Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Suspend aid to Egypt after military crackdown
Egypt is in chaos as the optimism of the 2011 revolution has been replaced by societal polarization and bloodshed. Over 600 people have died as a result of a military crackdown by supporters of former president Mohammed Morsi, who was overthrown in a July coup. Morsi was deposed by the Egyptian armed forces after his political moves such as rapidly passing an Islamist constitution led to 33 million-strong mass rallies as secular opponents took to the streets.
In much the same way that Morsi arguably tried to realign the country’s power structure to Islamists, the Egyptian military appears to be reasserting its historic control over the country. Isobel Coleman in USA Today wrote the new government’s “disbanding of the parliament, suspension of the constitution, arrest and detention of scores of Brotherhood leaders, shuttering of opposition media, and the imposition of a state of emergency….set the legal clock back to the darkest days of Mubarak’s stranglehold on the country.”
Egypt desperately needs a process of reconciliation between religious and secular groups and a return to democracy. However, the military’s brutality and apparent power grab could potentially revert Egypt back into dictatorship. The U.S. government gives an estimated $1.5 billion to Egypt annually, but has refused to suspend it despite the recent crackdown. By signing this petition, you will ask President Obama to take decisive action and stop military aid to Egypt.
Dear President Obama,
The recent shocking events in Egypt, where thus far over 600 have died in clashes between the military and supporters of former president Mohammed Morsi, are nothing less than a tragedy. A country that not too long ago appeared to be on the road to a peaceful democracy is now grappling with repression and societal polarization.
As you know, the current situation in Egypt is complex. The current military-led government is repeating Morsi’s failings in attempting to reorganize the country according to their desires. Measures including the declaration of a new state of emergency across the country, repression of opposition forces and installing generals in provincial governorships threaten to potentially take the country to its days before the 2011 revolution.
The United States has potentially significant leverage due to the $1.5 billion it gives the Egyptian government and military yearly but so far has refused to talk about suspending this aid. With the brutality of the recent crackdown, decisive action is necessary to ensure a halt to violence and a return to democracy. I urge you to suspend U.S. military aid to Egypt.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mohamed El Gohary via Flickr