In Egyptian uprising, crowds learn quickly

Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:17pm EST
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By Myra MacDonald

LONDON (Reuters) - When news first broke that President Hosni Mubarak was about to step down, the mood on Twitter was jubilant.

"Mission accomplished. Thanks to all the brave young Egyptians," Wael Ghonim, the young Google executive who became an unlikely hero of the uprising, posted on his Twitter feed (

"People insanely cheerfull," posted an Egyptian blogger known as Sandmonkey. "There isn't an empty inch in Tahrir." (

But then came the doubts. The powerful military which has dominated Egypt since toppling the monarchy in 1952 was perhaps, they said, simply reasserting its authority by announcing it was taking control of the nation, while sacrificing Mubarak.

"Er .... coup?" journalist and blogger Issandr el-Amrani asked on his Twitter feed. (

"Mubarak may be done, but the army is likely to hang on. It's a military dominated regime. Mubarak was their steward for the last 30 years," Steven Cook from the Council on Foreign Relations commented. (

"Will people be satisfied under mil rule? This could create splits among the opposition, and that is probably what the army is hoping for," wrote Michael Hanna from the Century Foundation on his Twitter feed (

"Is this to head off real transition + consolidate power within mil state? Demands should focus on civilian national unity gov for transition," he wrote.   Continued...

<p>Opposition supporters shout in their stronghold of Tahrir Square, in Cairo February 10, 2011. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem</p>