Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

What is interesting about this piece is not how it is rendered moot by the protests, but how the protests in effect play into the hands of an insider long thought to be a viable successor for the regime. Indeed, what could confer greater legitimacy on a “a coup — perhaps a soft, constitutional one, but a coup nonetheless” as Amrani put it over a year ago, than a crowd in the streets agitating for his obstacle to power to step down? American fears of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Amrani more recently describes as “long complicit with the regime” (clever, no? I believe the ordinary expression here is “protection racket”) and embarrassment will induce Obama to work behind the scenes to usher Mubarak out and Suleiman in. If all goes well, we can skip the “Yeltsin phase” of the transition from autocracy to autocracy altogether. I don’t think anyone, from Tel Aviv, to Cairo, to Washington DC need worry about the prospect of fundamental change and its attendant unpredictability. Rock on, humans.

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