Aswani's piece underlines the importance of the military and security establishments' perception of popular sovereignty, including farther afield.
It's hard not to think of Belarus, where security forces unflinchingly obeyed President Lukashenka's brutal orders after a flawed election, cracking demonstrators' heads and launching longer-term retributive measures. Or Kyrgyzstan, where nearly a year ago security forces initially fired on antigovernment demonstrators but appeared to abandon then-President Kurmanbek Bakiev rather than escalate the bloodshed. Or Iran since the marred presidential vote in June 2009, where formal and informal security have rallied to enforce the hard-liners' will. Or even Armenia, where police crushed postelection disorder in 2008 but the opposition is trying mightily to capture momentum from Tunisia and Egypt and portray its cause as one that's worth not fighting for.
-- Andy Heil