To understand the Brotherhood's prospects in Egypt's upcoming elections, one has to understand the organization itself. This intensely disciplined operation has an intricate system for recruitment and promotion and a devoutly loyal membership -- one likely to triumph at the polls and move Egypt in a decidedly theocratic, anti-Western direction.
Despite its vows to speed Egypt toward elections, the country's military leadership is actually ambivalent about democracy. Above all, Egypt's generals want to preserve stability and protect their privileges. But having unleashed democracy, the military may not be able to control it -- especially if Washington keeps up the pressure to move forward.
Over the last decade, Egyptian women have made progress, however gradual, in a fight for control over their children, their marriages, and their place in society. While the revolution may be rewriting the country's political order, it has stifled female progress.