I’m a bit surprised not to see anyone drawing the parallel that has jumped out at me (maybe because I spent time in the Philippines in 1990 and 1991, working for UNDP): the People Power revolution in Manila in 1986. This has some of the same feeling: a dictator who’s a long-time US client, a mass popular uprising that’s more about the perceived corruption of the government than about any particular ideology; El Baradei seems to be playing something like the Corazon Aquino role.I'm hoping something as good a Corazon Aquino happens for Egypt. I can image a lot of worse outcomes. It is hard to credibly believe something better than an Aquino outcome is possible for Egypt.
Obviously the fact that this is taking place in the Middle East makes it a lot more fraught, but the script does seem similar.
The Philippine example may also serve as a useful model for what to expect if the revolution succeeds. The Philippines didn’t turn into Sweden; there was still plenty of corruption, democracy remains imperfect, etc. — none of which changes the fact that getting rid of Marcos was a very good thing. Egypt won’t turn into Sweden either, but maybe, just maybe, something good is about to happen.
Knowing a little history is very helpful for understanding the world around you.