Hard to resist the excitement of Egypt, and what is unfolding in Liberation Square. In a few minutes [3:15 pm], Mubarak will make his fatal announcement.
So this is the time for comments.
This is the most extraordinary popular movement we've seen in decades -- perhaps in a century. Essentially, it shows up as a non-ideological, un-directed mass revolt, based on new-media consciousness, and the old yearning for justice and democratic values. It is tottering the most stable dictatorship in the region. We should all applaud and look closely to them in admiration.
The idea that the Egyptian revolution can be seized by radical Islamicists is far-fetched, if theoretically possible. Iran was swept by the return of a charismatic cleric, Khomeini, whose forces were in place to seize power. This bears little relevance to Egypt, where there is no such leader, and where the Moslem Brotherhood is marginal. Also, they have no support in the military.
The regional superpower in the Mideast is not the USA, to whom all eyes are turned. It is the state of Israel. What attitude can that country take?
Israel should parse this movement carefully, but also champion it, salute the new Egypt, not trail behind it. It should abandon connections to the regime. Israelis are advised to take a leap of faith on this one.
Given how spontaneous this movement is, such a declaration might be noted by those who actually count: the uncounted millions. This is a formative moment looking for allies. All who support Western values in the world should be unanimous: shoulder-to-shoulder with Egyptian renaissance.