Remember the song “the revolution will not be televised.” Today, the freedom rebellion is not about being televised but about being transported on the wings of Twitter and Facebook. The young of the world want to breathe, speak and live free.
The power of an idea whose time has come has once again been demonstrated. It can topple goverments and despots.
In my lifetime, I have seen the fall of the Berlin wall and the reunification of Germany. I have seen the poet-worker Lech Walesa lead his solidarity party to overthrow communism in Czechoslovakia I have seen Nelson Mandela move from prison chains to the presidency of South Africa. I experienced the joy of the first peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan. Now, I have watched hopefully as peaceful protest overthrew 30 years of dictatorship in Egypt. The winds of change are blowing harder than ever, fuel by cyberspace and technology.
The French gave us the Statue of Liberty to be a beacon to the world that liberty is a treasure and a light. The immigrant poet Emma Lazarus wrote the anthem for that statue with her poem “The New Colossus.” Her immortal phrase seems more timely than ever… “Give me your ….huddled masses yearning to breathe free” not just in America but around the world.
I hope that the aspirations of oppressed people everywhere are heartened and heightened by the peaceful revolution in Egypt… and that peace, freedom and human respect breaks out not only within nations but between them. I am proud that our nation is helping to spread and support that aspiration as noted by the Secretary of State’s words today in support of the internet and its possibilities for expanding and supporting global freedom.