More than 80 American academics, including Noam Chomsky and several California scholars, posted an open letter online Sunday to President Obama, urging him to heed the will of the Egyptian people, help remove President Hosni Mubarak and "move beyond rhetoric to support the democratic movement sweeping over Egypt."
"Tens if not hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in Egypt and around the world have spoken. We believe their message is bold and clear: Mubarak should resign from office and allow Egyptians to establish a new government free of his and his family’s influence," they wrote. "If you seek, as you said Friday 'political, social, and economic reforms that meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people,' your administration should publicly acknowledge those reforms will not be advanced by Mubarak or any of his adjutants."
They also noted that, "There is another lesson from this crisis, a lesson not for the Egyptian government but for our own. In order for the United States to stand with the Egyptian people it must approach Egypt through a framework of shared values and hopes, not the prism of geostrategy."
In closing, they urged Obama to "seize this chance, turn away from the policies that brought us here, and embark on a new course toward peace, democracy and prosperity for the people of the Middle East" through "a comprehensive review of U.S. foreign policy on the major grievances voiced by the democratic opposition in Egypt and all other societies of the region."
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— Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Photo: Noam Chomsky in 2009. Credit: Juan Barreto / AFP/Getty Images