Editor: Egyptians want tomorrow – a new day – and they want it now. They want to be citizens – in charge of their own destinies and the destiny of their nation. It was the American dream over 200 years ago – the reason for our deciding that we needed our independence – that we were not willing to be a colony, subject to the authoritarian rule of a distant land. It was the reason we were willing to compromise – to align ourselves with others with whom, on the surface, we had little in common; ultimately it was the reason for our greatness.
The tens of thousands of Egyptians in Cairo’s Tahrir Square today are religious and secular, old and young, rural and urban, economically and culturally diverse; but they are at one in their passionate desire to be free to make their own decisions about who should rule and who should not; about lifting themselves from the indignity of powerlessness to the pride and power of civic and economic responsibility.
They are engaged in a noble venture – peaceful dissent.
Yes, it is an awkward moment for our country, which has supported the Mubarak regime for so many years. But as the world’s oldest democracy we cannot turn our backs on those who want the kind of power that we enjoy – responsibility for our public and personal destinies.
We as a nation will, I trust, move cautiously forward to support a peaceful transition from dictatorship to democracy in Egypt – to support the hopes and dreams of our Egyptian brothers and sisters who want the privileges and the attendant pride and dignity that we enjoy as citizens.
It is important for them – and for us as well.