Friday, February 11, 2011

The Bygone Tyrant!

Mubarak toppled

Louis XVI

Hosni Mubarak has slunk from the world stage, not as spectacular as Louis XVI or the Ceausescu's. But in a post dramatic fashion that saw him hesitate, then in the face of a massive ground swell of peaceful cries for him to go, he leaves. What is not seen, was the implied tip of the bayonet wielded by the Egyptian Army whose middle and junior officer corp were not beholding to the old guard and if asked in a few years down range, would probably admit that they would never have turned their guns on their fellow citizens with whom they shared the same arrested existence.

Thomas Barnett and his associates at Wikistrat pretty much called this dance during this first round, just as if it were a hoe-down barn dance where the dance caller guides the dancers. In this case it was a collaboration of Barnett and company and their live wikistrat analysis who were subscriber/readers who participated in the decision making process by visiting a Virtual War Room where a reader could vote for the possible outcome based on their own perception of the crisis. The outcome was remarkable achievement in crowdsourcing  as Barnett notes below.
This train keeps rolling!
Elvis, we are now told, has truly "left the building," as Mubarak has handed power to the senior military council.
So the journey along Wikistrat's 1-2-3-4 scenarios is complete: explosive rip of initial protests shakes everything up but triggers no Tunisia-like fall, then the steady drip of protests, strikes, defections, etc, pushes Mubarak into a number of "slips", none of which placate the mob. Eventually, the military steps in (apparently Leon Panetta's prediction was dead-on and just a few hours off) and takes the Turkish path (assuming temporary rule but promising the much-desired free elections).
The table has been run.
Read more:
Mubarak Steps Down

For me the back story is how over the course of a week the judgement of the crowd (Wikistrat readers), picked the scenarios that are as of today proving true. The War Room laid out four choices in several categories and as noted below; after several days a pattern emerged that never wavered.

Unfolding Pathways
■Military's tightening grip (42%) (39%) (36%) (37%) (36%)

■Movement's steady drip (9%) (13%) (16%) (19%) (18%) (24%)

■Protests' explosive rip (33%) (30%) (22%) (21%) (22%) (21%)

■Mubarak's many slips (16%) (19%) (23%) (24%) (19%)

Regime Response
■Big man steps down (40%) (39%) (41%) (38%) (37%) (36%) (37%)

■(Next military) man up! (26%) (22%) (31%) (32%) (34%)

■Systemic crack down (26%) (32%) (19%) (21%) (20%)

■Oppositions leaders hunted down (9%) (7%) (9%) (8%)

US Response
■"Too preliminary to take a stand" (47%) (51%) (54%) (53%) (54%) (44%)

■"I'm with the Band" (of Netizens) (21%) (17%) (20%) (21%) (20%) (36%)

■"Let me be the first to shake your hand!" (24%) (23%) (22%) (21%) (17%)

■Stand by your man! (9%) (7%) (5%) (4%) (3%)

Regional Responses
■Frantic firewalling (35%) (34%) (39%) (36%) (38%) (39%)

■Dominoes keep falling (21%) (22%) (23%) (23%) (22%) (26%) (25%)

■Head-in-sand stalling (23%) (24%) (25%) (23%) (26%) (21%) (22%)

■Tehran comes calling (21%) (20%) (19%) (16%) (15%) (14%)

Global Responses
■"Who lost Egypt?" (42%) (43%) (42%) (39%) (40%)

■"We are all Egyptians now!" (28%) (26%) (28%) (29%) (30%) (32%)

■"Let my people go!" (28%) (26%) (25%) (28%) (26%)

■"Boycott Pharaoh's cotton (2%) (6%) (5%) (4%) (3%)

Tipping Points
■Viennese sausage-making (40%) (45%) (46%) (45%)

■That iconic photo of ElBaradei on a tank (19%) (17%) (21%) (22%) (21%) (25%) (26%)

■"Murderers row" press conference (35%) (31%) (26%) (24%) (26%) (21%)

■First UN sanctions against newest "rogue regime" (7%) (9%) (8%) (9%)

Exit Glidepath

■Think Turkey, now (35%) (39%) (43%) (49%) (53%) (52%) (51%)

■Think Pakistan, anytime (23%) (22%) (32%) (27%) (24%) (25%) (26%)

■Think Iran, 1979 (23%) (24%) (12%) (13%) (14%) (15%)

■Think China, 1989 (19%) (15%) (14%) (11%) (10%) (9%)

Read more
Egypt Coming Together Nicely Enough

Close by, another astute observer of the world scene whose gaze is usually cast out to sea, filed these thoughts on the changes in Egypt today. Galhran of information dissemination  writes;

Credit Connectivity. We are all standing witness to a manifestation of the power of connectivity. Whether it is the internet, cellular technologies, Al Jazeera, or any number of networks and networking tools leveraged for communications and information flows and access - connectivity is the underwriting power that is motivating social changes globally in 2011.

Credit the Egyptian Army. The initial decision to not engage the protesters directly in protection of the regime has proven the Egyptian Army as a remarkably professional organization at time of extreme pressure. Internal revolutions can stir many emotions, but the professionalism demonstrated in Egyptian Army's character, methods, spirit, and conduct at the street level day after day is the single greatest contributing factor that led to today's result.

Credit the US military. For the tens of thousands of US Marines who have deployed on MEUs over the last many, many years and worked along side the Egyptian military training them to be professional soldiers, take pride in your efforts this day. You cannot be credited as a primary cause of the professionalism demonstrated by the Egyptian Army, but by any measurement you can be credited as a significant contributing influence towards that professionalism.

There is more and is well worth the read
A Few Thoughts on Egypt

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