Pro-democracy warriors in Middle Eastern countries such as Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia push through barriers of fear only to find a constellation of needs, demands, and problems on the other side.
The new Egypt is likely to emerge as more independent, diverging from US wishes in certain areas – such as reaching out to Iran. But the allies still have long-term common interests.
Western fears of Islamist takeover in post-Mubarak Egypt are unfounded. During recent protests, the Muslim Brotherhood has demonstrated a commitment to peaceful political participation. The US now has an opportunity to support a truly democratic Egypt, including the Brotherhood.
Unlike his iconic predecessors Anwar Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser, who left clear imprints on Egypt, Hosni Mubarak will probably be remembered more for unfulfilled expectations.
With Hosni Mubarak stepping down, the transfer of power to the military seems like a coup. But new lines of authority in Egypt are not clear, and the Army is not the only actor on the political stage.
As in Tunisia, the long-ruling president is proving a liability to the power structure. He's going. But not quickly enough for protesters.
Hosni Mubarak's refusal to step down after a day of signals that he was leaving power is pushing Egypt's uprising toward a dangerous confrontation. Egypt's military appears to be firmly backing the regime.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said tonight that he will not step down. But he says some powers will be transferred to his vice president, Omar Suleiman. Protesters in Cairo are angry that their demands are not being met.
Some Egyptian protesters amassed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square fear Mubarak’s regime is just trying to buy time.