Sunday, 30 January 2011

Barack, Mubarak & the mood in the barracks.

Egypt is used to bread riots. It is used to the Muslim Brotherhood trying to assert itself and being very throughly beaten into submission. What is happening today is neither a bread riot nor part of the Ikhwan's cunning plan. Rather, it appears, both the ruling elite and the protesting crowds are bidding for the support of the boys in the barracks.
It is in this context that President Obama- but not holier-than-thou Hilary Clinton-  has an element of benign leverage.
A Junior Officer brokered settlement between the rulers and the protestors might be able to get the West and other regional stakeholders to kick in massive increments in resources so as to manage a transition to...pretty much the sort of thing you had before but with El Bardadei doing a P.R. fan-dance to disguise the fact that he and his ilk have no power..
If Obama shoves Hilary aside and really takes charge of this- showing the boys in the barracks that Egypt matters and that his famous address to the Muslim people in Cairo was more than mere rhetoric- then, it may be, his benign leverage can be used to facilitate the sort of structural change Egypt needs.
Will it happen?
So no change there, then.

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