Friday, February 11, 2011

Obama On Egypt

The crowds go wild in Egypt when the news spread that Mubarak had stepped down

And this was Obama's remarks on the revolution today.

(H/T Hot Air)

I found Obama's paean to "non-violence" troubling:

This is the power of human dignity, and it can never be denied. Egyptians have inspired us, and they've done so by putting the eye to the idea that justice is best gained through violence. For in Egypt it was the moral force of nonviolence, not terrorism, not mindless killing, but nonviolence, moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice once more. 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.

It is a good thing that Egypt's revolution was relatively bloodless. But that is only because the army, unlike in China or Iran, refused to fire on the protestors. Moral force is not the trump card.

Political power comes from the end of a gun. Every one of the Middle East autocracies, from Iran to Saudi Arabia to Syria, et al., sits on a river of blood. Iran saw a nonviolent movement to end their theocracy with the Green Movement last summer. Why didn't Obama mention them? Quite simply, Obama has been behind the power curve on this since he stepped into office. He virtually ignored the Green Movement and Iran's brutal response. And when it became apparent that Mubarak's days were numbered - that was the day the army refused to fire on the protesters - Obama was still behind the power curve. I don't find his acts in regard to Egypt to have been particularly incompetent, but that is more a function of Obama getting lucky and following events, not his getting out in front of events and leading. More on that in another post.

Expect that we will be hearing many on the left trying to credit Obama with the fall of Mubarak. See here and here.

1 comment:

OBloodyHell said...

"I must follow my people, for I am their leader."

Obama is Disraeli without the wit, charm, style, or (most especially) the common sense.

Disraeli, however, clearly knew Obama's type:

"He was distinguished for ignorance; for he had only one idea, and that was wrong."