Courtesy Reuters

With Hosni Mubarak's announcement yesterday that he would not seek a new term as president, the Mubarak era in Egypt came to an ignominious end. Although the Egyptian military may yet find a way to allow for a relatively graceful exit, Mubarak's historical legacy is sure to be colored by the very factors that led to his downfall: political alienation, economic dislocation, corruption, and the precipitous decline in Egypt's regional influence. After the chaos of this past week, not even his claim to have brought stability to Egypt will survive. 

Yet the seeds of Mubarak's demise were sowed long ago.

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