News is surfacing of a possible tactic to let both the Egyptian regime and their backers in the Obama administration escape the the revolutionary movement underway in Egypt.
A so-called “council of wise men” has emerged, apparently self-appointed, and they have begun meetings with the new Vice President, the former key man in the rendition for torture of suspected terrorists, Suleiman. Suleiman is apparently signalling through the wise men, that much of Mubarak’s power would shift to him while allowing Mubarak to stay in power.
Obama today stood steadfast in refusing to call for Mubarak to step down immediately and that suggests that the “wise men” talks are something he may be backing.
The goal would be to take the wind out of the sails of the revolution with piecemeal compromises granted only very slowly and after much personal sacrifice by the movement itself.
At this point the movement to counter this effort would have to emerge with its own political structure in order to constitute a real alternative. Most likely, the popular committees and the other constituent bodies of the movement such as the independent unions, would send delegates to an assembly to constitute an alternative center of power.
That alternative would have to be political and economic, offering a way forward for not only Egypt but the entire region, which has suffered under authoritarian neo-liberal policies for the past two decades.