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Posted at 4:09 PM ET, 02/11/2011

Obama: "Today belongs to the people of Egypt"

By Greg Sargent

From President Obama's remarks on Mubarak's departure just now:

This is not the end of Egypt's transition. It's a beginning. I'm sure there will be difficult days ahead. And many questions remain unanswered. But I am confident that the peple of Egypt can find the answers, and do so peacefully, constructively, and in the spirit of unity that has defined these last few weeks. For Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day.

The military has served patriotically and responsibly as a caretaker to the state, and will now have to ensure a transition that is credible in the eyes of the Egyptian people. That means protecting the rights of Egypt's citizens, lifting the emergency law, revising the constitution and other laws to make this change irreversible, and laying out a clear path to elections that are fair and free.

Above all this transition must bring all of Egypt's voices to the table. The spirit of peaceful protest and perseverence that the Egyptian people have shown can serve as a powerful wind at the back of this change...

As Martin Luther King said while celebrating the birth of a new nation in Ghana, while trying to perfect his own: "There's something in the soul that cries out for freedom." Those are the cries that came from Tahrir Square. And the entire world has taken note.

Today belongs to the people of Egypt. And the American people are moved by these scenes in Cairo and across Egypt because of who we are as a people, and the kind of world that we want our children to grow up in.

Note the balances struck. Obama summoned rhetoric appropriate to the momentousness of this particular historical moment while downplaying expectations for the difficult days ahead and acknowledging that serious challenges remain. He laid down a specific set of reforms he wants to see in the days ahead, while praising the conduct thus far of the Egyptian military (which will control events to come) and insisting yet again that the final outcome remains in the hands of the Egyptian people.

And he linked the events in Egypt to American aspirations towards freedom and democracy, and to those harbored by other peoples throughout history, while affirming sole ownership of this moment to its author, the Egyptian people.

By Greg Sargent  | February 11, 2011; 4:09 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Comments

Yup! Home run.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 11, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

This change did not come about at a time of anyone's choosing. As Biden said today; it was one poor soul setting himself on fire, in Tunisia that started the wildfire.

Accordingly, there really is no well organized Democratic Parties at hand in Egypt, because The Regime kept smothering them in their cradles; so it will take time for such parties to emerge and compete. That is why a broad based interm government, from all sectors of society would be the best thing to put in place, to govern for at least a year, until real robust political parties are ready to contest elections.

It is all about the soft landing. Were elections to be held too soon, it would end up with the people having a choice between the old regime,and the Islamists.

As my sainted mother used to say: Marry in haste, and repent at leisure.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 11, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Liam, I didn't know you were moonlighting as Obama's speechwriter. :)

and agreed, wbgonne. totally.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 11, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant speech.

Most important/lasting effect from this speech:

Cementing Tahrir Square as THE iconic symbol of the revolution. Putting it on par with Berlin Wall, Philippenes, Ghandi, and MLK Jr.

Symbolically, this speech was sheer brilliance.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 11, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Liam, I didn't know you were moonlighting as Obama's speechwriter. :)

and agreed, wbgonne. totally.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 11, 2011 4:15 PM |

Nah,

My stuff is all off the cuff. All improvisational, and the rough edges always show.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 11, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: A fine statement from Obama.

I was surprised that you did not acknowledge that the "specific set of reforms [Obama] wants to see in the days ahead have *already* been defined by The Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/11/world/middleeast/11egypt-military-statement.html?_r=1

Posted by: sbj3 | February 11, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

No, he should have attacked the Axis of Evil and re-established America as embattled hurt collectors, willing to lash out with disproportionate force at anyone anywhere who says or does anything that makes us feel bad.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 11, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama and Clinton have handled this situation as well as it could be handled. Excellent speech.

Posted by: Provincial | February 11, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"As Martin Luther King said while celebrating the birth of a new nation in Ghana, while trying to perfect his own: "There's something in the soul that cries out for freedom." Those are the cries that came from Tahrir Square. And the entire world has taken note. "

This was very a poignant passage, tying the current day Egyptians to the struggles of another nation on the African continent in the past, to the civil rights movement here.

