When History Turns a Corner

People power is changing the face of the Middle East, but the democracy deal isn't sealed--yet

How can you tell when history turns a corner? An assassination in 1914, a sneak attack in 1941, a wall falling in 1989--each came with a bang that was impossible to mistake once it happened, even if no one saw it coming. Across the Middle East last week, a tide of good news suggested that another corner might be near. Amid the flush of springlike exuberance, though, it was hard to know which events history would immortalize. Was it President Hosni Mubarak's startling announcement that Egypt would hold its first-ever secret ballot, multiparty presidential elections? Was it the popular demonstrations in...

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