Posts Tagged ‘dictators’

I don’t have extensive expertise on the Arab world, so I’ll refrain from extensive comment.

I will say, though, that it’s extremely difficult to predict the eventualities of the current protests. Egypt could have everything from a Tiananmen-style crackdown (Egypt’s military is much stronger than, say, Tunisia’s) to a full-on “color revolution” scenario like the former Soviet republics. But even then, the forces of internal politics and economic turmoil may create a wide range of scenarios.

Demonstrations such as the ones in Egypt create powerful images, but revolutions are necessarily dangerous things. A volatile mix of a large, young population and a vast, powerful military indicate structural difficulties beyond Mubarak and the current regime. Ideally, there would be peaceful transfers of power instead of revolutions (see: Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan, etc.), but this cannot always be the case.

As a side note, calls for the U.S. to back the protesters more is a little silly. The last thing most reform movements need is the suggestion that they are backed financially by the United States (see: Iran).

To read informed opinion on the matter, I recommend Juan Cole or Abu Aardvark (aka Marc Lynch).

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