If Mubarak Falls,
What’s Next?

January 28th, 2011 at 5:47 pm | 13 Comments |

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Old certainties are turning to ash in the Middle East. Solidly established regimes, for all their monopoly on violence, are suddenly finding themselves incapable of suppressing the rage of the region’s disaffected young. Hosni Mubarak lorded over Egypt for three decades. Today he cannot to put out the fires in Cairo. This is a revolution.

The temptation to explain away its causes is difficult to resist. Slogans now emerge from across the world. Yet the force most visibly driving this revolution is rage – the sudden explosion of latent resentment triggered by Tunisians’ brisk dethroning of Ben Ali.

Everyone who opposes authoritarian rule must support the Egyptian revolutionaries. They must also, in the same spirit, urge them to consider the consequences of their revolution. By erasing order, revolution creates the illusion of empowerment. But without order, the mighty rule the weak. True revolutionaries know that their struggle is a means to an end, the chaos a necessary route to stability.

Egypt’s revolutionaries are determined to bring down Mubarak’s regime, but have they given thought to what will replace it? Can their revolution transcend its origins as a movement opposed to Mubarak and produce a nationalism that stands for something superior? Will the quick satisfaction of ridding the country of Mubarak make Egyptians unalert to the more objectionable ideas for their country that will follow? Will they resist the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempts to subsume the revolution? History is handing Egyptians the extraordinary opportunity to renew their nation.  If they allow secular tyranny to be replaced by theocratic absolutism, they will not have another chance.


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13 Comments so far ↓

  • jakester

    Let me guess, some Muslim Brotherhood type regime might succeed it and erases any pretense of Egypt being a modern secular republic

  • Saladdin

    Does the term power vacuum mean anything to anyone?

  • Mark Rosenthal

    Power vacuum means strong possibility of complete Shariah takeover and hostitilites toward Israel.

  • jakester

    Power vacuum may also lead to something better too.

  • pnumi2

    No doubt, Israel has had an ‘Egypt Absent Mubarak Plan’ on the books for a decade or more. We may get to see it soon. With the Bibi/Lieberman updates.

  • nuser

    Mark
    Without question it will be more hostilities towards Israel and women. This is a bad situation.Read jakester’s first post. Did you notice the absurd situation where the riot police stood back , to let the rioters pray?

  • nelsonsack

    Reading these comments I find it stunning that this is viewed through the prism of what it means for Israel. What about what it means for 80 million human beings that have suffered with this corrupt incompetent regime since 1980? I applaud the people of Egypt for finally taking matters into their own hands and demanding a new and accountable leadership. The Muslim Brotherhood? What a joke they are. They’d be lucky to get 20 percent of the vote in a free election. Iran claims they are happy by these events? A pure bluff. They’re terrified by these events. If a Democratic government emerges it would inspire upheavals in Iran again. Perhaps this time with success. If a Sunni religious regime took over it would become a mortal enemy of the Shite Persians. Either way they loose. No matter who takes over they will maintain the status quo regarding Israel so as to not jeopardize the 2 billion dollars a year in aid they receive from us. And there hasn’t been any clamoring for hostilities with Israel in decades. They’re so over that. Egypt is a highly westernized modern arab nation which prides itself on its relative modernity. These people want to go into the future as a great nation and a great people . They’re not looking to regress to some Iranian style religious theocracy. We should be cheering this and not fretting about it.

  • rockstar

    WHERE’S MY G-D—-JOB!!!

  • talkradiosucks.com

    “Reading these comments I find it stunning that this is viewed through the prism of what it means for Israel. What about what it means for 80 million human beings that have suffered with this corrupt incompetent regime since 1980?”

    Welcome to neoconservatism.

    They play lip service to “freedom” and “spreading democracy”. What they really care about is American control of the world first (via endless expansion of the military), protection of Israel second, and everything else is way down the list (if it’s on the list at all).

  • Nanotek

    “Old certainties are turning to ash in the Middle East.”

    but then aren’t certainties illusions?

    “If they allow secular tyranny to be replaced by theocratic absolutism, they will not have another chance.”

    perhaps not for awhile but the Internet levels everything eventually

  • baw1064

    No doubt, Israel has had an ‘Egypt Absent Mubarak Plan’ on the books for a decade or more.

    Considering he’s in his 80′s, one would hope so. Revolution or no revolution, it’s very unlikely he’ll be running the place ten years from now.

  • abj

    The Muslim Brotherhood? What a joke they are. They’d be lucky to get 20 percent of the vote in a free election.

    The same could have been said about the Bolsheviks in February 1917. We all know what happened later that October. I’m not saying the Muslim Brotherhood (or an equally odious group of radicals) will take over – but any time you have a power vacuum, the usual rules do not apply, and the collapse of state infrastructure creates an opening for well-organized, well-armed radicals to seize power.

    It’s reassuring that the protesters aren’t motivated by an extremist ideology. Their grievances are reasonable; how they’ve chosen to express their grievances has also been reasonable for the most part. They’re waving Egyptian flags, not green Islamist flags. But what do they stand for, other than removing Mubarak? The concern is that an ideologically extremist group may step in and fill the blanks for them.

    If that were to happen – the misery they’ve experienced the past 30 years will pale in comparison to what will come.

    Certainly, the Egyptian people deserve better than Mubarak. I just hope they don’t end up with something worse.

  • pnumi2

    baw1064

    ‘Egypt Absent Mubarak Plan’ on the books for ‘a decade or more.’

    I should have said ‘almost 30 years,’ but I was too lazy to look up when Sadat was killed.
    Israel was very lucky Mubarak lasted as long as he did.

    The NIS was gaining strength of late, but this will be a set back.