Egyptians Cautiously Optimistic About Military

Saturday saw jubilant crowds still in Tahrir Square and some promising to remain there until the military gives clear assurances it’s moving toward democracy. The key question now is how the military will act in the transition. Egypt is now in the hands of two military leaders, both of whom earned credibility from the protesters by making appearances in Tahrir Square during the protests. But this doesn’t mean they’re pro-democracy; one, at least, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, is seen as a determined opponent of political change. Tantawi was part of Mubarak’s ruling clique (WikiLeaks cables described him as Mubarak’s “poodle”). Less is known about the other officer, Lt. Gen. Sami Hafez Enan. In addition to moving toward civilian rule, the military has some big tasks in front of them: They must defuse demonstrations, quell labor unrest, rebuild the economy, and reconstruct security forces—while doing away with the emergency laws, as it promised.