Dear President Obama:
We, the undersigned, are asking you, as President of the United States, to look beyond the rhetoric and provide support to the democratic movement that is gaining pace in Egypt. We are historians, we are researchers and we are political scientists; we have studied both US foreign policy and the Middle East extensively and we believe that, as US citizens, the President of the United States should be upholding those values.
For more than 30 years, the US government has spent tens of billions of dollars in helping to build and to sustain a system that the people of Egypt are now trying very hard to dismantle. The voice of hundreds of thousands of Egyptian demonstrators has been heard and we believe that they are sending a very clear message – President Mubarak should be removed from office and the Egyptian people given the chance to establish a new government that is not influenced in any way by Mubarak or his family.
On Friday, you told the American people that you are seeking “political, social and economic reforms” that match with what the Egyptian people aspire to. If what you said was true then it is very clear to us that the Obama administration must now acknowledge publicly that the reforms will not be interfered with by Mubarak or anyone closely associated with him.
We must all learn from another lesson that comes out of this crisis. This lesson is for the US government, not the Egyptian one. If the United States is to stand side by side with the Egyptian people, it must use a framework of hope and of shared values to approach Egypt. You told us, quite rightly, that suppression of ideas will not make those ideas disappear.
For this reason, among others, we ask that the Obama administration takes the chance that they have to turn their backs on the policies that got us to this state and start on a new journey that leads to prosperity, peace, and democracy for Middle Eastern citizens. We call on you, President Obama, to comprehensively review the current US foreign policy on major grievances that the democratic opposition in Egypt voice, along with all other affected societies in the region.