1) the timing for Davos of both revolutions is… interesting. One might think a message is being sent.
2) the Iranians have been putting money into the rural areas of Egypt. Specifically into clinics. Since the Egyptians are American clients, they can’t break drug patent laws, the Iranians are happy to do so. Poor folks are happy for the children to live.
3) The Muslim Brotherhood is, in fact, the strongest opposition party.
4) Egypt has real hard currency problems. Essentially all hard currency flows into the currency then right back out and the vast majority is used to buy weapons.
5) Egypt can’t feed its own population and the devaluation that is going on is hurting them badly.
6) Think of both revolutions as part of the cold war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Notice who is winning. Notice the price jump in oil. Remember that this benefits Iran more than Saudi Arabia—Iran needs a much higher price for oil than SA does to keep its society on a more or less even keel (The Sauds have even noted that the best way to crush Iran is to reduce the price of oil). Remember that high oil prices really hurt everyone who isn’t an oil state and that once you get around $110/barrel or so it is likely to lead to a huge spike and another crash out.
7) The army and the Muslim Brotherhood seem rather unlikely to allow a western style secular democracy. And I wonder how much money the army is willing to give up so people can, y’know, eat. A lot of the day laboring classes in Egypt basically spend ALL their daily money on food.
8 ) This is the end of the Gaza blockade in any meaningful fashion unless the Israelis want to fully reoccupy it, which I doubt they do.
9) Egypt has been strongly in the US camp now for a long time. The ordinary people really haven’t gotten much out of it, have they?
10) The oilarchies spend much more money on a per capita basis on internal repression and subsidies than Egypt could ever afford to. Assume that Saudi Arabia, for example, spends about 20% of GDP on military and security services combined. The small oil states are very generous to their “citizens”, while using “guest workers” for most of the actual work.
11) Revolutions happen when people can’t reliably get enough food. If they can revolt, they revolt. If they can’t, there are famines. The green revolution is reaching its limits and the deliberate policy of turning nations into food dependencies so European and American farmers could make money is reaping bitter fruit. So-called non core inflation (food and energy) is what matters most, not least. Who cares if a toaster is cheap when you don’t have enough to eat, or you can’t stay warm, or the fuel to cook your food is too expensive?