Many of the secular activists and organizations who had played such a central role in the Arab Spring uprising came together with the Muslim Brotherhood in a unified front to challenge the military's continuing seizure of power.
Human rights standards may not be met in this trial, but the more essential purpose is to prove there's no going back to the days prior to the Tahrir revolution.
Obama's speech on the Middle East and North Africa missed the point of the Arab uprising, and offered little sign of conciliation or support for the Palestinians.
Phase one of the Arab spring is over. Phase two – the attempt to crush or contain genuine popular movements – has begun.
After Egyptian President Mubarak defied the rising demand of millions of protesters and announced he will remain in office, the question is what happens next.
The overt age of grand empires gave way to the age of covert imperial hegemony, but now the edifice is crumbling.
The age of political reason is returning to the Arab world. The people are fed up of being colonised and bullied. Meanwhile, the political temperature is rising in Jordan, Algeria and Yemen.
The rediscovery of Arab solidarity against the repellent dictatorships
and those who sustain them is a new turning point in the Middle East.
Egyptians' experience of a police state is behind calls not just for Mubarak's resignation but a fundamental overhaul of state structures.
The problem facing Obama is that of constructing “Mubarakism” without Mubarak, that is, to guarantee the continuity of the pro-American autocracy through an acceptable replacement recruited from the ranks of the regime.