Hats off to the Egyptians

Hats off to the protesters. They have been by and large peaceful. They have withstood attempts from looters and pro-Mubarak crowds to generate chaos. Christians and Muslims have worked together.

Hats off to the military. They have been restrained and for the most part neutral. They have kept things from escalating. And now it seems they are stepping in giving guarantees that reform processes toward full democracy will go forward.

Hats NOT off to Mubarak. He seems to have completely misread the voice of the people and the seriousness of the situation. He has tried one trick after another to try and placate the protesters and has failed. His speech was just confusing. Is he stepping down or not? He could have been more forthright and clear.

but still …

Hats off to Mubarak. I believe he does want to keep Egypt from degenerating into chaos. I believe he does want to prevent Egypt from developing into a radical Muslim state in which the people would be worse off than they are now.

And now …

But what happens now? Interesting days and months are ahead.

Will the reforms really go through?

Will the Military take over? They certainly must be considering the fact that a democratic Egypt could move in a direction which would cause the U.S. and others to reduce their subventions of the Egyptian military.

What will become of the Arab-Israeli peace accords? Egypt has been a cornerstone of the fragile peach which has prevailed over the last 30 years. If a future Egypt scraps this, what will transpire? This is especially probably if the Muslim Brother has a strong voice. But is this true? I’ve read reports that the Muslim Brotherhood is largely secular and then other reports which deny this. The times they are a changin’.

And lastly …

How shall we judge the effects of Bush’s invasion of Iraq to the mood in the Arab world? One of Bush’s justifications for the war, number 5 – I believe ;), was that he wanted to bring democracy to the region. Things certainly didn’t go as he planned. Off course there are a many factors causing the protests in the Arab world but I think it would be dishonest to discount the influence the the Iraqi-Invasion has had on the region.

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