Egypt: Who to follow…

My two years with the American University in Cairo gave me a lasting interest in the downfall of Hosni Mubarak – and access to sources that I trust on the possibility of that almost impossible dream coming true.

For the most “Informed Comment” on events in Egypt and across the Middle East from American academe (left branch) there is the inestimable Juan Cole at the University of Michigan.

With a somewhat more middle-of-the-road perspective, now blogging at Foreign Policy, there is the ever-reliable Marc Lynch of GWU, aka Abu Aardvark.

For a real-time look at what people are saying in Tahrir Square right now, Egyptian feminist democrat, blogger and columnist Mona Eltahawy is tweeting and retweeting the revolution in her Twitter stream, now being followed by 15,000+ people around the world. Her take on what’s happening now is perhaps best summarized in this YouTube appearance on Democracy Now.  

Larry Pintak has a particularly well-timed new book, The New Arab Journalist, appearing this month. It’s based on 20-plus years of journalism experience in the Mideast and includes some path-breaking research from his years running AUC’s Center for Journalism and New Media. There a small sample of it here in a recent CNN column.

Former US ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner is now in Cairo. I believe the reason President Obama and Secretary Clinton chose him is that they knew he would be able to get in to see Mubarak personally, and that they gave him precise and tough instruction to tell him to wind things up or risk losing it all in a violent end.

Finally, Nate Silver at The New York Times has tracked a remarkable recent shift in Egyptian public opinion on the US. There is real opportunity in these numbers for the Obama administration and U.S. policy in Egypt and the Middle East. 

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