The U.N.-backed international tribunal's investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri could either help end Lebanon's political violence or shatter the country's fragile stability after decades of civil war.
As protests in Egypt escalate into a full-fledged uprising that threatens to unravel Egypt's existing political order, President Mubarak's announcement that he will not run for president again in September does not seem to be enough to appease the protesters and end the protests.
While recent events in Tunisia and in Egypt demonstrate that Arabs are not a cultural exception to the broad desire for freedom around the world, building democracy will require the creation of organized political parties.
The status quo in the Arab world is unsustainable. Arab regimes have a choice: They can either lead a reform process from above or watch it take place in the streets below.
The recent upheaval in Egypt, led by a newly assertive mix of idealistic young protesters, civic groups, and political opposition parties, bears a resemblance to Indonesia’s democratic transition ten years ago.
Egypt’s current government has the chance to oversee a smooth transition toward democratic governance by delegating the army to handle security, dissolving the parliament, amending the constitution to secure political and civil liberties, and initiating domestic reform policies.
The United States should encourage a quick and peaceful end to the current crisis in Egypt and do what it can to support the establishment of a new democracy in the country.
As unrest in Egypt continues, no formal leader has emerged who can represent the variety of protesters who have taken to the street, leaving it unclear who will negotiate with the regime on the protesters’ behalf.
The current protests in Tunisia and Egypt and the subsequent unrest in the region provide an incentive for Arab states to address political reform and the Arab-Israeli peace process in tandem.
The unrest in Egypt is growing increasingly violent and the longer the protests continue, the more difficult it will be for the Mubarak regime and the protesters to reach an agreement.