Robert Fisk from the Independent:
To the horror of Egyptians and the world, President Hosni Mubarak – haggard and apparently disoriented – appeared on state television last night to refuse every demand of his opponents by staying in power for at least another five months. The Egyptian army, which had already initiated a virtual coup d’état, was nonplussed by the President’s speech which had been widely advertised – by both his friends and his enemies – as a farewell address after 30 years of dictatorship. The vast crowds in Tahrir Square were almost insane with anger and resentment.
Mubarak tried – unbelievably – to placate his infuriated people with a promise to investigate the killings of his opponents in what he called “the unfortunate, tragic events”, apparently unaware of the mass fury directed at his dictatorship for his three decades of corruption, brutality and repression.
The old man had originally appeared ready to give up, faced at last with the rage of millions of Egyptians and the power of history, sealed off from his ministers like a bacillus, only grudgingly permitted by his own army from saying goodbye to the people who hated him.
Read the rest of the article.
Al Jazeera’s coverage of Mubarak’s speech is pretty gripping, with a split screen showing the crowds in Tahrir Square and their reaction to his incredible announcement that he wouldn’t step down until September.