Friday, February 04, 2011

Making the right decision

Obama (alongside the Canadian harper, Stephen Prime Minister) spoke about Egypt again.

CRYSTAL: “[w]e continue to be crystal-clear that we oppose violence as a response to this crisis. In recent days, we’ve seen violence and harassment erupt on the streets of Egypt”. Passive voice. It erupted. Like some sort of natural phenomenon for which no human agency is responsible.

UNACCEPTABLE: “So we are sending a strong and unequivocal message: Attacks on reporters are unacceptable. Attacks on human rights activists are unacceptable. Attacks on peaceful protesters are unacceptable.”

SINCE WHEN? “The Egyptian government has a responsibility to protect the rights of its people.”

CLEAR: “It’s also clear that there needs to be a transition process that begins now. That transition must initiate a process that respects the universal rights of the Egyptian people and that leads to free and fair elections.” A transition. That initiates. A process. A process that leads to stuff.

And if you thought that was roundabout, see how many words you evidently need to use when you’re not quite willing to come out and say that Mubarak should resign:
Now, I believe that President Mubarak cares about his country. He is proud, but he’s also a patriot. And what I’ve suggested to him is, is that he needs to consult with those who are around him in his government. He needs to listen to what’s being voiced by the Egyptian people and make a judgment about a pathway forward that is orderly, but that is meaningful and serious. And I believe that -- he’s already said that he’s not going to run for reelection. This is somebody who’s been in power for a very long time in Egypt. Having made that psychological break, that decision that he will not be running again, I think the most important for him to ask himself, for the Egyptian government to ask itself, as well as the opposition to ask itself, is how do we make that transition effective and lasting and legitimate. ... And as I said before, once the President himself announced that he was not going to be running again, and since his term is up relatively shortly, the key question he should be asking himself is, how do I leave a legacy behind in which Egypt is able to get through this transformative period. And my hope is, is that he will end up making the right decision.

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