While the failure of President Barack Obama to speak out for the rule of law in Egypt is a matter of great national shame for America, there are others throughout the world, including the United States, who are following the struggle for the rule of law and a democratic future in Egypt very closely.
As we watch the struggle for democracy and the rule of law in Egypt enter a new and decisive stage, we are reminded of the words of President John F. Kennedy who, when visiting Berlin on June 26, 1963, some 22 months after the Berlin wall was erected, famously declared, “Ich bin ein Berliner.”
“I am a Berliner,” was a simple statement, instantly grasped by the 450,000 people attending his speech. He said,
Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was civis Romanus sum [“I am a Roman citizen”]. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is “Ich bin ein Berliner!”… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words “Ich bin ein Berliner!”
Today, there are many Americans and other advocates of freedom and democracy throughout the world who support the democratic struggle in Egypt and who, following Kennedy’s example, want to say,
نحن جميعا الديمقراطيين المصرية
(“nahnu jame’an il demoqratee’een il musreya”)
“We are all Egyptian democrats!”
The people of Egypt, like the people of Berlin in 1963, are not alone.
The Trenchant Observer