By Hemal Shah |
Crisis brings opportunity, and right now the opportunity for true reform in the Middle East is slipping away from us. Egypt has a chance to restore its constitution and show a commitment to a free people, a free press and a free economy.
It should be known to Egypt and around the world that the United States stands firmly behind people who strive for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately, President Obama has missed countless opportunities to ensure America's guiding role in the Middle East. But, let there be no doubt, we are still a beacon of hope for the Middle East, where I have personally experienced young and old say they love America — our story, our beliefs and our principles.
It is time for Obama to be clear. We are not invading, interfering or meddling.
Most importantly, this president needs to make crystal clear that Egypt has a choice: Move forward with us into the new century as a prosperous democracy or step backward into another century. The Egyptians must make the decision — step into a new century with democratically elected leaders who abide by the constitution or one ruled by clerics and dictators, under the guise of religion.
If the Egyptians choose the latter, all U.S. aid gets pulled, ties get severed and their standard of living might as well take a step back into another century.
I am not calling for military intervention. I simply want what so many Americans want from Obama — for him to be presidential.
Obama cannot let this occasion to speak directly to the Middle East slip by. The people of Egypt will listen. They will listen like so many other countries have since the downfall of communism. After all, we are the United States. We offer far more than military intervention. We offer hope and freedom.
About Trey Radel Republican Representative from Florida
Charles Dunne Director of Middle East and North Africa Programs at Freedom House