Stacher: It's already over

One-time contributor of the blog Joshua Stacher writes in Foreign Affairs:

Despite the tenacity, optimism, and blood of the protesters massed in Tahrir Square, Egypt's democratic window has probably already closed.

Contrary to the dominant media narrative, the Egyptian state did not experience a regime breakdown. The protests certainly rocked the system and had Mubarak on his heels, but at no time did the uprising seriously threaten Egypt's regime. Although many of the protesters, foreign governments, and analysts have concentrated on the personality of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, those surrounding the embattled president, who make up the wider Egyptian regime, made sure the state's viability was never in question. This is because the country's central institution, the military, which historically has influenced policy and commands near-monopolistic economic interests, never balked.

I'm not as pessimistic as Dr. Josh. I think the window is closing but there is still time to make major gains — the only thing is that the opposition must move quickly and coherently. 

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.