• I’m going to be a bit of a Debbie Downer on this – though I heartily concur, good thing Mubarek’s out, no way can he be a conciliator at this point, he robbed a buck or a billion or two from a poor country which never developed a strong economy under him, other than relying on oil, imposed a state of emergency his whole tenure and along with keeping the really bad guys in check, repressed moderate oppositin which could have helped foster real democracy, yada-yada.

    There are many highly intelligent and moderate voices who will participate in shaping the future, virtually all have a shared interest in keeping Egypi stable and developing the neglected economic infrastructure, and so on. All good.

    But talking with some Lebanese Christian friends yesterday, I get a more circumspect response. They think that democracy there as in much of the Middle East is really code for a more Islamic government, one which would be more sympathetic to Iran and its nuclear ambitions, to Iran and Syria continuing to back Hezbollah (which with the Syrians has taken over the economy including airport and port revenues in Lebanon, they allege), with the aim of attacking Israel and driving it out or at least reshaping the map and freeing the Palestinians.

    These people are no more supporters of Israel than others in the region, by the way, and have a curious way of speaking of “the Jews” as the other, some species they don’t quite understand – but became fed up with how Syria basically took over Lebanon, robs its economy, and makes the country a staging ground for its own agenda. Whoever replaces Mubarek, they know (after the current VP who’s been part of his same agenda), will not and cannot be as measured toward Israel. Of course this worries Israel, too.

  • SF, I’m marking your words and taking the opposite side of that bet. There is plenty that can go wrong in Egypt, but the situation is very different than in Iran, pre and post overthrow of the Shah.

  • It’s a wait and see game. NOBODY knows how it’s going to turn out. Some of these “experts” who are pontificating on it have no more idea than Celeste or SF how this is going to turn out. They’re talking to hear themselves talk.

  • I worked in Egypt for three weeks back in the 80’s, so I am an EXPERT on anything about Egypt. I predict President Hosni Mubarak will resign amid the current revolt and that change will come to Egypt.

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