Very well done.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 11, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

As far as I know, there is no evidence to support the rumor that Glenn Beck, whilst muttering about Code Pink's victory, has packed up his chalkboard and departed for Sharm el-Sheik to join his comrade Hosni Mubarak....as far as I know.

Meanwhile, somewhere in right wing "think-tank" land, somebody funded by the Koch brothers (Heritage Foundation?) is trying to figure out how this peaceful revolution validates the importance of Second Amendment "remedies" as a tool for achieving political change.

.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 11, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

@Drain-

The Right wing doesn't do "peaceful": witness Angle, militias, murduring pro-choice doctors, etc...

They are on the wrong. side. of. history.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 11, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

sbj, isn't it fair to say that it's not a sure thing that those things will actually happen?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 11, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

You can pick up the vibe that some Right Wingers are giving off; in which you can tell that they are really rooting for The Muslim Brotherhood to come to power in Egypt, just so they can crow about how much better it would have been to have kept Bush's Torturers In Cairo in charge.

They are actually rooting for Democracy not to flourish in Egypt, and are really pissed of that even the seeds have been sown.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 11, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: "sbj, isn't it fair to say that it's not a sure thing that those things will actually happen?"

It's a good idea, of course. I just found it interesting that the markers for success were precisely the same. Is Obama laying down markers that he devised himself, or is he parroting what the army has already said they would do? Are these the correct targets or do we need more? Had we already worked with their army to develop those markers prior to Mubarak's departure?

Just interesting thoughts (to me).

Posted by: sbj3 | February 11, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: And while this statement was not the appropriate time to talk about the accord with Israel, I certainly hope that the admin is gaming out the possibilities.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 11, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

It is a nice line about the day belonging to the people of Egypt. From Liam's lips to Greg's to Obama's . . .

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 11, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I should say, *some* on the Right... :)

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 11, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

sbj, do you know anything about this? If the answer is yes then fire away but, there are a lot of Republican people who can not even conceive of Egypt as anything other than a seething cesspool of Death to America chants.

Let's look back. Egypt is a military dictatorship we have propped up in exchange for the peace deal with Israel. Then the Egyptian people decided they were sick of the dictatorship and they are making it go away. The fact that America looks good today in this context is a political miracle.

Despite what the latecomers to the Obama camp think, I love him a lot more than you do. His administration might just save this country from itself, but that is another topic.

Anyway, the Obama administration did not make that happen, nor did they stop it. The Egyptians sensed it was time, realizing that. The Obama administration knows how to work with the Egyptian military, because that is what we have done for decades. It was a military dictatorship and it still is.

But they have gotten rid of the suits and stripped away the pretense. Now the old generals will set the agenda for a transition to democracy, together with their backers, the United States. The markers for success are generic, obvious, wonderful and are a direct result of the Egyptian people deciding the world, the West in particular, would back them and we did.

So sad we were not propping today's regime in Iran or that would have gone much better than it did. Had Obama been the President at the time of the fall of the Shah, oh that is stupid, too many other variables. Suffice it to say American support for dictators ain't what it used to be.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 11, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

ronnieandrush, "brilliant?" His speech had the same impact as a turd falling from a tall cow's behind.

Posted by: nmg3rln | February 11, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

It is a great day for Egypt and the prospects for the avoidance of "A Clash Of Cultures" that some Neo Cons appear to be yearning for.

However; it would be good to keep in mind The Prague Spring, and for the Egyptian people to stay on guard, to protect what they have gained.

I am going to break out my DVD of The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, and watch it tonight, and yes; I do love Lena Olin's hat; so she can leave her hat on.

All in all, it has been an uplifting day, and once Hosni finishes his visit to Disneyland, he will now have plenty of time to rehearse for his appearance on Dancing With The Czars.

Have a good evening all.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 11, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@shrink: "sbj, do you know anything about this? If the answer is yes then fire away."

