I know everyone is getting ready for their Superbowl parties, so I understand if you don't have time to catch up on your favorite blogs. I'm sure all eyes are turned right now to what is going on in Egypt.
I think that a lot of Americans are a little unsure, myself included, just exactly what is going on. What I can tell you, based merely on observation, is that it is a very volatile situation. Americans always have at least a passing interest when there is anyone protesting the government in their country. We are encouraged when people make their voices heard, it is practically in our DNA. Egyptians as a population are young, the majority under 30, so Hosni Mubarak is the only leader they have ever known. They also know that about 90% of them are out of work, and that many people are living on about two dollars a day. The level of poverty and the disparity between the upper and lower to middle classes is widening. The one very troubling and dangerous aspect with this particular protest is the very real possibility of a radical group like the Muslim Brotherhood getting into power. This group is very anti-Israel and very anti-US, and could foment other protests going on in places like Tunisia.
Today the Vice-President of Egypt, Omar Suleiman, was involved in talks with opposition group leaders, the Muslim Brotherhood included. The Military is a very well respected institution in Egypt, so right now, they could be the best hope for any governmental transition. I don't hold out much hope that our State Department or President Obama will have little if any influence in keeping the Muslim Brotherhood out of the Presidential Palace. The next few weeks could determine just how much influence the United States still has when people in other parts of the world start to whisper to each other, words like freedom and democracy.