The departure of President Hosni Mubarak from Cairo on 11 February, bound apparently for his villa at Sharm al-Sheikh on the Red Sea, unleashed a torrent of breathless media commentary about the “Egyptian Revolution”. It may be that change of a revolutionary magnitude is in store for Egypt, but to date the events in that country resemble something more akin to a popular uprising followed by a palace coup. The ruling regime and state apparatus remain largely intact.
The absence of a clearly defined leadership cadre on the part of the rebels makes the assessment of about what has been achieved rather difficult. It is, however, possible to evaluate the current state of play against an inventory of demands issued by the “January 25″ movement and translated in a recent ZNet article authored by Juan Cole. A preliminary check list, based upon key demands and responses, follows: