that the government’s grip was weakening and the tide was turning toward a resolution of the weeklong standoff with President Hosni Mubarak.

That turned out to be a gross miscalculation. By nightfall, the streets around Tahrir were littered with wounded protesters who were frightened, enraged, shell shocked, and desperately short of medical supplies.

Read more.

 

Ashraf Khalil is a Cairo-based journalist. This article is an edited excerpt of his book, Liberation Square: Inside the Egyptian Revolution and the Rebirth of a Nation.

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.