|Way smarter than Mubarak.|
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. ~ John Kennedy, 1962It would have been far better to say nothing at all than to do what he did today. By his concerted non-actions Mubarak is certain to enrage the people even more. The demonstrators will not be going home and today's scattered strikes may turn into a general strike tomorrow. Fridays have been the days when major actions occur.
The opportunities that the army would, or even could, quell the demonstrations with a show of force have mostly disappeared. It is unlikely the generals have the stomach for slaughtering the population and it is very likely the rank-and-file would rebel if given those orders. If the army intervenes at all it will more likely be in a coup deposing the Mubarak/Suleiman kingdom. (The Egypt 1952 scenario.)
It is possible that the army will stand aside, regardless of the orders from its generals, and allow the demonstrators to march on government buildings and simply take over. (The Velvet Revolution scenario.) It is also possible that the army will split between pro-general and pro-public factions and Egypt will devolve into civil war. (The Russian Revolution scenario.) I suspect that Israeli military strategists are hoping for this outcome as a violent civil war will destroy Egypt's military.
Then there is the distinct possibility that the raw anger Mubarak has created by his ham-fisted approach to governance will cause the simmering rage among the Egyptian people to boil over into unforgiving violence. (The French Revolution scenario.) If this happens then Mubarak will die on Egyptian soil as he wishes, perhaps hanging by the neck from a makeshift scaffold or perhaps hacked into bits and thrown into the Nile.
Whatever the result, Mubarak threw gasoline on the embers of the Egyptian Revolution and has made his stated goal, the slow rewriting of the Egyptian constitution, quite impossible.