Washington has an opportunity to rethink its policies and help Arab countries start real, but gradual, political reform. This would help create stability, peace, and democracy — all at the same time.
The protesters in Egypt must look beyond the issue of whether and when President Mubarak will step down and begin to consider what it will take to engage in an orderly transition to democracy in Egypt.
The long-standing U.S. relationship with Egypt makes it problematic for the Obama administration to remain silent on violence committed by the regime as the protests continue.
The Egyptian constitution does not give citizens the means to challenge the state and thus could help the Mubarak regime maintain the status quo in Egypt.
The Obama administration should commit to a true transition to democracy in Egypt and the creation of an open political system that protects civil rights and liberties.
Unless Algeria's leaders quickly address the major structural problems plaguing the nation's economy and increase government oversight, protests in the country will likely grow.
Egypt’s transition toward democracy could still be undermined by the Mubarak regime, which is empowered by a constitution that grants overwhelming power to the executive.
It is important for the United States to support a real and sustained transition to democracy without appearing to interfere in Egypt’s domestic affairs or being sidetracked by the current regime’s piecemeal reform efforts.
While the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia might been triggered by the economy, issues of governance and the need for political reform are at the heart of the demonstrations.
After Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak steps down, a transitional government needs to act to help Egypt move toward a fully democratic system rather than a military regime or a slightly liberalized autocracy.