Please Egypt: Don't go all Tiananmen Square on us

I have nothing either insightful or snarky to say about the events that are unfolding in the darkness of Cairo's Tahrir Square tonight, except that the situation seems to be growing more dire by the second. It seems clear now that Mubarak had a three-pronged strategy -- to try to reduce international pressure by announcing that he won't run in September, then send in his thugs to foment violence against the peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators, and finally use that violence as an excuse to send in the tanks and finish the job.

It's not over, but I feel sick to my stomach about what's going on. I'm not trying to sound flip here, but revolutions are a little like the NFL, in that there's a lot of parity. Some days the good guys win -- Berlin 1989, or Tunisia 2011. But elsewhere the bad guys win, like Prague in 1968 or Beijing in 1989. Damn Mubarak -- why doesn't he take his billions and get the hell out? -- and damn his murderous thugs. The struggle to be free is the story of mankind, and the final chapter is a long way from being written.