The clock is ticking on the Mubarak regime. It is obvious by now that there is no way Hosni Mubarak’s son, Gamal, can assume the presidency with any degree of popular support. The dynastic name is tarnished and the people in the streets want the family gone. The question is what sort of pathway presents itself today, and history offers two broad answers.
First, Tunisia 2011: Faced with massive discontent and popular upheaval, the Ben Ali regime flees the country. Tunis is left in the hands of a weak coalition of political leaders, technocrats, and other statesmen, cobbled together in the power vacuum. The transition is chaotic and the future incredibly unclear. The military maintains a degree of stability, but the civilians are in charge, as far as it goes.
Second, Egypt 1952: A network of Egyptian military officers, including Gamal Abdel Nasser, seize control of the government and the country. They force King Farouk to abdicate, sending him packing to Europe, and usher in a new revolutionary period of nationalist/corporatist military government. (Muhammad Naguib, Nasser, Anwar El Sadat, and Hosni Mubarak all hold prior posts in the Egyptian armed forces.) The transition is bloodless and quick.
A Man Whose Days Are Numbered
Analyzing the situation unfolding in Egypt is like driving from Los Angeles to San Diego: there are many options in the near-term, but after a certain point there are only a few major pathways that take you the rest of the way.
If Egypt gets a civilian government, it is a virtual certainty that it will be dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. They will probably use an internationally known front man like El Baradei. They will certainly use some Western-educated technocrats both for protective covering and to keep the machine running. However, the educated types beloved of Western media have near to no popular following. They are divided among themselves and most are compromised by deals with, or service to, the discredited Mubarek dynasty. The Brotherhood has the only organized mass following. Also, with Western ideas such as socialism, communism, and liberalism broadly discredited, Islam is the only structure on which to construct a regime.
The second of two pieces on ROTC, this time printed as a letter to the editor in The Stanford Daily. Tristan Abbey writes:
It never seems to occur to ROTC critics that students might sincerely desire to be military officers. The mistake is to view the U.S. military as simply another employer, not worthy of any special recognition.
Tristan Abbey, senior editor here at Bellum, has a new post up at Ricochet.com on the future of ROTC in so-called “elite academia.” He writes:
The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has left many observers hopeful for a repeal of elite universities’ bans on ROTC. Whatever the administrations of these schools ultimately decide to do, however, there are a number of reasons for why getting ROTC back on campus will be tougher than many think.