What excitement in Egypt. We haven’t seen anything like this since the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.
Without a shot being fired, protesters have brought an end to the 30-year reign of Egypt’s autocratic leader.
Whether Hosni Mubarak can hang on until new elections are held or not is not really the issue, anymore. With his announcement that he is stepping down, his days – and the days of one-man rule – are over. A new government, a new leader, and new democratic reforms are on the way. The people of Egypt won. The government of Egypt lost.
With time, we will learn other lessons from this week’s events in Egypt. But already two things are clear.
One, President Obama’s careful handling of the situation – publicly supporting the demands of the protesters, while privately telling Mubarak he should get out of the way – was the right thing to do. And put us on the right side of history.
Two, the march for democracy in the Arab world doesn’t stop here. Just like it didn’t stop in Tunisia. The United States should be telling all other allies in the Arab world to end their dictatorial ways and adopt democratic reforms – or else. Starting with Saudi Arabia.
That’s my parting shot for today.