The media and American public have hailed the revolution in Egypt as a triumph of democracy, a victory of good over evil. I'm not so sure.
If you believe the bloggers and commentators, this was a revolution made on the streets of Cairo, an inspired insurrection of the plain folks using weapons like Facebook, Twitter and Google against the might of the government.
And the good guys won. Democracy has come to Egypt. And soon it shall spread throughout the Middle East. Who knows? Maybe even to China. Power to the people.
Forgive me for being skeptical.
Mubarak was a thug and a grifter, a corrupt dictator who looted the country. But he was our thug for 30 years. The United States government supported him, providing weapons and financial aid because he provided a measure of stability in the Middle East and was one of the few nations in that volatile region that was at peace with Israel, one of our allies.
Now that he's gone, I'd be surprised if Egypt turns into anything resembling a democracy. The military is running the show now. There are powerful religious, military, financial and secular forces working behind the scene to grab the levers of power in Cairo. Anyone who thinks the interests of the Egyptian man in the street will prevail in the days, months and years ahead is living in a dream world.
I have no idea where it will all end. I don't think anyone else can say, either. One thing I am pretty sure of is that "democracy" - however you define it - is no answer to all the woes of the Egyptian people. The haves aren't giving it up to the have-nots that easily.