I won't pretend to know every detail about the events leading up to the riots in Egypt right now. I don't. What I do know however is that some of the same themes that have been played out before are being played all over again. This time though, shining a brighter light than ever in recent memory on the hypocrisy of the American government.
As the people of Egypt take to the streets demanding the removal of their dictator, President Mubarak, President Obama, Nobel Peace Prize winner and supposed agent of change, sits in the White-House holding back the very thing America claims to stand for. Freedom.
The problem, of course, is that America does not support freedom in the Middle East. Not unless it comes with our soldiers, our politicians, our guns, and our bombs so that we can shape the outcome. Freedom that we can't control is considered a danger to our national interests.
And herein lies the challenge for our country. We are faced with the truth that while our soldiers are dying in Afghanistan and Iraq, supposedly in the name of spreading and protecting freedom and Democracy, our president could hep liberate a nation with nothing more than his words. And yet he remains silent.
Remember when those of us who supported Obama believed that yes, a President could make a difference with words? Turns out we were right. If only the man we supported would live up to the hope that he created.
Our Nobel Peace prize winning President cannot decide yet whether he should support the millions of people marching in the streets of Egypt so that they might be free, or whether he should help Mubarak retain power, as long as there is "meaningful change."
As if you can win a game of chess without taking out the king.
His indecision no doubt lies in the reality that indeed, a free Egypt might be terrible for America, and the American people. Maybe. Maybe not. We have no idea because we have no idea who would be in power. Scary.
The truth is, we cannot claim to support democracy, without supporting the Egyptian people. And we will no longer be able to pretend that the wars we're fighting have anything to do with freedom or democracy.
While I was writing this I came across this quote from Thomas Paine:
Those who expect to reap the blessing of freedom must,like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
It seems to be pretty relevant to America right now, and whether we're going to support the Egyptian people.