Friday, February 11, 2011

As Goes Egypt, So Goes the Middle East

By KT McFarland

What's happening right now in Egypt is bigger than the fall of the Berlin Wall. The dominoes are falling in the Middle East; and as goes Egypt so goes the region.

Egypt has been the heartbeat of the Muslim Arab world for millennia. The problem is we don’t yet which way those dominoes will fall – towards us or against us. We don’t know if the euphoria we see in Tahrir Square today will end ultimately in jubilation or tears.

On one hand, in just a few years' time, we could see all the Muslim states from Tunisia to Saudi Arabia, even as far east as Pakistan, with some form of consensual government, moving in fits and starts toward democracy, with American students racing to the Middle East to spend their junior year abroad learning Arabic. On the other hand, we could just as easily see all those states in the hands of Islamic fundamentalists, bent on establishing a Caliphate throughout the region and beyond, sending terrorists to Europe and America. And it's unlikely to be anything in between.

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