For those of you who have yet to see the brutality of Egyptian security forces on civilian protesters over the weekend:
It obviously cannot go without mention here that these security forces and the military junta which has ordered this latest crackdown are supported by the United States with money and weapons. Although, as Egyptian journalist Issandr El Amrani explains, “there is an alternative policy” option for Washington:
criteria-based relations with Egypt that do not rely on who’s in power but how those in power wield it. It implies a withdrawal from Egypt and the region that is not palatable to the mainstream US foreign policy community and political class (Ron Paul aside). It means ending policies that have made Washington a domestic player in Egyptian politics — a policy that may have had its rewards but also high costs in terms of image, soft power, etc.
The relationships that the US has maintained with client states like Egypt and Pakistan for the past 30-40 years have demonstrably been disastrous, severely hindering natural political processes in these countries, contributing to the marginalization of non-identity based political movements, and creating a wide range of problems for the US and its citizens, notably exposure to terrorism. It is nothing worth reproducing.
All this is worth keeping in mind at a time when SCAF, which has rewritten the history of the Egyptian uprising of late January 2011 to make it about the army siding with protestors against Mubarak rather than shoot them, and the US, which demands credit for not backing Mubarak and pressuring the army not to shoot protestors, respectively deny reality and stay mum.
…Obama and Clinton tried to take credit in February for their role in preventing the Egyptian military from killing protestors (I’ve long thought the army was not ready to do so then, since it could simply get rid of Mubarak and was unsure that its own would follow orders — the situation and context nine months later is obviously different).
Well, now the army is killing protestors and all doubts about whether this is intentional or mere incompetence should have vanished — and with it, the narrative that the Egyptian military and US are on the “right side of history”.