I did not see a question in your comment? I am very optimistic about the future in Egypt.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 11, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

The military in Egypt won't slow the growth of democracy there, because if they did the spigot from Uncle Sam would dry up.
The Right is flummoxed by all of this. I understand that the events in Egypt are hardly being mentioned at CPAC over the last 2 days. Right now this is a foreign policy feather in Obama's cap.
The Right is happier when strong men are in power and just can't handle it when people in the street peacefully seek a redress of grievances. Let's remind ourselves that the violence that occurred in Egypt was done by Mubarek's thugs acting as agent provocateurs

Posted by: filmnoia | February 11, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Yeah shrink, and we of course had no right to "feel bad" when arabs killed us by the thousands on 9/11 right?

We should have just shrugged it off and gone back to work, is that it? After all the state needs our production so that they can confiscate it and give it to the non productive.

Work hard: Obama needs your money.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 11, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"I do love Lena Olin's hat"
"All in all, it has been an uplifting day"

Boioioinnng! I hope your wife is ready for trouble.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 11, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"Right now this is a foreign policy feather in Obama's cap."

How's that?

Posted by: sbj3 | February 11, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Great speech. This speech flows so well from Obama's 2009 Cairo speech. The power of human dignity is the Obama Doctrine, if there is such a thing...

Posted by: Vaughan1 | February 11, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

skip, you can't be serious.
Do you think Arabs hate Americans?

sbj, you want a question. Do you think the American position with regard to what has happened in Egypt is a great thing? Hint: Yes is the correct answer.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 11, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

@skip-

To the loony Right, Arabs=terrorists. End of story. So sad.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 11, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"Now the old generals will set the agenda for a transition to democracy, together with their backers, the United States"

Exactly.

As I posted on the Egypt thread, the feeling in Israel is that, while they have some jitters, they are HAPPY that the transition will be led by the military. Because the military has been supported by the USA to the tune of $1.5 B/yr, and, as the reporter from Israel indicated, those funds are a down-payment on stability in the region.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 11, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

The experts on this blog may want to do some reading before drawing conclusions, and note that Jonathan Bernstein counsels how it's waaaay too premature to know very much from which to draw even preliminary conclusions - http://plainblogaboutpolitics.blogspot.com/2011/02/egypt-and-obama.html

Anyhow, for background:
http://www.brookings.edu/PROJECTS/ISLAMIC-WORLD.ASPX

The Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World is a major research program housed within the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. The project conducts high-quality public policy research, and convenes policy makers and opinion leaders on the major issues surrounding the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world.

The Project seeks to engage and inform policymakers, practitioners, and the broader public on developments in Muslim countries and communities, and the nature of their relationship with the United States. Together with the affiliated Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, it sponsors a range of events, initiatives, research projects, and publications designed to educate, encourage frank dialogue, and build positive partnerships between the United States and the Muslim world.

Posted by: smd1234 | February 11, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

@shrink: "Do you think the American position with regard to what has happened in Egypt is a great thing?"

Do you mean our position today or the one we had a month ago?

Ha ha! With regard to what has *happened* we are finally on the right page. We certainly had quite a few missteps as this was playing out.

I believe we should support an Egyptian democracy. (I think we should support democratic reforms everywhere.) I also believe that the next few months might play out in ways that do not reflect America's best interests. I don't believe we are well-prepared for such a thing. However, I think that the Egyptians have the God-given right to elect whatever whacked out sort of government they might want. I hope that the peace treaty with Israel will continue to hold and I hope that our government is prepared for the alternative. I don't worry too much that Egypt will become an Islamic theocracy. Besides, if they want to go backwards like that then go right ahead - it's their choice.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 11, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The military played a huge role in controlling the situation while giving the people the freedom to protest. They were advised well, and the role that the U.S. played in that was perfect policy.

I think yesterday was Mubarak's last cruel tactic to try to spark violent protests, and that read a lot like Cheney's heavy hand of manipulation. It would be interesting to know who was advising Mubarak in the U.S., and if anybody was undercutting the administration's objectives.

Posted by: Beeliever | February 11, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"when arabs killed us by the thousands on 9/11 right?"

19 terrorists aka common criminals attacked us on 9/11. They happened to be of Arab descent. Does the murder of Dr. George Tiller implicate all Christians? Do the clinic bombings and death and injury implicate all Christians...because most assuredly those committing the crimes all called themselves Christian. They were all Americans...should we have a vendetta against Americans? Just Christians? Arabs? Nothing like conflating 19 criminals with an entire race.

