I can't resist making a comment about events in Egypt the last few days. A lot of us are conflicted, glad to see the end of a government intent on imposing a theocratic dictatorship, but concerned that the agency bringing about this desirable end is the military. Well, I have a couple of thoughts about this.
First of all, for those who don't know what happened in Egypt's elections, there were really three groups competing to run the government after the fall of Mubarak: the military, which had been in control for decades, the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, and a very large but loose coalition of relative liberals. It is the last group which really represented the aspirations of the Egyptian people (as far as we can tell) and it is they that pushed Mubarak out.
Just a side comment here: My wife, in watching the various protests over the last few days, noticed that the Muslim Brotherhood supporters were practically all old guys with beards; the "liberals" (for want of a better term) were mostly young people in jeans and t-shirts. Just like with the teabaggers in this country, the Islamists have already lost; like the victims of a character in a famous Anime, they are already dead- they just don't know it yet.
Anyway, back to the subject. In the first round of Egyptian Presidential elections, the military and the Islamists, being generally authoritarian people, each coalesced behind one candidate. The liberals, being, well, liberals, didn't and ended up fielding several candidates. The result of this was that, although the liberal candidates in the aggregate easily got more votes than the candidates of either the Islamists or the military, none of the liberal candidates individually could beat those two, and so a runoff election was held, in which the Muslim Brotherhood guy narrowly beat the military guy.
Is this democracy? Well, in a sense it is, but it is fatally flawed democracy which pushed out the candidates truly representing the majority in favor of the same two factions who have spent decades reducing Egypt to its current pitiful state. Whatever has happened here, it is clear that the Egyptian people are not satisfied with a mockery of democracy. We'll just have to wait and see what they end up with next.