Advancing a Free Society

What Egypt’s revolt means

Monday, February 14, 2011

The toppling of Egypt's modern-day pharaoh through peaceful mass protests, aided by Facebook and Twitter, marks a watershed for Egypt and the entire Arab world. Contrary to widespread anxieties in the U.S. foreign policy establishment, it will also serve the long-term interests of the United States - and Israel.

Many analysts of Egypt have been warning for years that the status quo under Hosni Mubarak was not sustainable. A repressive and deeply corrupt dictatorship was sitting on top of a social volcano - an increasingly young, urbanized, digitally connected population seething over the lack of freedom, dignity and economic opportunity. A quarter of Egypt's working-age youth are unemployed and many more under-employed. Over the past two decades, average incomes in Egypt stagnated while they doubled or tripled elsewhere in the region.

Continue reading Larry Diamond at SFGate, home of the San Francisco Chronicle