Some of you folks are pathetic. And sadly to the degree that some of you espouse Christianity...that is to say the most "ardent" outwardly Christian people on this blog are among the most hateful vengeful folks I read here.

VENGEANCE IS MINE SAYETH THE LORD!

19 men who happened to be Arabs attacked us on 9/11, not the entire Arab race. And there is a huge difference pea brain!!!

How about just giving it a rest. Take a minute to celebrate with the REST of us, the REST of the world at a people who have put their arses on the line, some of them killed for their efforts achieving an historic moment in history. But no...we still need to find another way to slur Arabs. Always clawrence, skippy, peewee, hang on to that hurt as long as possible, play the victim as long as possible. Wahhh you should see what they said about Bush so who cares if they call Obama a socialist or an N. Really...just freaking amazing.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 11, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"Because the military has been supported by the USA to the tune of $1.5 B/yr, and, as the reporter from Israel indicated, those funds are a down-payment on stability in the region."

Seems like a pretty good investment. $1.5B is "peanuts."
Now if this democracy "stuff" continues in the Middle East there will come a time when the Right won't have anyone to hate, except for us domestic lefties. Also, if it stabilizes the region over the years with more democratic governments, the Dems can crow about Obama and these events the way the GOP goes gaga about Reagan ending the Cold War.

Posted by: filmnoia | February 11, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

This is the passage I was referring to earlier (my bad, not Philippines, Indonesia):

"""""And while the sights and sounds that we heard were entirely Egyptian, we can't help but hear the echoes of history, echoes from Germans tearing down a wall, Indonesian students taking to the streets, Gandhi leading his people down the path justice.

"As Martin Luther King said in celebrating the birth of a new nation in Ghana while trying to perfect his own, 'There's something in the soul that cries out for freedom.' Those were the cries that came from Tahrir square and the entire world has taken note."""""

I thought that the imagery of this particular passage was what made this a remarkable speech for the singular reason I mentioned above: it cements Tahrir Square as the symbol of the Egyptian non-violent revolution. It heralds the dawn of a new day, a new freedom for the Egyptian people, accomplished entirely by nonviolent civil disobedience. Again, breathtakingly brilliant imho. I just wanted to share that passage with everyone since it is edited out of Greg's passage. No offense to Greg, I agree entirely with your comments, Greg, just thought that passage was particularly important.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 11, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

@film: Hate to break it to you but it is the Bush/neocon position that the domino effect of Iraqi democracy would be the best way/means to stabilize the ME.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 11, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

"the next few months might play out in ways that do not reflect America's best interests"

Or they may cause other Middle East autocracies to crumble, undermine the Iranian theocracy, and prompt Israel to become more reasonable and enter into abiding agreements with its neighbors.

I am optimistic even though, historically, America doesn't know its best-interest from its worst nightmare. Why? Because we are NOT adjusting our foreign policy; this time our foreign policy is being adjusted for us.

Peace out.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 11, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

sbj: "Hate to break it to you but it is the Bush/neocon position that the domino effect of Iraqi democracy would be the best way/means to stabilize the ME."

Hate to break it to you, but the Bush/neocon position hasn't stabilized Iraq yet.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 11, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

smd1234.

"The experts on this blog may want to do some reading before drawing conclusions..."

Look, we do this for fun. Other people get paid to think about this stuff. We are not serious, if we were, we would not cast our pearls at swine. We match wits, we make predictions, it is a social thing. Some people like to insult each other for social reasons...But we do read. Or at least, you can tell the people who read, they say different things, from those who don't, they say the same things.

So if you have something to share about what you have read, please. But if you feel the need to tell us we are not the experts on this or that topic, yeah...we know. We suck. Worse than amateurs, pikers, clueless. But if you want to have fun running your best ideas into the mix, that works.

"...it's waaaay too premature to know very much from which to draw even preliminary conclusions."

I think I know what you meant. Would you like to say something specific about what we know and what we don't? That is all we have been talking about, that is what we always talk about.
That is all that matters, apart from the predictions and the jokes and for some, the personal attacks.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 11, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"Right now this is a foreign policy feather in Obama's cap."

How's that?

