Today the Egyptian people are dancing in the streets. Tomorrow they may be drowning in blood. Hoping for a smooth transition is just that — hope.
And hope is not a method.
Every Middle Eastern country that has tried to institute democracy on its own has become increasingly Islamist from Iran to Algeria to the Gaza Strip. Even Turkey has, over time, shifted toward Islamism despite a constitution that demands secularism.
Egypt’s demographic situation is precarious with a population of 84.6 million, 52.3% of which are under the age of 25, an average GDP per person of $5,900, and with 20% of the population living below the poverty line. One can quickly see that Egypt’s problems will not be solved by any government, let along a fractious one. There simply are not enough jobs to go around in this country, let alone in Egypt.
When the Egyptian people grow increasingly frustrated with the new, less efficient government, the Muslim Brotherhood will be waiting in the wing to solve all their ills, much as Adolf Hitler provided the German people with his answer to the Weimar Republic.
With Egypt’s attention focused inward, external forces like Hamas will have more opportunities to smuggle weapons into Israel from Egypt, making Israel’s security situation increasingly untenable and regional stability more fragile.
Events in Egypt will likely progress in one of two ways: Fast Islamism or slow Islamism. The first way would be quick and violent. The second way would be slow and slightly less violent.
Either one is bad for regional stability.
Do not be fooled by the smiles and cheering. The honeymoon will end and the zero sum game for power will begin.
And radical Islam thrives in a power vacuum.