Rich Galen

Remember a couple of years ago when Muslim immigrants from North Africa decided that setting cars on fire in the suburbs of Paris was a good idea? They’re not going to cause the downfall of the Sarkozy government, but they can make things uncomfortable in the 6th Arrondissement if they want.

On the other hand, if a significant number of the 1.7 million Muslims in the U.K. decide to go on a rampage it might bring down the already tenuous government of Prime Minister David Cameron.

Aside from mass demonstrations, the troubles in Egypt will also get al Qaeda cells in Yemen, Pakistan, and who-knows-where-all thinking about how they can use the distraction of a million people milling around in Egyptian squares to their advantage.

Maybe Mubarak’s offer will work. I suspect it will not, and he will have to up the ante by bringing an opposition leader or two into his government which would have been like Bill Clinton bringing Newt Gingrich into his Administration after the 1998 mid-terms.

Don’t get bored with this story just yet. It may have many more plot twists to go.

On the Secret Decoder Ring today:

Links to the Pew Study, to the definition (and pronunciation) of Arrondissement, and Obama’s remarks last night. Also a pretty good Mullfoto sent in by a reader and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at