Among the biggest losers of the Egyptian uprising are, first, the Mubaraks, who are finished, and, next, the United States and Israel.
Hosni Mubarak will be out by year's end, if not the end of this month, or week. He will not run again and will not be succeeded by son Gamal, whom he had groomed and who has fled to London.
Today, the lead party in determining Egypt's future is the army. Cheered in the streets of Cairo, respected by the people, that army is not going to fire on peaceful demonstrators to keep in power a regime with one foot already in the grave.
Only if fired on by provocateurs is the army likely to clear Tahrir Square the way the Chinese army cleared Tiananmen Square.
But the army does have an immense stake in who rules, and that stake would not be well served by one-man, one-vote democracy.
Like the Turkish army, the Egyptian army sees itself as guardian of the nation. From the Egyptian military have come all four of the leaders who have ruled since the 1952 colonel's revolt that ousted King Farouk: Gens. Naguib, Sadat and Mubarak, and Col. Nasser
The military has also been for 30 years the recipient of $1.2 billion dollars a year from the United States. Its weapons come from America. Moreover, the army has a vital interest in the "cold peace" with Israel that has kept it out of war since 1973, produced the return of Sinai, and maintained Egypt's role as the leader of the moderate Arabs and major ally of the United States.
The Egyptian army is also aware of what happened to the Iranian generals when the Shah fell, and what is happening to the Turkish army as the Islamicizing regime of Prime Minister Erdogan strips that army of its role as arbiter of whether a Turkish regime stays or goes.
The Egyptian army will not yield its position readily, which is why it may tilt to the ex-generals Mubarak named Friday as vice president and prime minister.
The army's rival is the Muslim Brotherhood. The oldest Islamic movement in the Middle East, the most unified opponent of the regime, its future in a democratic Egypt, as part of a ruling coalition or major opposition party, seems assured.
And while the crowds in Cairo and Alexandria are united in what they wish to be rid of, the Muslim Brotherhood is united in knowing the kind of state and nation it wishes to establish.
Why are the United States and Israel seemingly certain losers from the fall of Mubarak? Because in any free and fair election in the Middle East, a majority will vote for rulers who will distance the country from America and sever ties to Israel.
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