All the protests going on across the Middle East & N Africa are truly historic, regardless of the unforeseen circumstances that will eventually arise.
The only "protest"-type event I've ever been to was the Rally to Restore Sanity in DC. Although the overall intention was humorous, it was a statement by 100's of thousands of citizens that the ignorant buffoonery so prevalent in American politics isn't going to be suffered in silence.
The fact that so many people are now willing to demonstrate against these anachronistic monarchies and harsh military dictatorships is a sign of a threshold of empowerment being reached for the average person around the world.
One interesting, yet overlooked, development of this particular situation is reinforcement of the premise that access to the Internet & media is a basic right of free people everywhere.
Even an iron-fisted government like Egypt has proven incapable of completely shuttering communication. Besides finding work-arounds, the population will just go friggin nuts. Modern society is totally emeshed in the World Wide Web for social contacts, business, information, creatvity, etc.
If it's come to the point were the government is trying to turn off the series of tubes leading to The Internets, well,... things are probably going to get crazy...