“He needs to listen to what is voiced by the people and make a judgment about a pathway forward that is orderly, that is meaningful, and serious,” Obama said of President Mubarak this week. It is obvious that neither President Obama nor President Mubarak have a clue about what the Egyptian people want, but they are the exceptions. The entire world has heard the blistering cries for freedom from Cairo and their one message has been clear: They want President Mubarak out!
There has never been any ambiguity about that message. President Mubarak has tried to compromise with the people by hiring a new cabinet and promising not to run for reelection, but he stands defiant against the only request of the people. He is not listening. After days of vigorous protests, you would think President Obama would have understood the will of the Egyptian people, but neither he nor his administration has gotten the message.
While no one is calling for the American Government to interfere directly with Egypt, the fact that President Obama refuses to acknowledge that Mubarak should obey the demands of his people goes against the very fabric of the American ideal that a government should reflect the self-determination of the people it governs.
“Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government. “ – United States Declaration of Independence
These words are at the heart of the creation of our democracy and it is an absolute shame that we should deny the same opportunity for self-determination to another country. The disparity between American rhetoric and American action is an embarrassment and a betrayal of the very ideals America stands for. This is especially difficult to stomach with the shadow of pre-emptive wars, human rights violations, and embarrassing cable leaks still looming fresh in the minds of the world.
The United States preaches endlessly about spreading freedom and democracy around the world, but fails drastically when it comes to action. Egypt isn’t the first. Ask the people of Iran how in 1953 the United States and United Kingdom removed their democratically elected leader, President Mossadegh. Mossadegh’s removal was the start of a reign of terror and oppression that continues to this day. Ask the people of Guatemala whose democratically elected President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman was overthrown by the United States Government and replace by a dictator for the benefit of the United Fruit Company. Ask the Filipinos about Emilio Aguinaldo who fought bravely against the United State for independence that was finally granted in 1946- only to have the United States support and aid dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Ask the Cubans about the suppression of sovereignty expressed in the Platt Amendment, the American supported rule of brutal dictator, or their suffering resulting from the continued embargo of their island. This is not conspiracy theory- this is history.
History shows that Egypt should not look toward the United States to stand up for their freedom and self-determination; if anything it teaches the Egyptian people to be wary of American intervention and attempts to control the region. The will of the Egyptian people is not in the best interests of the United States.
From the streets of London to Washington D.C., the world has united with the Egyptian protesters in their struggle for a transparent democratic government. Despite the unfortunate lack of support from the Obama Administration, the rest of the world has heard your simple, concise, and defiant message loud and clear: MUBARAK GET OUT NOW!