From TheMajlis.org (no relation to Iran's parliament) we get a summary of reforms former IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei advocates to ensure that Egypt has free elections and that would also presumably pave the way for him to run as a candidate.
It is important to understand that Hosni Mubarak is not accountable to ElBaradei. He is not accountable to Egypt's voters or to the people of Egypt in any form. Hosni Mubarak is accountable to the US President and the US Congress. Al Qaeda, I believe, makes a tactical error in attacking or threatening to attack US civilians, especially in the dramatically more strict post 2001 security environment. However, Al Qaeda is correct that demands for reform of Egypt are most effectively directed at the United States.
- End the 30-year-old state of emergency;
- Allow the Egyptian judiciary to oversee elections;
- Allow local and international civil society organizations to monitor elections;
- Grant equal media time to candidates;
- Allow Egyptian expats to vote;
- Remove the restrictions on presidential candidates, particularly independents;
- Limit presidents to two terms;
- Allow Egyptians to vote with only a national ID card.
Of course the reforms ElBaradei requests will not be enacted in time for the next election, or in time to prevent Gamal Mubarak from succeeding his father. ElBaradei may be able to raise pressure on Mubarak and in a slow process marginally open Egypt's political system. From Egypt, ElBaradei can certainly not accomplish putting Egypt's foreign policy under popularly legitimate Egyptian control.
On a scale of ideological intensity, ElBaradei is closer to Bashar Assad than to Mao Zedong or Kemal Ataturk. An Egyptian revolution that would end Egypt's colonial relationship with the United States would require leaders who have an ideological reason to make the commitment and sacrifice necessary to confront the regime against overwhelming odds. That is not ElBaradei, nor unfortunately, any prominent Egyptian prospective leader that I'm aware of.
Egypt could be freed without a revolution, but that would require an appeal to the consciousness of the United States comparable to Gandhi's appeals to Britain, Martin Luther King's appeals to the Northern US states or Mandela's appeals to the United States. Violent or non-violent, a campaign to influence the United States would have to be consistent and sustained and it would have to be expressed in clear and preferably eloquent language. ElBaradei might be able to do that, but so far has not shown that he understands the need or is inclined to fill it.