Nightly News | February 12, 2011
>>> specialist on democrating reform in the middle east and director of research at the brookings institution doha center and joins us from cairo. does the military vinaro window to follow through with the promises of reforms that hold elections before egyptians grow disenchanted again?
>> yes, the military can't wait too long here. the expectations are really high and there's a danger that people will become disillusioned. we don't have a clear sense of what exactly the military wants. the military was long the backbone of the regime. they would really have to transform into a pro-democracy force, and we don't really know much about them. so this is really an uncertain period. i think we're talking about six months where the military really has to deliver on its promises.
>> and history tells us that the process of making democracy can be an ugly process. if this transition somehow turns to chaos or gets off track what kind of vacuum could be created and who might occupy it?
>> that's a worry i think a lot of egyptians have now. this fear of chaos and instability. egypt doesn't have a strong opposition. the only really powerful group is the muslim brotherhood and there's a lot of fears i think in the west about what might happen if they step into the vacuum. i think some of those fears are unfounded. the brotherhood is a relatively mainstream and moderate organization that renounces violence, but the question is, if not the brotherhood, who else? they have to develop and egypt hasn't really had a chance for groups to grow and reach out to their constituencies for a long time. this is entirely unprecedented. we're looking at a new era.
>> right. what we're seeing in cairo certainly has planted the seeds of uprising in algiers as we mentioned a moment ago, other places in the middle east . is egypt an example of a one size fits all movement, or might this be a different turn in different places?
>> there was a sense tunisia was exceptional and remote. egypt has long been the bellwether for the region, political and cultural haermt of the arab world . when people see what the egyptians were able to do, yesterday they asked themselves, why can't we do the same? you know, egypt , really, i think is providing a model. when you see the excitement. algeria, yemen, i think we might very well be seeing a ten arab democratic move moont here.
>> thanks for joining us. appreciate it.