The biggest error hand wringers are making is to confuse Egypt with Iran. Shiite Islam is a minority in the Muslim world and Iranians are not Arabs. The religion of Egypt is Sunni Islam and Egypt is the largest and most important Arabic speaking, Sunni Muslim country, so whatever the effect of an Islamist Egypt will be, it will be bigger than the effect of an Islamist Iran, because it will occur within the dominant religious current and in the principal language of the Middle East and in its most important nation. It will be most interesting to see if Egypt joins Saudi Arabia in opposing Iran or whether they will extend their hand to the Ayatollahs.
As far as the USA is concerned the problem of the Middle East is a problem of domestic American politics. Israel is the measure of all things and Israel is a society in crisis and just as a person with a toothache, when tiny Israel twinges, the US political establishment can think of little else. And just as a person with a toothache has problems thinking straight. American policy in the Middle East is wallowing in incoherency and has been for years.
Israel is not in a happy situation, all the tides in the region are running against them and with all their eggs in the American basket they watch uneasily as the USA pulls back from its military involvement in the Middle East. Certainly any democratic regime in Egypt or any other Arab country is not going to be friendly to Israel, certainly while the Palestinians are being treated as they are... As it stands today, I cannot image any revitalization and empowerment of the Arab masses could ever benefit Israel, I think it is way too late for that. The Israelis had a real chance for peace after Bush the First won the opening round of the Iraq war, they passed it up, too bad for them, ... Like Bessie Smith once put it, if they make their own bed hard, that's the way it lies. DS