It’s worth mentioning that I, like Scalzi, don’t know nearly enough about Egypt to blog intelligently about it. And I’m really not in a position to try to remedy that in realistic timescales.
My conclusions, such as they are: it’s a big country with a long and distinctive history. It’s neither Iran nor Tunisia. The fact that it borders Israel, and where it does so, affects everything visible and invisible about the situation. And a government with the same guy in power for 30 years is probably not hugely democratically accountable.
Closer to home, I think we’ve been supporting too damn many people who aren’t democratically accountable for us to keep preaching self-determination. I’d rather scrap the former rather than the latter. And I’m not enamored with the idea of governments shutting down the internet.