Damn. Mubarak says he's not leaving, but will delegate some powers to al-Suleiman. I listened to his speech in Arabic, and I really couldn't believe what I was hearing. Mubarak sounded disoriented and delusional, but still defiant:
On the 17th day of protests that have gripped his country and commanded the attention of the world, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak made a televised speech in which he repeated his pledge not to seek re-election, announced proposed amendments to the constitution, but did not -- as many had expected -- leave office.
"Day after day we will continue the transfer of power from now until September," he said.
He did say that he had delegated some powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman.
As Mubarak spoke, the massive crowd gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square grew more agitated, and began holding their shoes in the air in unison.
"Egypt is going through difficult time, and we can not do anything that causes damage to our economy day after day," Mubarak said.
After Mubarak spoke, Suleiman gave his own televised speech, urging protesters to go home and to work together with the government for the transition.
This is likely to turn very bloody very quickly. The people aren't backing down, and I believe that al-Suleiman really wants a violent confrontation. The real question is what the military will do; if they stand aside, Mubarak is done, but if they intervene we may see the bloodiest revolution in decades. I'm not optimistic.