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Obama Suddenly Sides with the Egyptian People

At a hastily staged appearance this evening at the White House, President Obama called for restraint on both sides in Egypt, calling on both demonstrators and the government to avoid violence.

But the president, who as far as I can remember has been pretty much silent on the rights of the Egyptian people and reform of the government, made clear tonight that he sides with the demonstrators and that he has decided to throw stalwart U.S. ally – and good friend of Israel – Hosni Mubarak into the Red Sea now that the going has gotten tough.

Obama is trying to suddenly get right with the Arab street. It may be too late. And his sudden embrace of the rights of the Egyptian people may unintentionally signal U.S. support for Mubarak’s overthrow, which would invite a dangerously fluid situation, ripe for Islamists.

Here is part of his statement:

I want to be very clear in calling upon the Egyptian authorities to refrain from any violence against peaceful protesters.

The people of Egypt have rights that are universal. That includes the right to peaceful assembly and association; the right to free speech; and the ability to determine their own destiny. These are human rights, and the United States will stand up for them everywhere.

At the same time, those protesting in the streets have a responsibility to express themselves peacefully. Violence and destruction will not lead to the reforms that they seek . . .

When President Mubarak addressed the Egyptian people tonight, he pledged a better democracy and greater economic opportunity. I just spoke to him after his speech, and I told him he has a responsibility to give meaning to those words. Violence will not address the grievances of the Egyptian people, and suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.

The United States will continue to stand up for the rights of the Egyptian people, and work with their government in pursuit of a future that is more just, more free and more hopeful.

But here’s what Obama said during a brief press conference at the White House with Mubarak in August 2009. Obama made no mention of political reform in Egypt.

The United States and Egypt have worked together closely for many years, and for many of those years President Mubarak has been a leader and a counselor and a friend to the United States.

Similarly, in June 2009, during Obama’s visit to Cairo where he addressed the Arab world – and failed to criticize Mubarak’s repression of his people.

I’m very much looking forward in the months and years to come to continuing to consult with the President.

Mubarak should leave. But to do so under these circumstances will invite chaos, which is the friend of Muslim extremists who would like to seize control of the government.

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5 Responses to Obama Suddenly Sides with the Egyptian People

  1. There is more to this story about “hundreds” of protesters who are standing in the streets demanding the ouster of the current regime. Photos of young men waving their arms in anger, photos showing the protesters bent over in prayer and we have a Muslim backed semi-riot pumped up by our own MSM as a nationwide revolution.
    Our own Prez gushes over and compliments the Chinese for their life-style without a word about the brutal treatment of their people, but sides with the “hundreds” of Muslim protesters in Egypt.
    We need MrMubarak’s friendship to help keep what little peace there is in the Middle East. Without Egypt on our side, Israel is doomed.

  2. Several points:

    1. What this statement says is: We have no statement. Were waiting to see what happens. The WH never had a plan; if there was a plan, it was “lets wait and see.” The Obama Administration is similar to that of the Olbermann program on MSNBC: we will react to news events as they happen. Notice that the WH never talked about human rights, the Muslim Brotherhood, stability in the Middle East, Israel as our ally, let alone Mubarek as our ally. The WH’s *silence* in so many areas has been deafening. I watched CNN’s coverage and the Middle East experts are “perplexed” at the suppine position the WH has taken . . .

    2. The looting and chaos has to end. If the Army has to kill several hundred rioters and looters to end this insanity, so be it. Rioters and looters are the same in any country: the usual liberal, counter culture types that break store windows, steal property and burn tires in the streets. The Egyptian Army is well trained and well led, they will do what is necessary to keep the peace.

    3. Mubarek MUST STAY. Were finding out now that the PFLP, Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic terrorist groups are behind a *portion* of the protests. The U.S. *MUST* support the Mubarek regime while they introduce reforms and quell the rioting. Obama must come out, in support of the reform measures so that his regime does not fall and send the region into chaos. If Egypt falls to more radical elements, Israel will be forced to militarize the Sinai border, call up reserves; we return to pre-1967 pre-deployment marshalling points on the Egyptian-Israeli border.

    4. Watch the gas prices rise. Here in Dallas they are now $3.90/gallon (high) / $2.79 (low) and were expecting them to rise to well over $4/gallon. This will effect the U.S. economy; the repercussions will be world-wide.

    • Who was it–that Sunstein maybe–who said we simply MUST rachet up gas prices here to European levels…? This admin can sit a fence–and they will…When someone “wins,” that will be our guy, our junta, our movement, our whatever,