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Posted at 11:29 AM ET, 02/11/2011

Mubarak steps down

By Ezra Klein

I have zero insight to offer on the remarkable events in Egypt. But I did find this essay to be helpful in trying to think through what's happening there, and who's playing what role. An excerpt:

Many international media commentators – and some academic and political analysts – are having a hard time understanding the complexity of forces driving and responding to these momentous events. This confusion is driven by the binary “good guys versus bad guys” lenses most use to view this uprising. Such perspectives obscure more than they illuminate. There are three prominent binary models out there and each one carries its own baggage: (1) People versus Dictatorship: This perspective leads to liberal naïveté and confusion about the active role of military and elites in this uprising. (2) Seculars versus Islamists: This model leads to a 1980s-style call for “stability” and Islamophobic fears about the containment of the supposedly extremist “Arab street.” Or, (3) Old Guard versus Frustrated Youth: This lens imposes a 1960s-style romance on the protests but cannot begin to explain the structural and institutional dynamics driving the uprising, nor account for the key roles played by many 70-year-old Nasser-era figures.

To map out a more comprehensive view, it may be helpful to identify the moving parts within the military and police institutions of the security state and how clashes within and between these coercive institutions relate to shifting class hierarchies and capital formations.

As they say, read the whole thing.

By Ezra Klein  | February 11, 2011; 11:29 AM ET
 
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Comments

Ezra, you don't have any less insight on this than anyone else, especially your colleague Jennifer Rubin, LOL

Nobody knows where this is headed. It has been interesting watching Fox because the the division among conservatives is pretty stark, even though many have exeperience and credibility on both sides of the question.

Mohamed El-Erian had an interesting take on this today:

"Had you asked me 19 days ago what happens to the dollar if we have the sort of developments we had, I would have told you the dollar would be stronger," said El-Erian, co-CEO at the company that runs the largest bond fund in the world. "With the exception of three days, the dollar has weakened during that period. You are seeing a reassessment of the standing of the US dollar and the US Treasury market has the flight to safety, the flight to quality.

The US should consider the lack of a move into traditional US assets as "a warning that if we don't get our house in order we will no longer command the global standing" in currency and debt markets, El-Erian said"

Something to think about from a very smart guy. I had similar thoughts in that I said about ten-fifteen days ago I was expecting the rise in Treasury yields to stabilize because of Egypt. Except for one or two auctions, that hasn't materialized either (though today yields are down). It's yet another market rebuke to Paul Krugman's comments from today's wonkbook about the state of our currency and inflation.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 11, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

The Egyptians are having their Iraqis-pulling-down-the-Saddam-statue-in-Baghdad moment.

Posted by: tuber | February 11, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

there is one interesting/fascinating sidenote in all of this, as an american citizen.
in sixty-two years, of watching revolutions and rebellions, i dont believe that i have ever seen photographs from crowded squares, where there have not been effigies being burned, of american presidents, or american flags.
and though, as has been the course of all events here, i think it is an act of respect for president obama.
i have read the articles about a post-american revolution, but i also believe that, contrary to the sycophantic documentary being aired, calling bill clinton, the president of the world....that title should go more to president obama....who TRULY is a world citizen, and represents a paradigm that reaches into the future, far beyond bill clinton.
perhaps the roots would be with the humanitarian outreaching of jimmy carter....his honesty in how he sees human rights, and speaks out against persecution.
i think that president obama has walked a line of restraint and integrity, in trying to deal with this.
and for this, he deserves much credit.
he is a president for this century.
i was proud, for the first time, not to see the united states being represented by a president, despised or mocked in other countries.
they see the character and wisdom of barack obama.
sad that it is under-appreciated in this country.
anyway, i think this bears mentioning.
along with prayers for the courageous people of egypt....that this may be a revolution that carries them to a place of hope, opportunity and freedom.

Posted by: jkaren | February 11, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

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