Obama's Contradictions on the 'Will of the People'

“Progressives” in the Obama administration were prepared to talk to Hamas, designated by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization. Progressives in Israel, Europe, and in the Obama administration have argued that the will of the people must be respected, despite its jihadist agenda that includes the destruction of Israel. But the same voices, while threatening Israel with boycotts because of its Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, rarely invoke the idea of sanctions and boycotts against the Hamas terrorists.

The will of the people is hardly a prescription for freedom and democracy, especially given that most of the “people” in the Arab-Muslim world are largely uneducated and their worldview has been manipulated by the leadership of their local mosque and “informed” by Al Jazeera. In any democracy, including an Arab democracy, there must be basic rights that are guaranteed by law, including human and civil rights, religious freedom, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press.

In the absence of such freedoms it is virtually impossible to gauge what the people really want. How are we to know what the people want if they do not go to the polls or are too intimidated to honestly answer a pollster? With all due respect to the demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, who may have shouted the right slogans about freedom and democracy and used sophisticated social media such as Facebook and Twitter, they do not necessarily reflect the will of tens of millions of Egyptians who did not participate in the demonstrations.

The truth of the matter is that Obama’s Cairo speech and his inference that “governments should reflect the will of the people” was merely an attempt to ingratiate himself with the Arab and Muslim masses in the Third World. Obama, like most Western educated thinkers, wants the same things he experienced in the free world for the Arab-Muslim world: freedom of speech, the rule of law, disarming of political militias, tolerance and rights for religious and ethnic minorities, and resolution of conflicts by peaceful means.

Obama’s quick endorsement of the Egyptian demonstrators in the name of the “will of the people” and his expressed support for the Muslim Brotherhood’s participation in the future government of Egypt contradict the very prerequisites of a free and democratic society. An Egypt led or influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood will not attain the kind of democracy and freedom wished for by ordinary people in the free world. More often that not, in the Arab Middle East the takeover of power through “democratic” means does not reflect the ultimate will of the people.