You may recall that restraining Somoza from being mean to the Russian-backed Sandinistas allowed them to establish a Russian-backed Marxist state in Nicaragua, and restraining the Shah from being mean to his fundamentalist Muslim enemies led to the government of the Ayatollah Khomeini. I don`t know who`s going to replace Mubarak if he listens to Hillary. But I have a feeling we`re not going to like it.
3.The moment of truth is almost always what the military does. This goes back to points one and two. If the military is willing to fire on protesters, the protesters will lose. If they aren`t, then eventually, the head of the government is going to be told to find himself a plane and get out of the country. 4. Is there an outside power whose opinion the regime cares about? If so, that power may tell the head of state to take a hike. We may have done too good a job of isolating Iran and North Korea, here. Egypt, on the other hand, relies on the US for aid--those are your guns that will be fired at the protesters. So what the administration is saying to Mubarak in private probably will have some effect.If Mubarak does fall, what comes after him? Real, strong democratic institutions? Or another repressive regime of some description? Rioting can bring down a government, when the conditions are right. But it doesn`t have a great track record at building good government afterward.[ When Does Rioting Work?, January, 28 2011]