Obama’s Silent Complicity in the Egyptian Crackdown

Kristen Chick reporting on the Obama Administration’s silent complicity in the brutal crackdown of protesters at Tahrir Square by the Egyptian military:

In recent months, Egypt’s military rulers have become increasingly repressive – torturing with impunity, jailing bloggers, sending more than 12,000 civilians to military tribunals, and using excessive force against protesters, killing dozens. Yet as the abuses have stacked up, the US has mostly refrained from public criticism of Egypt’s military, whose $1.3 billion in US aid could come under review if critics in Congress prevail. Washington’s relative silence has created the appearance that the US has returned to its Mubarak-era policy of turning a blind eye to its ally’s abuses to preserve the relationship.

“We can’t fall into the position where it looks like we’ve given the SCAF a blank check,” says Michael Wahid Hanna, a fellow at The Century Foundation in New York. “If this doesn’t change soon, the United States is going to be in a very difficult position because it’ll be seen to have not learned any of the lessons of the Arab Spring. And we’ll be right back where we started – supporting stability for stability’s sake, even in light of the continuation of many of the same practices that triggered the whole uprising to begin with.”

Not just silent complicity in the brutal repression of legitimate protests, but as reported by The Guardian, active and material support for the oppressors as well:

Two US companies have shipped crowd control munitions and teargas to Egypt – one firm repeatedly – in the midst of violent and often lethal crackdowns on protesters by security forces, according to an Amnesty International investigation.


Combined Systems Inc (CSI), based in Jamestown, Pennysylvania, has sent at least three arms deliveries to Egypt since the protests began in Tahrir Square on 25 January, according to Amnesty. The most recent delivery, addressed to the interior ministry, arrived in the port of Adabiya near Suez on 26 November, only 48 hours after days of bloody clashes between interior ministry troops and protesters left two dozen dead and thousands injured.

According to the same report, the State Department approved these shipments of tear gas used against the Egyptian protesters as recently as July 7 of this year. While the president feigns friendship and support for the protesters, his surrogates are actively undermining Egypt’s fragile democracy through its continued support for the Egyptian military junta.

With friends like that, it is no wonder Egyptians have turned to Islamists.

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