The following video features the words of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the height of the middle east protests of 2011 meshed with the events playing out on the streets of America.
The people of the middle east, like people everywhere, are seeking a chance to contribute and to have a role in the decisions that will shape their lives. Leaders need to respond to these aspirations and to help build that better future for all. They need to view civil society as their partner, not as a threat.
It is the responsibility of the government of Libya to respect the universal rights of their own people, including their rights to free expression and assembly.
Mr. Obama’s calls for resignations of middle east leaders as a response to the will of their people was nothing but rhetoric, as we can hardly see Mr. Obama following his own advice when it’s obvious that the majority of Americans, like the people of the middle east, are fed up with the tyrannical actions of their government.
That our government leaders would condemn the violence against protesters in Libya, Egypt and Syria, while remaining silent about the very same transgressions to protesters here at home is patently ridiculous and indicative of the character of those who we have entrusted with the most fundamental of our liberties. When it’s politically expedient, they will say whatever they need to. When it’s time to act in the interests of their own people they act as if there is not a problem, often engaging in the very same behavior they denounced when it was happening in other countries.
Last month protesters took to the streets across the country [of Libya] to demand their universal rights and a government that is accountable to them and responsive to their aspirations.
Instead of respecting the rights of his own people, Gaddafi chose the path of brutal suppression. Innocent citizens were imprisoned, in some cases beaten, and a campaign of intimidation and repression began.
President Barack Obama