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UT professor wields nationwide support in call to rethink U.S.-Egyptian policy

Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/a3f639101aThumb.jpg.jpgA University of Texas at Austin professor is generating national support for his call to the U.S. to reevaluate its stance on the dire situation in Egypt. Government professor Jason Brownlee drafted a letter to President Obama yesterday urging the leader to rethink Middle East policy and stand firm with the demonstrators in Egypt:

[…] 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.

The number of signatures, up from an initial 100 to more than 300 in just 24 hours, continues to balloon. The academics who joined the effort include U.S.-foreign relations

expert and MIT professor Noam Chomsky, Iraq war journalist and NYU fellow Nir Rosen, four other professors who teach at UT-Austin and a host of educators from universities across the nation. Brownlee said he expects the number to reach 1,000 within two days from today.

After spending the morning in D.C. presenting his message to the National Security Council, Brownlee’s inbox has been full with a string of interested academics hoping to get their names on the letter. Critical of the Obama administration’s cautious and “conventional” rhetoric, Brownlee, who is working on a book about U.S.-Egyptian relations, says U.S. leaders are “hedging their bets,” acting as spectators and not the participants that they are. A fear of losing Mideast security arrangements built from a three decades-old relationship restrains the administration from a full throttled endorsement for democratic change of Egypt’s “blatant oligarchy,” says Brownlee.

“The U.S. is very much a part of what is going on in Egypt,” he said. “Through years of military aide, we have helped keep the military loyal to the Egyptian president, although they should be loyal to the citizens who are trying to catalyze real change. The U.S. now needs to side with the demonstrators in the street, the young disenfranchised people,

not the guy who put them in that position.”

Brownlee was surprised by the diversity of signatures, only anticipating a small circle of foreign relations academics and policy experts to sign on. The pool, he says, is growing

by the hour with a frustrated coalition from all ideological, scholarly and professional backgrounds standing alongside the UT professor and his message.

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