February 14, 2011
Obama, Now -- and ThenBy Betsy M. Galliher
There are very few moments in our lives where we have the privilege to witness history taking place. This is one of those moments. This is one of those times. The people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same.
I inherited this mess.
I'm sure there will be difficult days ahead, and many questions remain unanswered. But I am confident that the people of Egypt can find the answers, and do so peacefully, constructively, and in the spirit of unity that has defined these last few weeks. For Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day.
We're going to punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends.
The military has served patriotically and responsibly as a caretaker to the state and will now have to ensure a transition that is credible in the eyes of the Egyptian people.
You would think they would be saying thank you.
Above all, this transition must bring all of Egypt's voices to the table. For the spirit of peaceful protest and perseverance that the Egyptian people have shown can serve as a powerful wind at the back of this change.
I won. So, I think on that one, I trump you.
The United States will continue to be a friend and partner to Egypt. We stand ready to provide whatever assistance is necessary - and asked for - to pursue a credible transition to a democracy.
[America] has shown arrogance, and been dismissive.
I'm also confident that the same ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that the young people of businesses that allow the extraordinary potential of this generation to take flight.
I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face.
And I know that a democratic Egypt can advance its role of responsible leadership not only in the region but around the world.
I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race.
Egypt has played a pivotal role in human history for over 6,000 years. But over the last few weeks, the wheel of history turned at a blinding pace as the Egyptian people demanded their universal rights.
I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.
We saw mothers and fathers carrying their children on their shoulders to show them what true freedom might look like.
And you see folks waving teabags around.
We saw a young Egyptian say, "For the first time in my life, I really count. My voice is heard. Even though I'm only one person, this is the way real democracy works."
We don't mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.
We saw protestors chant "Selmiyya, selmiyya" -- "We are peaceful" - again and again. We saw a military that would not fire bullets at the people they were sworn to protect.
If they bring a knife, you bring a gun.
We saw people of faith praying together and chanting - "Muslims, Christians, We are one." And though we know that the strains between faiths still divide too many in this world and no single event will close that chasm immediately, these scenes remind us that we need not be defined by our differences. We can be defined by the common humanity that we share.
She's a typical white person.
This is the power of human dignity, and it can never be denied. Egyptians have inspired us, and they've done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained through violence. For in Egypt, it was the moral force of nonviolence -- not terrorism, not mindless killing -- but nonviolence, moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice once more.
I am deeply troubled by the violence [Iran] I've been seeing on TV.
As Martin Luther King said in celebrating the birth of a new nation in Ghana while trying to perfect his own, "There is something in the soul that cries out for freedom." Those were the cries that came from Tahrir Square, and the entire world has taken note.
It would not be productive for the President to be seen as meddling.
Today belongs to the people of Egypt, and the American people are moved by these scenes in Cairo and across Egypt because of who we are as a people and the kind of world that we want our children to grow up in.
Obama's embrace of Leftist dissent, and his reluctant acceptance, even dismissal, of any and all opposition from the Right, was then, and is now, unchanged. Sadly, his desire to appease the Left and penchant to organize give us little reason to believe Obama will interfere should the Egyptian people's evolution become the Muslim Brotherhood's Revolution.
In the words of William Shakespeare, what matters is what something is, not what something is called. The narrative may cry 'freedom,' and 'democracy,' but our ally, Israel, knows all too well the cry, "Allahu Akbar."