Will democracy win in Egypt?
Protesters demanding the ouster of Hosni Mubarak's regime continue to gain momentum. Is Egypt heading for Western-style elections — or more repression?
Egypt's anti-government protests are continuing to intensify, with organizers planning a "march of millions" for Tuesday. Opposition groups, including the secular democracy advocates and the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group, banded together behind Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel-winning diplomat and prominent government critic, demanding that President Hosni Mubarak resign immediately and hand over power to a transitional government. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for an "orderly transition" to a more open political system and free elections. Is Egypt finally headed for real democracy? (Watch The Week's Sunday Talk Show Briefing about Obama's Egypt dilemma)
Sorry, democracy is still a long shot: "This is not a choice between the Mubarak government on one hand, and sweetness-and-light, Jeffersonian democracy on the other," former United Nations ambassador John Bolton tells Fox News. The military is the "real government," and it won't "go peacefully." And if the Muslim Brotherhood comes out on top, "you're not going to have free and fair elections either." It wants to replace the secular government with an Islamist one — it "doesn't care about democracy.""Is democracy coming to Egypt at last?"
Egyptians can start building their democracy now: Egypt "has turned a decisive corner, and there is no going back," says John R. Guardiano in The American Spectator. "Mubarak is history. Egypt's rising middle class is demanding greater political freedom and economic opportunity." It will take years for Egypt to build the "infrastructure of institutions, customs, laws and societal arrangements" we have in the West — but the country can "begin to enjoy a more representative and participatory democracy immediately.""The Egyptian military will save Egypt — and the United States"
Egypt will be closer to democracy than before: "If Egypt blows, anything could happen," says Anne Applebaum in The Washington Post. Washington seems to fear such instability — but anything is better than an Egypt kept stable by police "firing tear gas labeled 'Made in the USA' at protesters." We should congratulate the Egyptian public for "having the courage to take to the streets," and "rejoice — because change, in repressive societies, is good.""Egypt's uprising should be encouraged"