Eighteen days of revolutionary rebellion and initial euphoria may be over in Egypt as the nuts and bolts work of hammering out a real democracy has just begun.
As been true since it all began, the army (truly magnificent and exemplary) now acting through the "Supreme Council of the Armed Forces" has initiated steps toward that end by disbanding parliament, suspending the constitution and calling for free and fair elections within six months.
Sure there is criticism by a small clique of former protestors worrying whether the army will in fact honor their word and cede control to a newly elected democratic government. From here that is just residue left over from 30 years of oppression and the suppression of dissent exercised by the former regime.
Six months should provide adequate time for parties and candidates to form and organize and give voice to their proposals so they can be presented to the Egyptian people.
In the U.S. it's the nonstop pundits and talking heads (who got it all wrong in the beginning of the Egyptian revolt) who are being "chicken little" voicing worries of what it all means for Israel, will it go the way of Iran in 1979, ad infinitum. This is where our 24/7 news cycle needs to be muted. If anything what they really need to talk about is the essential passivity of our own people (in light of the financial meltdown, economic calamity, foreclosure mess, unemployment et al created by the nexus of financial banksters greed and excess and the deregulatory system of no oversight put in place [by the electoral sycophants they bankroll] who made it all possible).
We've lost our connection to our own revolutionary past, become complacent with feelings of entitlement and believing in American exceptionalism as if we are the chosen ones; all hubris and no substance.
Egypt's people's revolution was visceral, raw and passionate. In the U.S. what passion there is comes from the megaphone grabbed by the "tea party" shouters mouthing mostly incoherent blather while the left stands mostly mute and passive.
Our democracy is withering, the republic replaced by militarism, imperialism and abetted by corporatism. This usurpation should be cause for our own revolt (and it saddens that it is not). Instead we stand idly by, indifferent and powerless as the rich get richer, the middle class fast being eviscerated and the poor expanding with income disparity greater than all other advanced industrialized countries.
What would it take to ignite us?
Maybe we are like the Emperor Nero, fiddling as Rome burned, our fate sealed as was his; the fate of all empires.