Posted by: sbj3

How's that...as in Historic you Debbie Downer. Again Fareed Zakaria who is probably a little better informed than you SBJ made just such a pronouncement last night on CNN. And that was in reaction to Obama's 8PM speech.

NO president in American History has ever backed a "revolution" or uprising this quickly when it involved one of our Dictator allies. St. Ronnie took THREE FULL YEARS after Marcos' goons assassinated Aguino which was the real beginning of the Filipino uprising to dump Marcos. Whose side did St Ronnie take? Marcos because of his anti communist policies.

It's a bi partisan thing when you realize Bubba took over a year after the Indonesians rebelled against their dictator, Suharto.

Jeebus SBJ you're starting to sound exactly like clawrence and rainman. What's next Obama failed in caps triple spaced and repeated 13 times? How about you predict Obama's downfall a dozen times. You know less about F.P. than even your lame takes during the HCR debate. Really pathetic.

SBJ, clawrence, Q.B. save your freaking typing strokes...we all get it...Obama=bad
You people are starting to embarrass yourselves on a day when the entire world is celebrating you're live in a desperate fear that somehow something good might come out of this for Obama. Your posts reveal as much so save the responses!

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 11, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"@film: Hate to break it to you but it is the Bush/neocon position that the domino effect of Iraqi democracy would be the best way/means to stabilize the ME."

Bahahahaha, yeah. Bush freed Egypt.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 11, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"Bush freed Egypt."

They must have seen that Get Motivated "self-help" speech he gave in Texas.

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/252746/october-27-2009/george-w--bush-s-motivational-speech

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 11, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"Jeebus SBJ you're starting to sound exactly like clawrence and rainman. "

They are all exactly the same. Yeah, I guess there's some variety in their writing styles, but they all have the same opinions on everything. I've never seen two Conservatives disagree on anything. And why would they? Their beliefs have no bearing with the truth. For them to think that 5-3=-3 doesn't come from any kind of logical consistency that might cause disagreements. It's just because it's a Conservative thing to say that Bush tax cuts have "0.00%" effect on the deficit.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 11, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

And the winner for the line of the day...

It's shrink!!!!

"we would not cast our pearls at swine."

I hope you meant that in a bi-partisan way.:-) Otherwise you're going to have to pay how much in your new system of fines for calling righties swine? LMAO

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 11, 2011 5:54 PM | Report abuse

@sbj-

The Bush/neoCon position that you invade foreign countries to depose dictators? I'm pretty sure that *isn't* seen by the rest of the ME as something they want repeated...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 11, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

A teapartier said on Hardball a few days back that Islam is a violent religion. I think Egypt has proven him an ignorant bigot.

Posted by: Beeliever | February 11, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

@ruk: My pet rat terrier is better informed than Fareed Zakaria.

I'm not being a downer - I'm keeping it real. I am very happy about what happened in Egypt and very optimistic about their future.

But when I read - over and over again - folks on this blog trying to claim that Obama deserves credit - I'm stunned. Obama does not deserve any credit at all for what happened here. He was president when Mubarak fell - a month ago he supported him. Get real.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 11, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

50¢.

It is for a good cause.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 11, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"Bush freed Egypt."

Yeah...they were afraid he'd "Bring it on".

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 11, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Yeah...they were afraid he'd "Bring it on"

Nah, they were afraid of that flight suit.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 11, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

"But when I read - over and over again - folks on this blog trying to claim that Obama deserves credit - I'm stunned. Obama does not deserve any credit at all for what happened here. He was president when Mubarak fell - a month ago he supported him. Get real. "

Does it not count because there wasn't a wall?

Posted by: DDAWD | February 11, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Beeliever, I agree with you. That is the most important thing about what just happened. I saw an "Islamic scholar" on the BBC earlier saying, "No blood, No blood. No one of you [in the West] thought this....oh I forgot what he said exactly, but it is really something seeing protesters and Army guys (the ones whose salaries we pay) celebrating together."

The Arab Street has been redefined.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 11, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

If the CIA is covertly involved in regime change (as we know it has been) as an arm of the U.S. gov't, how can Obama or anyone else claim we have "no right" in imposing government on another?

