This is not a happy ending but the beginning of something potentially very dark. The end of the Mubarak regime is the biggest shift in the region in 60 years, since Nasser overthrew King Farouk's dissolute monarchy and diminished London's influence in Cairo. We are witnessing the unraveling of the American Middle East - that's to say, of the regimes supported by Washington in the waning of British and French imperial power after the Second World War. The American Middle East was an unlovely place, and perhaps the most obviously repellent illustration of the limitations of "He may be an SOB but he's our SOB" thinking. It's "our" SOBs who are in trouble: After the fall of Mubarak, what remains to hold up the Hashemites in Amman? Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood is more radical than Egypt's, the regime is less ruthless, King Abullah's Arabic is worse than his English, and pretty westernized Queen Rania, who seems so cute when CNN interviewers are fawning all over her, is openly despised outside the palace gates.
Iran is nuclearizing, Turkey is Islamizing, Egypt is ...what exactly? Well, we'll find out. But, given that only the army and/or the Muslim Brotherhood are sufficiently organized to govern the nation, the notion that we're witnessing the youthful buds of any meaningful democracy is deluded.
Read the rest here.