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‘Mr President, we have Professor Chomsky on line 2.’ ‘Noam! Hi! I need to talk to you–‘

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Here are the folks Obama should be listening to, it’s a letter from brains in his former base, the libleft and some realists too, among them Noam Chomsky, Nader Hashemi, Stephen Zunes, Nir Rosen, As’ad AbuKhalil, Moustafa Bayoumi, William Quandt, Hamid Dabashi, Diane Singerman, Ian Lustick. They tell him Mubarak must go. And note the reference to “major grievances” elsewhere in the region. That means Palestinian affliction. Excerpt:

For thirty years, our government has spent billions of dollars to help build and sustain the system the Egyptian people are now trying to dismantle. 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. …

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. On Friday you rightly said that “suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.” For that reason we urge your administration 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. And we call on you to undertake a comprehensive review of US foreign policy on the major grievances voiced by the democratic opposition in Egypt and all other societies of the region.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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