Kucinich Speaks

by Matthew Shaffer

He shares his thoughts with Al Jazeera: 


I urge the Obama administration to look at this as an opportunity to reconstruct its relationship with the Muslim Arab world. This is a transformational moment in time.

We have to be very careful that we don’t intervene on behalf of the Mubarak government. It’s their repression that has created this wellspring of protest. The Obama administration can use this as a moment to communicate, and re-imagine and reconstruct our relationships. This is a transformational moment. We should use these tides to bring about peace.

The fact of the matter is the Obama administration does not want to be seen as fomenting revolution. On the other hand everyone in Washington is aware that the people of Egypt have real grievances that have not been addressed. When you have a middle class and tech savvy people who are saying this government is intolerable, that is not just something we should pay attention to, that is a harbinger of change to come. These events will be a further catalyst for change in the region. But we can’t guide it; there’s no way to intervene.

On concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood:

We have to be aware that even within the Muslim Brotherhood there are differences. The younger people want to see change; the older members don’t want to try to get in to effect the political movement. All institutions are going to be effected by the events in Egypt; all institutions in the northeast of Africa will see some impact on their government and society. This is like a shifting of tectonic plates. We don’t know how it will turn out, but what the U.S. should do is prepare for a new relationship — not to try to influence or choose the leaders, but to be ready for a new relationship. 


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