So, we are hypocrites who maybe get it 51% right at the end of the day.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 11, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

@SBJ

"I'm stunned. Obama does not deserve any credit at all"

You show your ignorance by comparing Zakaria to your rat terrier...perhaps it's simple desperation not ignorance.

There is literally no way you can back up your statement empirically. You have ZERO proof behind that statement any more than Obama supporters can give him credit.

There is NO way to truly ascertain what effect Obama may have had on this uprising. Whatever effect he might have had pales in comparison to the courage of the Egyptian people, some of whom were martyred, others beaten, tortured. Obama said..."Today belongs to the Egyptian people"...nobody is arguing that...but in terms of examining our F.P. only a moron would ignore his famous "apology" tour that included his well received speech in Cairo. Half of the Iowa Republicans believe Obama is Muslim and is in cahoots with them over this Egypt deal. So is he involved or not?

Here are some facts...I've already shown you how former Presidents wussied out in this very same situation including St. Ronnie. Did Obama's Cairo speech plant any seeds? Who can really say. Did his refutation...oops that's refudiation for you R's..of Mubarak's TV address encourage the protesters on the street...we surely do not really know yet..and that includes you SBJ..you do not have a clue as to whether Obama helped create conditions that led to this. Really SBJ you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas and the right is so incredibly wrong, and especially the neo cons when it comes to F.P. that's it's pathetic. Let's wait and see how many Egyptians feel the need to risk their lives and throw a shoe at the President during his next visit. We can clearly see how Georgie's hubris tours and speeches were received!!! You're on the wrong side SBJ...perhaps one day you'll recognize it.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 11, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

sbj, I am an American Patriot.

When the American people elected Barak Obama we signaled to the world that even this country built on slave labor and conquest did freely and fairly elect a man of ignominious provenance to be the most powerful man in the world.

Barak Obama is not the point, Democracy is the point and we do that. We do deserve credit. People all over the world realize that they can be Democratic if they act as we do.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 11, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

@ChuckinDenton

"So, we are hypocrites who maybe get it 51% right at the end of the day."

I cannot challenge the veracity of your post.
Given our history you certainly have a right to think that...and indeed you might be correct.

From my perspective I would like to add one bit more to your observation...perhaps we are REFORMED hypocrites who have finally seen the light and slowly but hopefully surely are beginning to change.
At least the current President is cleansing us of the horrible stain of hubris that has infected our F.P. since WWII even if it is still largely just talk.
You gotta start somewhere. We won a big one in the 40's and OMG did it ever go to our heads!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 11, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2011/02/i-wish-i-was-like-you/

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 11, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

My sense is that Mr. Obama had very little to do with the actual events on the ground.

Evidence of this was that no one in his administration had anything more than a vague general idea as to what those events would culminate.

His support for the people was admirable and courageous (exactly because of the uncertainty). My concern is that Mr. Obama presents symbolic reassurance only. I think the admin hasn't a clear understanding as to what motivated and, more importantly, organized the protesters.
(To be fair, I don't think anyone does, at least in the West...and that definitely includes Zakaria who can find a silver-Obama-lining in just about anything.)

Posted by: tao9 | February 11, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"My sense is that Mr. Obama had very little to do with the actual events on the ground."

OMG, a Conservative Independently Came Up With something that every other Conservative has said so far. You guys are sooo good at Independently Coming Up With things.

What is your deal with walls anyways?

Posted by: DDAWD | February 11, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD are you saying Mr. Obama orchestrated the protests and inspired a nascent democracy in Egypt?

Are there other cons (or anybody) saying Mr. Obama had a clear handle on the last two weeks of this situation?

Or are you saying what you always say?You're as predictable as sunrise.

Posted by: tao9 | February 11, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"DDAWD are you saying Mr. Obama orchestrated the protests and inspired a nascent democracy in Egypt?"

Absolutely not. My rule is, "no wall, no credit."

Posted by: DDAWD | February 11, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD, have you seen anyone say this: President Palin would not just sit by while the Muslim Brotherhood gets any place in Egypt's new government.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 11, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

http://media.photobucket.com/image/%252522president%20palin%252522/Windflier/VRWC/PresidentPalin.gif

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 11, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

"Are there other cons (or anybody) saying Mr. Obama had a clear handle on the last two weeks of this situation?"

