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At the core of the volatile and often brutal and bloody battle that could take up to a quarter of a century to play out is the determination of Arab autocrats to guarantee their survival at whatever cost.
The Middle East's new autocrats are consolidating power with divide-and-rule tactics that have polarized citizens along sectarian and identity lines.
The phrasing was nicer than that, but this was the basic idea, and just the sort of first step that dictators like to take toward cementing themselves as Autocrat for Life).
He finds that these cases are not so much a victories for democracy as failures of authoritarianism when autocrats are too weak to steal elections, repress opposition, or keep allies in line.
Assassination attempts on autocrats thus bring considerable risk: They appear to increase the chance of democratisation if the attempt succeeds, but lessen it in the far more likely event that the attempt fails.
Asian autocrats tended to be modernizers, like Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, and you see the results today: Singaporeans waiting in line for 10 hours to pay last respects to a man who vaulted them from nothing into the global middle class.
The extent of moral corruption in diplomatic relations with Egypt is becoming more repulsive each day; with so called consolidated democracies' unprecedented efforts to make the notorious autocrat that is called Al-Sisi feel "welcome" in world's capitals.
As autocrats find clever new ways to suppress dissent and prolong their regimes, the democracy assistance community can employ this knowledge as it helps local activists promote transparency and accountability in their own governments.
Directing himself to the youth who were the backbone of the uprising against Mubarak, Hegazy said "we will protect you from terrorism, acts of violence, corruption, and not leave room for terrorists and autocrats to lead your future.
In Egypt they first led the fight against autocracy, supported Islamists against the autocrats and later supported the autocrats against the Islamists.
As with the personal assets -- often corruptly acquired -- of other fallen autocrats, such as Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia's Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, the treasure hunters are facing major obstacles as they seek to identify assets and determine who has ownership of them.
Whereas beleaguered Arab peoples protested, global superpowers, such as the United States, Russia, China, and the United Kingdom, ignored their plight in favour of Arab autocrats and their crony networks.