I predicted that the Mubarak regime would fall in a matter of weeks if not days. It looks like I was wrong. Defiant, President Mubarak refused to step down and even got angry, according to reports, at President Obama privately renewing calls for his resignation.
If the protesters fail to make him foil, Mubarak will inspire a number of leaders around the world who just a few days ago were fearful that they might be next. It would also limit the chances of similar uprisings being replicated elsewhere because of the risk of reprisal from the government. Some fear that may happen in Egypt if Mubarak succeed in clinging to power for the rest of his term, but that’s very unlikely because, as President Obama said a few days ago, “the World is watching”. The risk is more serious in other countries like Libya, Jordan, Syria, Yemen … that were thought to be next, whose leaders now have Mubarak’s resolve as their only hope.
That’s bad news not just for the people of those countries, but for the advancement of Democracy around the World. Dictators will learn from the Egyptian experience and perfect their methods of crackdown and reprisal against potential freedom fighters.