For all the significance of the Battle of Tahrir Square and the continuing protests across Egypt, the breaking story last night was this US proposal:
Officials from both governments are continuing talks about a plan in which Mr. Suleiman, backed by Lt. Gen. Sami Enan, chief of the Egyptian armed forces, and Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the defense minister, would immediately begin a process of constitutional reform.
The proposal also calls for the transitional government to invite members from a broad range of opposition groups, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, to begin work to open up the country’s electoral system in an effort to bring about free and fair elections in September, the officials said.
This was the proposition put to Mubarak by President Obama's envoy Frank Wisner when he arrived in Cairo on Sunday. And it was the plan that Mubarak rudely kicked away with his speech on Tuesday night, symbolically torched when his supporters laid siege to the opposition on Wednesday, and ground into the dust with the pursuit of journalists on Thursday.
So does the President now accept a fate which is not in power --- even until September --- but in an immediate departure, leaving perhaps a shred of the pride that he has bee citing all week?
Or, with the anti-regime protesters facing the prospect of either breaking out or suffering another day of siege in Tahrir Square, do they march? And does that march bring the last line of protection of Mubarak: a wielding of violence by the groups that appeared on Wednesday and --- much more importantly --- the military?