President Obama this afternoon offered an eloquent tribute to the Egyptian revolutionaries who toppled Hosni Mubarak, invoking the fall of the Berlin Wall and other “the echoes of history” to mark the magnitude of the events.
“As Martin Luther Kind said . . . there’ something in the soul that cries out for freedom,” Obama said. He noted the peaceful nature of the protests, saying it was “nonviolence – moral force – that bent the arc of history toward justice one more.”
And tribute away Obama must, as many protesters associate the United States with decades of support for Mubarak and an equivocal policy over the past week that saw the White House alternately standing behind its longtime ally and trying to shove him aside.
Obama said he was optimistic about the future, even as Egypt now enters a highly perilous moment when extremists might try to seize power.
“I’m sure there will be difficult days ahead,” he said. “But I’m confident that the people of Egypt can find the answers, and do so peacefully.”
Obama suggested the very organization many fear could establish Islamist rule in the country – the Muslim Brotherhood – must be included in the process of forming a new government, saying those conducting the transition must bring “all of Egypt’s voices to the table.”