February 11, 2011

Egypt loses its rallying cry

Mubarak has stepped down - wonderful!!! He has transferred power to the military, though last night he'd transferred most powers to his new Vice President and recovering intelligence czar -- in other words, that constitution we were so worried about using is no longer in effect.

There is both good news and bad news. The United States can now force the Egyptian military to comply with democratic changes (if we so choose) without appearing to betray Mubarak the Ally, while the Egyptian people have lost the personification of their grievances.

Can even 10 million Egyptians really take power from "the military"? Possibly, if they can push enough soldiers to defect or a least stand down. Without serious pressure from the United States (apologies to Europe), the people may not have much of a chance. Much of the decision remains in the hands of the military-turned-junta -- are they willing to gun down hundreds of peaceful but determined demonstrators? And what would be Washington's response in such a case?

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