January 31, 2011

THE EGYPTIAN CONSTITUTION

I have to write a post about a post I was going to write because I don't grok.

At a press conference on Friday, President Obama said the following:

The people of Egypt have rights that are universal, that includes the right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny.  These are human rights, and the United States will stand up for them everywhere.

My first thought was that the president was nuts, that Egyptians don't have these rights.  Or at least they haven't secured them.  I was going to write a long post about how these rights are indeed human rights, inalienable, endowed on us.  Our Constitution does not give us these rights, it simply enumerates them.  Our government does not give us these rights, it is there to protect them.  And that our Constitution begins with "We the people" because it is unique.

So I looked up the Egyptian constitution and was surprised to read that it too begins with "We the people."  I read further about freedom of speech and opinion and individual freedoms and just got more confused.  Why was the president saying that Egyptians have these rights when clearly they do not?  And how can all these rights be enumerated in their constitution when it doesn't appear that they actually have them?

So where's the disconnect?

Was the president being lofty and speaking in idealistic generalities about humankind, or was he specifically stating that Egyptians are guaranteed these rights by their constitution and are being denied them unjustly?

And how can Egypt have a constitution that guarantees its citizens a "democratic, socialist state" and then have the same leader for 30 years?

I really don't grok.

Posted by: Sarah at 01:23 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 No kidding!  This whole situation is very confusing.  I'm glad I'm not the only one who is flummoxed.  

Posted by: Lane at February 03, 2011 08:46 PM (u8biq)

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