Home of the brave

The following editorial first appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

 

We should all be Egyptians today. We should all be in solidarity with those thousands of courageous people who exercised fundamental rights to speech and assembly and moved a dictator to declare that he is finished.

The days and weeks ahead will be difficult for these custodians of a treasured world culture. There is a risk that the democratic tide will ebb and that extremists will seize power. There is grave risk that the government crackdown, now under way, will break the back of the movement. Journalists and human rights workers are being attacked, always a first step of cowards to stifle dissent.

The masses gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square — the name means “liberation” — have shown fortitude and courage. As heirs to the blessings of our own revolution, we owe them respect and admiration. Our government owes them unflagging support.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has said he will not stand for election in September. Mubarak’s empty gesture is not enough for the protesters and shouldn’t be enough for the United States, which has for so long purchased stability at the expense of justice. Mubarak should go now.

President Barack Obama gave Mubarak a rhetorical shove when he said, “an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful and it must begin now.” Obama should keep pressure on Mubarak.

The administration must be concerned about what sort of government follows Mubarak. But Egypt is not Iran. The protests, by all accounts, are as much about nationalism as religion. The Muslim Brotherhood’s activities are a concern, but that organization does not seem to have broad support. What does have broad support is the idea of freedom.

One of the anti-government protesters told a reporter: “Washington has been very anxious about what’s happening here, but it shouldn’t be. It should be happy.”

Mohammed Fouad, 29, a software engineer, said: “This will reduce terrorism. When people have their voice, they don’t need to explode themselves.”

Securing the rights pried loose from the fist of a dictator will require steady nerves and steadfast American support. But the path to a freer society in Egypt has begun with brave people in Tahrir Square.

CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

 

More

This election, vote yes on Prop 1, no on Prop 2

Attention to the upcoming City and Borough of Juneau election has mostly been focused on Assembly and School Board races. Two ballot propositions will also... Read more

Health care repeal would hurt Alaska youth

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski took a brave stand when she voted against the health care bill earlier this summer that would harm Alaskans by slashing... Read more

Rushing toward disaster for a win?

The senior senator from South Carolina lost patience with the bipartisan work being done on health care, so he hurriedly sketched another repeal without replace... Read more

Assembly’s decision on mining resolution disappointing

I am deeply disappointed in the Sept. 18 decision by the Juneau Assembly to put off a resolution asking for federal involvement in our transboundary... Read more