Feb 4, 2011

Obama in Cairo 2009

Let's take a look back on President Barack Obama's once-praised speech in Cairo in June 2009.

A couple of quotes to focus on:

“No system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other. That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people."

If Mr. Obama meant this when he said it then he should deliver on it and place more vigorous support behind pro-democracy movements throughout the Middle East, like Egypt. He should also understand that in some places in the Muslim world, a government that reflects the will of the people will indeed be an Islamic one, and that does not necessarily present a threat to the United States or the ideals of freedom enshrined in its constitution.

"America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere."

Again, if Mr. Obama wants to stand by his words than he needs to stand firmly by the protesters in Tahrir Square. Right now those people are being denied the freedom to speak their minds, and the press there is denied the freedom to report on the protests. These are people who have not been given a say in their government and have endured more than half a century of the same kind of dictator, one after another. I don't think the United States can afford to support monarchies and dictatorships in the Middle East on one hand and pretend to be a fan of democracy on the other. Pick a side and stick with it.

“There are some who advocate for democracy only when they are out of power; once in power, they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others.”

That's right, and some western leaders preach democratic principles to their enemies and accept the repressive dictatorships and brutal monarchies of their allies. Hypocrisy is not very becoming on the leader of the free world. President Obama can't have his cake and eat it too.

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Keep it civil and pg-13, please.