The only certainty in Egypt these days is that Hosni Mubarak is out. Whether it happens in the next few days, or in several months, his time is up. What isn't certain, is what the future holds for Egypt and the rest of the world without the dictator that has been an ally of the West and a much-needed element of stability in the region.
Barack Obama and other world leaders are urging Mubarak to step aside and allow democratic reforms. This may seem a noble goal, but little thought is being given to who will succeed the Egyptian strongman. Any successor he might name himself would likely be unacceptable to those demanding change, and after thirty years in office he has few political rivals.
The group best positioned to take control of the government is the Muslim Brotherhood, and though banned from holding political office themselves, they get around this by running as independents. Their current strategy is the backing of Mohamed ElBaradei, who is emerging as the main opposition leader.
ElBaradei hasn't spent much time in Egypt in recent years. In fact he has been out of the country since 1964, devoting many of those years to heading the United Nations nuclear inspection program. Despite being part of an organization that requires political neutrality, he says Israel is "the number one threat to the Middle East," and attacks America and Israel for the "civilian carnage" they cause.
The Muslim Brotherhood, although claiming to oppose violence to achieve their goals, seem to limit this non-violent philosophy only to Jihad against the corrupt Western democracies. They agree with ElBaradei that Israel is the enemy, and must be destroyed by any means possible. Speaking for the Brotherhood, Muhammad Ghannem stated that “the people should be prepared for war against Israel,” saying the world should understand that “the Egyptian people are prepared for anything to get rid of this regime.”