I think “realism” has to be reclaimed from the people who get called realists. Realists in policy circles flatter themselves relentlessly, saying that only they really know the way the world actually is, only they are prepared to accept and accommodate the inevitable disappointments of the world, only they know the contours of our possible futures. These were the people inside of the world of American and European policy formation who professed (often through leaks and indirect remarks) that the neoconservative dogma of Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney and other planners of the Iraq War horrified them, and for that, they were often regarded as a preferable alternative.
More generally, I think I need to develop the same caution about anything labeled "realism" that I try to have about anything labeled "healthy".
As for Egyptians, I wish them very well-- they've made an excellent start. I'm hoping their example will crack a few more bad governments, and I expect its influence will go beyond the Arab countries.
I'm interested in what they'll do about their police. In addition to poverty, I believe one of their huge issues was that their police were oppressing just about everyone.
I don't think they'd be stupid enough to attack Israel any time soon. On the other hand, I don't think they'll necessarily be maintaining the Gaza blockade, either. And the US will be trying to use money to manipulate Egyptian oil and Israel policies. The future is murky, as usual.
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