Archive for February 1st, 2011


“suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away”

Ryan Witt (Examiner): On June 9th 2009 President Obama gave a speech in Cairo calling for, among other things, democratic reforms in the Arab world … no one at the time dreamed that 18 months later the people of Egypt would be demonstrating in the streets of Cairo to demand the end of an autocratic regime.

Below one can see the relevant portion of President Obama’s Cairo speech, which can be read in an entirely different light given the events of the last week. In many ways the Egyptian people seemed to have answered President Obama’s call.

… I 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.

…this much is clear: governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away … we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments – provided they govern with respect for all their people.

….no matter where it takes hold, government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who hold power: you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy.”

The Cairo Speech (October 2009):

Check BWD’s The Only Adult In The Room, she has a link to a video of Lawrence O’Donnell & Brian Williams discussing this connection: here

The BBC and Salon have useful ‘Questions and Answers’ features on Egypt – worth a look


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