And - the Egyptian Army already has their man, and his name is Barack Obama. Glenn Greenwald:
Unsurprisingly in light of these facts, the actual Egyptian people don’t share CAP’s view that President Obama deserves credit for supporting their transition to democracy, as multiple polls over the last 18 months show that the U.S. is viewed even more unfavorably in that country than it was during the Bush years. That’s particularly disappointing given that Obama’s April, 2009 speech in Cairo was one of the more impressive things he’s done: standing in the middle of the Muslim world, in front of President Mubarak, and eloquently arguing for the imperatives of democratic reform. But Egyptians obviously have come to realize, as many Americans have as well, that President’s Obama’s pretty, pretty speeches are often not backed up — or are even aggressively negated — by his subsequent actions.
All of this is likely to get worse as a result of yesterday’s disclosures by Amnesty International that, even as the Egyptian military brutally attacked protesters, the U.S. continued to arm them with crowd-control weaponry:
Data obtained by Amnesty International shows that the US has repeatedly transferred ammunition to Egypt despite security forces’ violent crackdown on protesters.
A shipment for the Egyptian Ministry of Interior arrived from the US on 26 November carrying at least seven tons of “ammunition smoke” – which includes chemical irritants and riot control agents such as tear gas.It was one of at least three arms deliveries to Egypt by the US company Combined Systems, Inc. since the brutal crackdown on the “25 January Revolution” protesters.It’s been reported on several occasions both before Mubarak’s departure and since that tear gas used against Egyptian protesters bore the “Made in the USA” label — why do they hate us? – but the referenced shipment here arrived less than a week after the Egyptian military killed at least two dozen protesters in Tahrir Square and injured dozens more (though it left a port in North Carolina several weeks earlier). The other two shipments Amnesty documents contained a combined total of 38 tons of ammunition. As Amnesty details, these shipments were made with the express permission of the U.S. Government:
On 1 December, a US State Department spokesperson confirmed that “export licences were approved to two US companies for the export of tear gas and other non-lethal riot control agents to the Egyptian Government. And the most recent export license approval occurred in July”.“These licences were authorized during a period where the Egyptian government responded to protests by using excessive and often lethal force. It is inconceivable that the US authorities did not know of evidence of widely documented abuses by the Egyptian security forces. These licences should not have been granted,” said [Amnesty's] Brian Wood.Amnesty has called on the U.S. to cease arming the Egyptian military unless and until there is a cessation to the violent crackdowns. One can debate whether the U.S. for pragmatic reasons should continue to arm and fund the Egyptian regime — that’s at least an honest debate to have — but pretending that the Obama administration has been and is on the side of protesters is not an example of that kind of debate. Proving yet again how the people of the Muslim world are often better informed about the actions of the U.S. in their part of the world than Americans themselves, the people of Egypt are obviously well aware of these facts.