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President Obama on Mubarak Stepping Down: The Egyptian People Have Changed the World

obama speech egypt

President Obama edits his speech today before addressing the world about Egypt's transition to a democracy.

U.S. President Barack Obama gave a stirring speech just now about the Egyptian revolution that I am fairly certain did not once mention the name of the deposed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.  He began, “The people of Egypt have spoken.  Their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same.”

But Obama was careful to temper his enthusiasm about the amazing accomplishments of the Egyptian protesters with a warning about the need for a smooth transition of power, saying, “This is not the end of Egyptian transition… it’s a beginning… I’m sure there will be difficult days ahead but I am confident that the people of Egypt can find the answers and do so peacefully.”

He indirectly addressed the Egyptian military several times throughout his concise speech, noting that the “Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day.”  He added, “The military has served patriotically and responsibly as a caretaker to the state and will now have to ensure an irreversible change, laying out a clear path to elections that are fair and free.”

Obama assured world leaders that “The U.S. will continue to be a friend and partner to Egypt.  We stand ready to provide whatever assistance is necessary to pursue a credible transition to a democracy.”  He talked about the youth in Egypt and their ability to create jobs and businesses, lauding their use of creativity and technology to help this sweeping change come to pass.  Most notably, though, Obama stressed the peaceful nature of the protests, both on the part of the Egyptian people and the military.  “Non-violence,” he said, is “a moral force that bent the ark of history toward justice once more.”  Muslims and Christians, he declared, stood in Liberation Square chanting, “We are one,” illuminating to all people that “we can be defined by the common humanity we share.”

“The wheel of history turned at a blinding pace as the Egyptian people demanded their universal rights,” Obama said.  He quoted a protest leader as saying, “Most people have discovered in the last few days that they are worth something and this cannot be taken away from them anymore, ever.”

Toward the end of his address, Obama said, “Today belongs to the people of Egypt… the American people are moved by these scenes in Cairo” because they reflect our values, the Egyptian people pushing so bravely to create “the kind of world we want our children to grow up in.”

Photo: WhiteHouse.gov

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