Posted by Joshua on Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
Who would fill a post-Mubarak vacuum? (04:13)
Is Mideast democracy good or bad for the US? (04:00)
Joshua: An Israel-Syria peace deal is now more likely (07:14)
Trouble ahead in Lebanon? (15:09)
Toward a new Middle East (04:00)
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Game over: The chance for democracy in Egypt is lost
Posted By Robert Springborg
The threat to the military’s control of the Egyptian political system is passing. Millions of demonstrators in the street have not broken the chain of command over which President Mubarak presides. Paradoxically the popular uprising has even ensured that the presidential succession will not only be engineered by the military, but that an officer will succeed Mubarak.
If Egypt comes under leadership hostile to Israel, the official said, “that would be a real game changer” that would upend the regional balance.
Israelis are already worried that Jordan, the other Arab nation with a peace treaty with the Jewish state, would come under growing pressure to abandon the deal. Jordan’s King Abdullah II dismissed his Cabinet on Tuesday after weeks of demonstrations challenging his regime.
Israel’s adversaries in the region, including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, view the massive protests in Egypt and Jordan as a sign of the weakening position of the Jewish state along with that of its American ally.
“As long as the people have a major say in the future [of the Middle East], then you are going to have a minor say, in the United States,” Mr. Assad said in an interview Sunday in Damascus.
Here is a reminder from Zvi Bar’el (again) .. it will show you a main difference between Assad and Mubarak: Assad is perceived to be on his way to be a winner, … Mubarak lost:
“The two elderly leaders, Abdullah at 84 and Mubarak at 80, are seeing the region they used to lead slipping out of their grip and into that of new players – mavericks over whom they have no sway, bright new stars in the Middle Eastern skies. These include Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is half their age; Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is repositioning the former Ottoman Empire into power; and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is blazing like a menacing meteor over the Arab Middle East. The cardinal Middle Eastern conflicts – between Israel and the Palestinians, within the Palestinian Authority, between Syria and Lebanon, between Syria and Israel, the Iraqi conflict, the Iranian threat – they have all changed hands and are now under new management.””…But the change in the Middle East goes deeper than a personnel turnover in the ranks of those running the strategic regional game. A new Middle Eastern regional order is in the making.”