WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Cairo: Paris Of The East? “Those of us old enough to have attended college back when even liberal arts and humanities professors routinely taught subjects that actually matter can dredge up our studies of the French Revolution and the subsequent 200 years of European and global reflection on the meaning and politics of that revolution to help us get to grips with what is happening in Egypt.”

UPDATE: Suddenly, the White House is changing its tone on Egypt. A bit late. “Is military rule a preferable outcome? Not at all. However, we should have tried to work through Mubarak first rather than rush to throw him aside. Meanwhile, the State Department insisted for months of brutal repression in Syria that Bashar Assad was a ‘reformer’ with whom we could work despite his alliance with Iran, while we castigated and abandoned one of the rare Arab leaders willing to keep peace with Israel. Whatever that was, it certainly wasn’t ‘smart power,’ and this outcome was predictable.”