Egypt: Did Anything Important Happen?


Egypt: Did Anything Important Happen?

….Now that the demonstrations have faded from the television screens as are the incessant nightly news updates, reality in Egypt is now discernible: the Egyptian military now run the country, Mubarak is gone as is his son (the heir-apparent), the constitution has been suspended, and promises have been made about a new government apparatus being in place in six months. As noted by George Friedman of Stratfor Global Intelligence:

What happened was not a revolution. The demonstrators never brought down Mubarak, let alone the regime. What happened was a military coup that used the cover of protests to force Mubarak out of office in order to preserve the regime. When it became clear [on] February 10th that Mubarak would not voluntarily step down, the military staged what amounted to a coup to force his resignation. Once he was forced out of office, the military took over the existing regime by creating a military council and taking control of critical ministries. The regime was always centered on the military. What happened on February 11th was that the military took direct control.

What that means for the present is that existing treaties, including those with Israel, will remain in effect. Relations with the United States will remain intact, as will the flow of foreign aid. As Friedman concluded, “The week began with an old soldier running Egypt. It ended with different old soldiers running Egypt with even more formal power than Mubarak had.”…

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