For me, the final word on the Middle East must always go to Fouad Ajami -- his current Newsweek article about Egypt is worth your time, and I think the optimistic note on which he ends is telling.
From afar, the “realists” tell the Arabs that they are playing with fire, that beyond the prison walls there is danger and chaos. Luckily for them, the Arabs pay no heed to these realists, and can recognize the “soft bigotry of low expectations” that animates them. Arabs have quit railing against powers beyond and infidels and foreign conspiracies. For now they are out making and claiming their own history.
(Emphasis mine.) Bush definitely deserves credit here -- there is a line from Iraq to this. Heck -- even Anderson Cooper has admitted that and pointed out that Bush pressured Mubarak to reform, whereas Obama continued to give him full support.
In fact, one thing I am really enjoying about all of this is the hypocrisy of all those who opposed the removal of Saddam, but who are doing cartwheels about this. I can only imagine those cartwheels are fuelled by the hatred of Israel many of them feel and their conviction that somehow this is a revolution a la Che Guevara or some such.
My friend the Sandmonkey continues to be my main source of info about the fluid situation in Egypt. Follow his Twitter feed here and his blog here. As many of you might know, he was arrested last week, beaten up and had his car and phone taken from him. And still he is euphoric about what is happening. He is young and not anti-Israel and most definitely secular -- and I hope not unique in being the latter two. (I used to live in Turkey, where the military stands as a guard against Islamic fascism. I am hoping the Egyptian military will do the same.)
Ultimately, my feelings about these events haven't really changed from when I wrote this post and this post. Of course I worry about the Muslim Brotherhood and of course I worry about El Baradei (I hate that guy!) and of course I worry about Israel, but what is happening is remarkable and proves, beyond any doubt, that the woes of the Muslim world have nothing to do with external Satans, great or small. They come from within. And I suspect fixing those woes will take time and cost lives -- much like Iraq, we probably won't know the outcome for a couple of generations.
Some other worthwhile reads -- a cautious Victor Davis Hanson's view and a more hopeful Natan Sharansky's view.
UPDATE: Ooh, Mubarak is one tough cookie (or baklava). He ain't goin' nowhere, he says. Ok -- so put a big caveat after everything I wrote above. I fear now that all hell could break loose. The only thing about which I am certain is that no one knows what in the hay is going to happen next. I gather Mubarak wants a way out that will allow him to save face.