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Another Iranian-Style Crackdown in Egypt? Another Tiananmen Square?

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There seems little question that sinister, backstage efforts are being made now by the besieged Mubarak regime to thwart the citizen uprising in Egypt. The sudden appearance of pro-Mubarak gangs, some on horses using whips, others equipped with firearms, clubs, knives and other weaponry, are clear indications that the government has finally said "enough" to its foes. For all of the polite talk in which Mubarak officials grant the protesters the right to voice their grievances, for all of the formal promises to negotiate with the opposition, for all of the niceness with which the Egyptian military has handled the crowds, even for Mubarak's interview with ABC saying he is weary and wants to leave office, what appears to be really going on is a grand plan to eventually surround, move in on and crush the insurgents. This is further evidenced by the targeted assaults on newsmen to drive them out of the streets of Cairo to prevent any global media from videotaping the regime's battles to repress the opposition. What is undoubtedly behind all this public politesse is an attempt by Mubarak to gain some breathing room, especially from the American government and European leaders, so that ultimately, over the next few days or weeks, he can quietly initiate an Iranian-style crackdown on protesters, or worse, another Tiananmen Square-like bloodbath that wipes out the democracy movement for good. Dictators like Mubarak have stayed in power because they have a full understanding of power politics and they know they need to ruthlessly squash their enemies. Mubarak will not give up power unless he absolutely has to. That will only happen if the Egyptian military deserts him.