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January 28, 2011 - 6:47 am

The protests spread, and as if to create even more chaos, Mohamed ElBaradei showed up reportedly to become Egypt’s new president.  Nobel laureate or no, he’s reportedly under house arrest now.

More: And here’s Wikileaks to add some fuel to the fire.  Mubarak has always been a troublesome figure for the US, on the one hand a reasonable Arab leader by the standards of the region, on the other hand, a true despot.  There’s no evidence that ElBaradei, should he take the reins, would be any better.  At the UN’s IAEA, ElBaradei tended to favor Islamic and Islamist states over the rule of law.  His Nobel was awarded in 2005, to some extent as a means of slapping at the Bush administration’s handling of Iraq’s WMD issue.

Update: Egypt has deployed the military, the internet is largely shut down, and the ruling party’s HQ is reportedly burning.  Of strategic note, the Suez Canal.  Whoever controls Egypt controls that vital waterway.  John Bolton was on Fox moments ago and noted that there’s no solid evidence yet that the protests are truly about democracy.  There is reason to fear that whoever follows Mubarak will either be backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, or will be someone like ElBaradei, who is not entirely friendly with the US, to say the least.  If we’re looking at a replay of Iran circa 1979, we’re looking at a real disaster in the making.

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