Watching the latest troubles in Egypt makes you realize why most revolutions, coup d’etat, regime changes, whatever you want to call them need the support of the military.
The actions in Egypt are quite bizarre in that they have not chosen a side. And yet, it is hard to imagine the army being neutral forever. How can anyone stand by and just watch citizens killing citizens. At some point someone in the military, probably Colonel level or higher, will decide to pick a side, and take some action.
It is highly unlikely that they will pick the a path of action that supports the existing regime. There is no benefit in being the hard-case who actually beats up the people. Unless, perhaps, you plan your own coup against the regime and you figure you are not yet powerful enough in your own base to make the step up.
No, it is much more likely that one or more senior leaders decides that ‘enough is enough’ and they use their weapons and loyal troops to actually do something tangible.
Watching the video above, you start thinking how much easier it would be if someone could just hijack a vehicle. Even better, sitting in two or three tanks and trundle respectfully towards the state goons, avoiding the normal people protesting. Cairo is not a big place, so it would not take that much of a distance to get to the palace or another less-guarded key location (see Google Maps for Cairo protest tracking and key locations).
Moreover, as soon as the senior leader decides to make a move, you’d move … and then ultra-fast let the other senior leaders know what you are doing, why you are doing it (“we have to stop this insane bloodshed of our own people at a dictator who is on the way out anyway”), and use the network to get as many fellow officers on side, and at least make sure they do not turn their guns on your own troops when you are on your way.
The ideal situation would be to team up with whoever is emerging as the heroes and leaders, the people who have a chance at shaping the country and government going forward. After all, generals make pretty poor democratic leaders, and as Tunisia shows, just because there is a new government is in place, that does not mean the people will accept it and stop protesting.
Three or four tanks. Let CNN, Al-Jazerra and ABC News know what you are planning as it is happening. Bingo!
Now, who has the telephone number for the Officer Training Academy in Egypt…?