1. The Egyptian people's power lies inAs one tweet put it, "Dear US government: We don't hate you because we hate your freedom; we hate you because you hate our freedom."a. preventing the economy from returning to normal WHILEThe people can't be sure of achieving their goal unless Mubarak is actually ousted a.s.a.p. And that won't happen unless they continue to do both of the above, because only the combination of both might motivate those with power within and outside Egypt to induce Mubarak to leave, who otherwise has everything to gain by simply waiting the protesters out.
b. winning the p.r. war.
2. Mubarak should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity – we've just watched while such crimes have been committed – but U.S. officials probably feel they must at least offer Mubarak a safe exit, partly because otherwise, the other dictators we've been propping up might decide we weren't a sufficiently reliable ally.
Meanwhile, The Nation has an excellent description of the pro-democracy organizers.