FORMER U.N. AMBASSADOR JOHN BOLTON: I think what's clearly happened today [in Egypt] is that the Muslim Brotherhood, the radical Islamist party in Egypt has called it's supporters into the street. I don't think it was present on the first two or three days.
I think after the Friday prayers the Brotherhood brought its people out. That's why the protests are even more extensive today. That constitutes no doubt about it a direct threat to the military government, and I think the failure of the other security forces to bring the demonstrations under control also now explains the presence of the military.
Let me be clear here, this is not just the Mubarak-family government. The military has ruled Egypt since Gamal Nasser and they over through King Farook.
It's the military that is the real government and they are not going to go peacefully.
I think the question is whether and to what extent the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamists have infiltrated the leadership. If the military holds firm it's entirely possible, although bloody, that the government can hold onto power. That doesn't necessarily mean Mubarak will be in power, but the military will be, and I think that is why this contrast makes it so important for people to understand, this is not a choice between the Mubarak government on one hand, and sweetness and light, Jeffersonian democracy on the other.
I don't think we have evidence yet that these demonstrations are necessarily about democracy. You know the old saying, "one person, one vote, one time." The Muslim Brotherhood doesn't care about democracy, if they get into power you're not going to have free and fair elections either.
And I think there is substantial reason, for example, to worry the minority Coptic Christian population, about 10% of the population will be very worried if the Muslim Brotherhood came to power.
Let's be clear what the stakes are for the United States. We have an authoritarian regime in power.