I have thought a lot about writing this letter. I know that by writing it I am opening the gates of hell and that accusations of being a foreign agent and treason will flow in the air, but after considering all option, I felt compelled to write it anyway.
Dear President Bush,
I am writing you today to talk about Democracy, Human Rights and Freedom.
“We have seen our vulnerability - and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny - prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder - violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat. There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.”
“We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.”
These are the words of a very brave man Mr. President. A man that sees beyond the urgencies of today and faces the challenges of tomorrow. These are your words Mr. President in your inaugural speech. Do you remember that day Mr. President? Do you remember your strong commitment to Freedom? Do you remember your promise that “So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”?
I urge you to remember them Mr. President. Your advisors might have forgotten them, your Secretary of State might have ignored them, and your diplomats probably never believed in them, but what about you Mr. President? Do you still remember those words? The people in the region haven’t. They have seen your administration ignore democracy and freedom time after time, but they have not forgotten those words. They do, as you said, believe in freedom. For them as for you, freedom transcends all boundaries, breaks all chains and defeats the mightiest walls of oppression and tyranny.
I would like to question you Mr. President about freedom. Where is democracy promotion in the region? Where is telling them that “those that deny freedom to others deserve it not to themselves.”? Where is your promise to me and to my countrymen that “the US will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors”? Egyptians are standing for their liberty Mr. President, where do you stand? Are you standing with them or are your standing with those that oppress them?
Your diplomats will tell you that Democracy is a hopeless case in the Middle East and that stability is your only and best option. Do not believe them Mr. President. They are as wrong now as they were in the past. Their so called realism was chattered to pieces the minute the World Trade Center was hit. Do not revive their world view again. Do not repeat the same mistakes yet again and do not wait for another 9/11 to realize that something is wrong.
Your advisors have urged you to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They have told you as they have told your predecessors that solving it will solve all the region’s problems. They have told you that people in the streets of Cairo care more about what happens in the West Bank than they care about what happens in their own neighborhoods. Do not believe them Mr. President. They are as wrong now as they were wrong in the past. Your so called experts with their realist view have failed yet again to understand that people care about their own livelihood than that of the Palestinians.
Mr. President try to solve the situation in the Holy Land as much as you want, but do not think that by doing so you have solved the Egyptian people’s problem.
Mr. President when you meet Mubarak and talk to him about the Peace process, the weapons tunnels and Iran, please take some of your time to talk to him about Democracy, please spare a moment of yours and discuss Human Rights and please while you are leaving the room or having dinner with him do not forget to mention Freedom. Do not forget me and my fellow countrymen Mr. President during your visit. Remind everyone that you stand with us in our struggle and that we are not alone in our quest for freedom.
Do you remember Ayman Nour Mr. President? Do you remember that man that dared to challenge tyranny? Ayman Nour sits rotting in his jail cell for the third year. You remembered him in Prague during your speech there. Could you please remember him in Egypt.
Mr. President have you read your State Department’s yearly published report on Religious Freedom? Have you realized that in the 21st century people in the Middle East are still being denied their right to worship? Do you know that in Egypt a women was sentenced in 2007 for wanting to remain a Christian? Do you realize that Baha’is are denied their most simple and basic rights? Are you aware Mr. President that people get arrested in Egypt and tortured for no reason other than their calls for freedom? Whether they are Liberals, Muslim Brotherhood leaders or Socialists, the Egyptian regime has spared no one.
Mr. President I urge you to take the bold step and discuss democracy with the rulers of the Middle East. I urge you to talk about human rights conditions with them, but more importantly I urge you to take an action.
In Prague you said in your speech that: “I look forward to the day when a conference like this one include Alexander Kozulin of Belarus, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, Oscar Elias Biscet of Cuba, Father Nguyen Van Ly of Vietnam, Ayman Nour of Egypt.” Mr. President you do not need to wait for another conference in Prague to meet Ayman Nour. He is in an Egyptian Prison cell. Is it to much to ask you to pay him a visit?
Mr. President, I leave you with your own words to think about.
“The most powerful weapon in the struggle against extremism is not bullets or bombs -- it is the universal appeal of freedom. Freedom is the design of our Maker, and the longing of every soul. Freedom is the best way to unleash the creativity and economic potential of a nation. Freedom is the only ordering of a society that leads to justice. And human freedom is the only way to achieve human rights.”