Look at these two statements about the Egyptian protests from a FoxNews article.
#1: "After five days of protests, Cairo was engulfed in chaos. There was rampant looting and lawlessness was spreading fast. Residents of affluent neighborhoods were boarding up their houses against gangs of thugs roaming the streets with knives and sticks and gunfire was heard in some neighborhoods."
#2:"We don't want him! We will go after him!" demonstrators shouted. They decried looting and sabotage, saying: "Those who love Egypt should not sabotage Egypt!"
Point being, and I'm sorry if I'm stepping on the sacred cow of all you liberal former hippies who thought it was so much fun to burn your draft cards and throw rocks at National Guardsmen, that if you feel you have to go out and burn stuff belonging to someone you don't even know and break windows of people who never harmed you to make a point, YOU'VE ALREADY LOST THE BATTLE.
I'll give the Egyptians this: there are plenty of stories about how the People themselves held off looters from the National museum until the army could get there. Good for them! BUUUUUUT.... If those people had never started the property damage, the arson, and the ignoring of civil law, those looters would never have been encouraged to come out. Protesters get whipped into a frenzy, go from being civil disobediants to idiots, and then all the whack jobs come out and take advantage of this. Then the government, who if they weren't disinclined to listen before, has to stretch itself even further to clean up the messes before they can BEGIN to address the grievance. This becomes redoubled when the protesters open the door for the whackjobs and crooks. Look no further than the Rodney King mess- how were mainstream Americans going to give any credence to any legitimate grievances when each honest protester was followed by 5 punks boosting TVs out of some burning Best Buy?
I would suggest that if opposition leader Mohamed El-Baradei wants to be listened to- rather than stewing under house arrest- he ought to think about this, and get his people settled down. It's easy for that poster-child for patriotism, John Kerry, to say from the safety of Switzerland, "Mubarak has to do more. Dismissing the government doesn't speak to some of those challenges. I think he's got to speak more to the real issues that people feel." John, would you give the three year old a candy bar BECAUSE he's throwing the tantrum? Oh, never mind, YOU probably would. Or to put it another way, he might just speak to them if y'all just SHUT UP FOR A MINUTE!!!