Friday, February 11, 2011

Egg on many faces

So Mubarak just resigned. The CIA chief said he would, but then he didn’t and now he has, in the meantime the blogosphere chewed into the CIA chief pretty good. I have avoided posting on the subject, because any predication can easily end up wrong in such a dynamic event without full access to the inner workings.
How will this play out? The army seems to be still in full control, but carefully allowing the people to vent. From my reading the army can control the supplies of vehicle gas, cooking gas and bread, which means they have significant control over the poor. Now can they offer just enough to take the steam out of the protests without a major clash or will the protesters try for whole works? So far the army has played their cards carefully allowing the Interior ministry and the police to be the focus of hate for the protests. However if the protesters threaten the “rice bowls” of the army, thing may get nasty in a hurry.
Whenever stuff happens over in the Middle East there are a few places I go to get perspective and as always Michael Totten delivers with his interview with Abbas Milani about the Iranian Revolt in 1979. I have to admit that based on my own encounters with radical Muslims and the history of the M.E. I fear the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). They may be small but they are organized, determined to rise in power and have the infrastructure to magnify their power well beyond their numbers. They will likely be able to tap into the sympathy of the poor more readily than the current drivers of the revolt. I think the goals of the MB is to grab a share of power and seat at the table. Once there they will work long term to take over the power centre’s within the country. I hope I am wrong, for the sake of the Egyptian people.

Michaels interview can be found here

Abbas Milani, like most educated Iranians, detested the Shah’s tyrannical regime that ruled over his homeland until it was overthrown in 1979 by a coalition of liberals, leftists, and Islamists. Unlike the vast majority of the liberals and leftists, however, Milani knew in advance what the Islamists were up to. The Shah had cast him into the dungeon at the notorious Evin Prison and for six months his cell mates were the ideological and physical brutes who later would found the Islamic Republic.

Today Milani is the director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University and a co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution. His new book The Shah was published a few weeks ago by Palgrave MacMillan. I sat down with him in his office at the Hoover Institution to talk about what’s happening right now in Egypt.

I hope the future of Eygpt has more of this

But I can't help to remember that persecution on Coptics was the norm just weeks ago.

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