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