Well, the easiest way to know what 100% of Conservatives are thinking is to find out what you're thinking. Of course, that doesn't happen until Glen Beck comes on, but I suppose loss of independent thought is an insignificant price for Sarah Palin winks.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 11, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

WOO HOO!!!

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 11, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

@ruk-

I basically agree with re: being reformed but, I wish I could square realpolitik with the rhetoric. Its a conumdrum.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 11, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

@shrink: "Barak Obama is not the point, Democracy is the point."

Exactly! Now 'splain that to the libs trying to give Obama the credit.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 11, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

sbj3, the cult of Obama is bizarre, it is as if America can not take credit for itself, there has to be a person to love or hate, to credit or blame. Both sides have attributed way too much to him.

Obama is an artifact or perhaps better an illustration of all that we cherish about this country. We lead the world not because Obama is the leader, but because we elected Obama to be the leader and Reagan and the Bushes and The Clintons.

I listened to a lot of 30 something Egyptians talking on the internet streams over the last day and they were so happy that for the first time in their lives they could consider the possibility of an ex-President.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 11, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

@tao: "My sense is that Mr. Obama had very little to do with the actual events on the ground."

My sense it that Tao has a red phone on his desk that he thinks gives him a direct line to the Oval Office but really is just a cheap plastic toy made in China.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 11, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Of course Egypt will never be the same; things seldom are in situations such as this. Obama's statement: " The spirit of peaceful protest and perseverence that the Egyptian people have shown can serve as a powerful wind at the back of this change" belies the brutal force via rioting that resulted in death, injury to hundreds, and the destruction is certainly NOT peaceful. If anything, it was a violent protest. Obama's insulting tactics towards a man who was an ally of the US is despicable. Obama should take the same avenue of his own rhetoric and resign as President of the United States because that is what Americans want. Unfortunately, this is a 'do as I say, not as I do' approach that Obama has become so well known in using. Get out of office, Obama--we do NOT require your presence in OUR government.

Posted by: Mable3 | February 11, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

"belies the brutal force via rioting that resulted in death, injury to hundreds, and the destruction is certainly NOT peaceful"

Yeah! How DARE the protesters seeking democracy get in the way of Mubarak's bullets!

"Obama's insulting tactics towards a man who was an ally of the US is despicable"

Dick Cheney? Is that you? How's the ol' ticker?

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 11, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama : " Today belongs to the people of Egypt " Hey Jugs, when do the American people get that kind of day ?

Posted by: puck-101 | February 12, 2011 7:29 AM | Report abuse

THE COMMANDER,viewpoints,obama "If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it."OBAMA,Will screw us hard, fast, and in an elegant manner." obama The conqueror is always a lover of peace; he would prefer to take over our country unopposed.Truth be damned, Obama and THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT,Wake up america!! OBAMA goes about the business by speaking the lie.“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed”Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led." OBAMA will use every tool available: school teachers, politicians, news broadcasters, artists, musicians, scientists and doctors, lawyers and businessmen and men who claim to be preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. All will be pressed into the service of OBAMA to deceive men. "All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it." truth be damned. Obama It would be easier for the Devil to go to church and cross himself with holy water than for these people to comprehend the ideas which are accepted facts to us today.How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think. .Is Barack Obama pushing forward dangerous policies that are bringing the United States closer to a socialist dictatorship. Are you even aware?

Posted by: mjski56 | February 12, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Oh come on,what a brillant deduction here
Sherlock Holmes Obama,and we didnot need
you and your teleprompter reading to tell
us that as well. Go play golf or shoot some
hoops or go apologize to the Egytian people
for your incompetent handling of their
crisis,or even better Resign here and now!
I have worn out my tv remote turning off my
televison so I don't even have to look at
Barack Hussein Obama and his arrogant damn
sneering and smirkingly looking down his
nose at everyone and donot want to even hear his lies and bs anymore! Hurry Up 2012! Barack Obama Most Arrogant President
and Total Incompetent Fool Ever!

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | February 12, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

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