Yet another Western-backed dictator is set to fall from grace. The Shah of Iran, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein -- they all refused to concede defeat. And they all fell down. Hosni Mubarak will, too, if he doesn't review his history books.
I arrive in Cairo just before last week's protests begin. Traveling with a group of 38 tourists we land unwittingly amidst the uprisings, and proceed to spend several days moving just ahead of the mounting danger.
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.
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.
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.
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.