The developing situation in Cairo is heartbreaking. In eight days of demonstrations, millions of people took to the streets to peacefully express their desire for democratic reform. After a late-night statement from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, that peace has been broken.
The violence must stop, and it can only be stopped by President Mubarak. Events are still within his control. He must immediately tell his supporters not to engage in violence against peaceful protesters or journalists. He must order plainclothes police officers not to become involved in fomenting violence. He must order the army to protect the protesters and journalists and to prevent further violence.
Onrushing events in Egypt bring to the international community a sense of urgency. The world community should not wait for a wider conflict to develop. People everywhere must speak out against the violence, which if it spirals could become disastrous. President Mubarak can still assure a peaceful transition.