Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:01 am Posts: 22478 Location: Pittsburgh
First: the only neighbor that Israel is in a state of war with is Syria. Relations have been fine with Jordan for a long time, and the Lebanese government isn't Israel's problem.
Second: it's not that rare for an autocrat to leave power without a lot of innocent people getting hurt. South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines were all able to pull it off, helped in large part by the fact that they don't have huge ethnic/cultural divisions within the society, similar to the situation in Egypt. Egypt has long been considered the best opportunity the Arab world has for democracy, given that it has a fairly homogenous society both ethnically and religiously.
Third: Israel's stability hasn't been built for the long-term. An Egypt that wasn't ludicrously corrupt, that was capable of real economic development and interconnectedness, is much better for Israel's future than one wherein Mubarrak tamps down a powder keg with a kerosene soaked rag.
Fourth: it's worth recognizing that part of the reason South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines were fairly non-violent transfers of power was that the US withdrew support for the regime upon realizing that it's position was untenable. I.e., it's better to stop backing a guy who is going to fall than to watch your public image go down with him. If you want to really make the next generation hate you, the best way to go is to keep backing someone like Mubarrak at a time like this.
_________________ You were born into freedom. You don't understand freedom. - Jose Fernandez
Down with Mubarak! If the Egyptians want an Islamist form of government, let them lay their own bed. Once they get a taste of its reality, they will soon reject it.
Nothing suggests that this is an Islamist movement.
Not yet - but the Brotherhood is starting to have more of a role. Basically any movement like this carries the risk of a vacuum that could be filled by several different types of groups and might not be democratic. Probably the main reason the Administration is treading a little lightly here.
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