Repeated calls by Western leaders,
including US president Barack Obama,
for Egypt’s protest movement to refrain from violence are also significant.
Never mind the utter hypocrisy of such exhortations by the US and other Western governments
who have armed the Mubarak regime to the teeth
and continue to support it in the face of mounting civilian casualties.
The insidious follow-on from this rationale is that if protesters
– more to the point agent provocateurs –
engage in violence then Western governments can denounce the pro-democracy uprising,
leaving it wide open to the heavy hands of the state forces.