Salim Mansur gives us a recent history of Egypt. It is the future of Egypt that scares me.
History lessons are useful, and when events are in flux it is the past that can shed light on what the future might hold.
Autocracies, as I have indicated in recent columns, have shelf life. But there are caveats in any generalization, and the shelf life of any particular autocracy could get extended beyond its expiry date.
The current crisis in Egypt erupted with surprising speed for President Hosni Mubarak. The public demonstrations demanding an end to his 30-year rule has undermined him and very likely, as he has himself indicated, will end his presidency.
But the Egyptian state over which Mubarak has presided since Oct. 6, 1981 — the terrible day when President Anwar Sadat was gunned down by soldiers with links to the terro