12 Mubarak Goes. Obama Crows. Army Power Grows. Islamism Waits in the Wings

Mubarak has flown to Sharm El-Sheikh after a “soft” military coup.  In response to Mubarak leaving, Obama (in his latest blast of logorrhoea) has hailed “a new day” in the Middle East. This morning the protestors have awakened to the reality that the Egyptian Army now runs the show–at least until the Islamists gain their footing.  Tahrir Square is emptying with protestors saying that they have accomplished what they wanted to–but will return once a week to hold the military’s feet to the fire. Sure. Who has learned what lessons from the Egyptian episode? Two U.S. “allies”, the two Kings Abdullah (Jordan and Saudi Arabia) have learned that the U.S. will cheerfully throw them under the bus should an uprising occur.  More than this, they (along with Syria) have learned that Mubarak’s strategy of letting the demonstrations play out is infinitely less successful than the Iranian strategy of crushing dissent immediately.  The Islamists have learned that they will take over the Middle East sooner rather than later. Israel has learned that its security is more threatened than ever (despite what the Egyptian military is saying today).  The U.S. has learned nothing. It won’t be long until the masses hate us as much for installing the military or whatever comes after as for propping up Mubarak for 30 years. Finally, what have you and I learned?  I believe we will look back on 2.11.11 as a watershed moment in history–not a moment when democracy emerged, but a moment when Islamists solidified and accelerated their sweep across the region.

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