Although the Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamist movement that uses anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric, its primary agenda is to make Egypt better through domestic reform.
The time for top-down political reform has come and gone in Egypt. In its place the world is seeing bottom-up change, with all its inherent risks.
The United States has an opportunity to clearly signal its strong support for democracy and engage with the Egyptian government, opposition, and civil society to play whatever role it can in supporting bottom-up democratic change.
The United States has not persistently pressed the Egyptian government to enact democratic reforms and it is too late to call on Mubarak to implement reforms now.
Protests in Tunisia that pushed President Ben Ali to flee the country have sparked mass protests in the region, spreading to Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen. The protests in Egypt are growing and unlike anything seen in decades. Will Tunisia remain an isolated case or the beginning of a wave of change?
While Washington's reaction to the growing unrest in the Middle East will have almost no impact on what actually happens in the Arab world, it will affect the United States’ standing in the region.
Although the wave of protests in Tunisia was set off by economic complaints, the true threat to stability in the Arab world is poor governance.
Recent events in Tunisia and Egypt have shown that protests driven by a range of socio-economic and political demands have a greater chance of achieving change than uprisings that are motivated by religious and political ideologies.
The Middle East is changing in fundamental ways and U.S. foreign policy must evolve to reflect these changes.
Egypt’s continuing unrest has furthered speculation about whether President Mubarak’s government will fall, who might act as a leader for the opposition, and what effect the upheaval will have on U.S.-Egyptian relations.