Mubarak is holding on to the past, employing the same tactics he has used over his thirty-year rule to reign in his opposition. This time, however, he will not succeed. The Egyptian people have changed.
If we perpetuate the cycle of dictator addiction by continuing to so forcefully back all those other dictatorships around the globe beyond Egypt, we will be helping guarantee other overdoses in the future.
There is little reason for the U.S. to fear a takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood. If Egypt is allowed to find its own way, the problem of extremism could well fade as disaffected youth at last find hope at home.
The bloodbath that is now unfolding in Egypt will inevitably radicalize many young Egyptians. Popular mobilization that was admirable in its pluralism and discipline will find it much harder to resist the impulse toward violence in response.
We have a chance to get on the right side of history on this one, by finding a way to throw some weight behind Mohamed ElBaradei. The Nobel Peace Prize winner in the middle of the crowd. With the megaphone.
Deemphasizing democracy rhetoric was a reasonable strategy for the Obama administration as it allowed them to differentiate their administration from Bush's. The problem is, it also gave the appearance that the U.S. was casting its lot with the authoritarians.
The Arab youth of today are connected and determined to take part in deciding their own future. Understanding them and giving them an opportunity to share in power is the only logical way to help find solutions.
Nearly 8 long years ago, the Iraq War was wrongfully started under the guise of spreading democracy in the Middle East. And now, I sit and watch real democracy take to the streets in Egypt brought on by average citizens.
Clearly, it is time for fundamental change in Egypt, not just cosmetic alterations. There are several reasons for the current uprising which must be borne in mind in order to figure out where to go from here.
In eight days of demonstrations, millions of people took to the streets to peacefully express their desire for democratic reform. After a late-night statement from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, that peace has been broken.