Over 2 million Egyptians gather today in Cairo's Tahrir Square and in cities across the country to demand an end to Mubarak's regime in an unprecedented popular uprising. Egyptians of all classes, ages and faiths have come together to demand opportunity, education, food and housing security, and a democratic and responsive government. Despite a complete shutdown of internet and mobile phone access by President Mubarak, the Egyptian people have been able to organize the largest protests yet in a display of unparalleled national unity.
At this historic moment, the American people must stand in solidarity with the people of Egypt as they call for a new leader and new direction in their country. It is time for the United States government to stand with the people of Egypt as well by ending its long-standing support of the corrupt and repressive Mubarak regime. Absent such a statement, our calls for democracy in the region ring hollow.
This is the time to practice what we preach. This is the time to reconstruct our policies in the region and reach out to the Arab and Muslim world. Now is the time to reiterate our wishes to protect our ally, Israel, and support true grassroots democratic movements in the region -- both are possible and both are necessary.
There is no clearer picture than that of millions of Egyptians peacefully protesting to demonstrate that our support of such regimes brings less stability, not more, to the region. Though the United States has a history of inappropriate and often counterproductive influence in the governance of other countries, the Egyptian people are demanding a voice, and the United States should support any requests by the Egyptian people for that voice to be registered in the form of free and fair elections.