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.
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is expected to go on trial tomorrow for corruption and for ordering police to shoot unarmed protestors in January. By pushing the case forward, Egypt's interim government hopes to distance itself from the former regime and to boost its own legitimacy. But with convictions far from assured, it might have promised more than it can deliver.
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.