Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt To Fall...

With the protests continuing to accelerate in Egypt and the military now being called out on behalf of the Mubarak regime it seems likely El Baradei will be the singular figurehead that the population rallies around and pushes to take power in the power vacuum to come.

In the long run nothing is known--Will the Muslim Brotherhood usurp the popular uprising and install an Islamic theocracy?  Will the military depose Mubarak itself and place itself in charge?

In the short run however, unlike the popular protests in Iran last year, I do see this movement going somewhere.  As in Iran, if these protests slow in any way, they will quickly die off and thing will return more or less to normal but I don't believe that to be the case here.  Egypt is a far more "liberal" country than Iran and has a populous more exposed to Western unrest than Iran--they actually believe they can topple the Mubarak regime whereas in Iran, the movement just hoped they could with the help of outside influence.

Additionally, Egypt's military is not likely to be filled with such hardliners and true believers as Iran's was and is thus far less likely to start rolling the tanks over tens of thousands of demonstrators.

What this results in, to my thinking, is a relatively rapid (less than one week, perhaps this weekend) transition in which Mubarak and his son Gamal (who was likely to take over for Mubarak in a change of dictators in the near future) are deposed and leave the country.  What comes after??  Who knows but the wheels of democracy do not always turn the way you want them.  I think the US would have preferred Mubarak and sons to remain in control rather than hand one of the largest and most powerful Middle Eastern countries over to a weak mish-mash coalition of various unknowns and downright enemies of the West.  Additionally, with the fall of Tunisia's leader and now likely Egypt's as well as the handover of Lebanon to Hezbollah and Iran, this cannot be making Israel comfortable, nor the leaders of Jordan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East where large, young, poor, restless Islamic youth are governed by the old and rich...

GW Bush may get his wish that Ddemocracy comes to the Mideast through the influence of a "free" just may not look like he thought it would.

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