Ayman Nour, founder of the liberal Ghad Party, wrote an open letter to Barack Obama that began, “the writer of these lines is a man about your age who was, and still is, dreaming like you of change and reforms.. in our countries, legitimate dreams,all too often turn into horrifying nightmares.” He argues his main crime was entering his name to run against a president who has been in office for over 27 years and brooks no opposition to his rule. Nour asks Obama to intervene on his behalf and help secure his release. Since Nour was imprisoned the US government has constantly been urging his release.
In one sense, the Nour case underlines issues confronting any American president. Is it American policy to support regimes which violate basic human rights? Can the US intervene in the domestic affairs of other nations in the name of freedom of speech? Egypt is a time bomb waiting to explode because a virtual dictator refuses to allow freedom. What will happen if Mubarak continues his authoritarian way of ruling?