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Egypt Rioting Presents New Dangers for America

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Popular opposition to the Mubarak regime in Egypt--a government with $1.3 billion of US annual support--is on the edge of protests turning into rebellion, as happened in Tunisia. Claire Berlinski, who is affiliated with Discovery Institute, writes at Ricochet that the news blackout in Cairo is clouding developments there. But some tweets and other communications indicate a quickly deteriorating government position. The fact that protestors have not been stopped suggests that we may be witnessing a classic popular revolt: an aged autocrat is ousted by widespread steet protests and a collapse of police morale.

Then what? No matter how it comes out, there is potential trouble for the US. The Bush Administration wanted democracy for the region, but that's not how we are perceived there, even after the example of Iraq.

If Mubarak goes, the USA will be cited as weak and vulnerable. Pressure on Israel, via Gaza, will grow. If he stays, the repression will be blamed, collaterally, on us. The only happy outcome would be for the protests to be stilled, but a plan for democratic transition implemented. Even then, there is danger that the Muslim Brotherhood could regain support in an election cycle.

UPDATE: Much as the news, as in the Iranian attempted revolt last year, is coming from social media, including Twitter. For example, see: http://twitter.com/search?q=%23jan26

You can email brucechapman@discovery.org

3 Comments

Rounds of gunfire were heard today leaving 3 dead and 600 injured. Protesters who want Mubarak to quit immediately were still holding their ground in the epicentre of the protest at Tahrir Square. It has been alleged that the pro-Mubarak protestors are hired goons sent to destabilize the protest.

The people of Egypt have rights that are universal which includes the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny. These are basic human rights and the Egyptian authorities should refrain from any violence against the peaceful protesters. Hope everyone supports this cause.

Greek riots, Tunisian riots, Egyptian riots - if their politicians behave like ours do in the UK, it's no surprise!

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