Experts react to Egyptian revolution

The world continues to watch closely as Egypt undergoes a revolution on the streets as people demand a change in leadership. YNN's Bill Carey says among those watching developments closely is the man who heads the National Securities Studies program at Syracuse University's Maxwell School.



SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Bill Smullen is no stranger to the politics of the Arab world. He has been an eyewitness to U.S. policy in the making, dating back to his days as a close aide to Joint Chiefs Chairman and later Secretary of State Colin Powell.


In recent days, from a distance, he has watched as a long time U.S. ally in the region, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, has faced a fire storm on the streets of Egypt, demanding he end 30 years of rule. He says it may be time for Mubarak to go.


"This not good for the Egyptian people and the Egyptian people are really the ones that we should be on the side of here," said Smullen.


Smullen says the Obama administration has taken the right steps, publicly, in demanding reform and that Egypt not take violent steps to end the protests. He says the President may eventually move toward what may be an inevitable conversation with Mubarak: A private conversation with a simple message.


"It's time. And we can't support you much longer if you don't step down and concede that it's time for change in your country," Smullen said.


Will change in Egypt mean an end to U.S.-Egyptian relations? Not necessarily, Smullen says. Mohammad ElBaradei, a Nobel peace laureate who has emerged as the public face of the opposition, is a man he says the U.S. admires and can work with as he tries to bring order out of chaos in Cairo.


The events in Egypt come on the heels of a similar uprising in Tunisia against another long time leader. And it is a movement that may continue throughout the Arab world.


"Indeed it is going to spread. Now, will it be a domino effect? Will it go across north Africa all across the Middle East? Probably not. But, I think for countries who, indeed, want life to be different, it is happening. It is real and, quite frankly, it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out," Smullen said.


For Smullen and others, the real question to be answered is what country will be next.

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