The ugly face of the U.S. in Egypt: ‘This is an American grenade. American! American!’

The Obama administration has not taken a strong and unequivocal stand against Hosni Mubarak’s regime yet, and have instead opted for calling for an “orderly transition” to a new government.  The latest news on the administration’s reactions to the Egyptian uprising is that the U.S. ambassador to Egypt “spoke today with Mohammed El-Baradei.”

Regardless of the administration’s outreach to a major opposition figure, though, it’s hard to be viewed as a neutral player when the U.S. has not cut off the more than $1 billion in military aid annually to the repressive dictatorship.  This fact has not been lost on the Egyptian demonstrators, who have had to deal with the violence meted out by Egypt’s security forces using U.S.-made weapons.

يوم الغضب- ٢٨ يناير ٢٠١١ Days of Anger- Arabic version from tabulagaza on Vimeo.

This amazing video (above), produced by Philip Rizk and Jasmina Metwaly for the Electronic Intifada, provides a taste of how ordinary Egyptians view the United States government.  At about 2:30 in the video, a young Egyptian man tells the camera (thanks to Lubna Alzaroo for the Arabic translation):  “This is an American grenade. American! American! Hosni Mubarak is a spy, he is a collaborator and we don’t want him. We’ve had enough, we are suffocating, the nation is hungry, we’ve had enough.”

Until the U.S. halts its military support to Egypt, Israel and all of the other authoritarian states in the Middle East, the “American grenade” being used to harm pro-democracy demonstrators will be the ugly U.S. face in the region.

3 responses to “The ugly face of the U.S. in Egypt: ‘This is an American grenade. American! American!’

  1. Pingback: The ugly American: ‘This is an American grenade. American! American!’

  2. RE – “The ugly American: ‘This is an American grenade. American! American!’” – Alex Kane
    FROM MONDOWEISS, 01/28/11:

    …Adalah-NY recently posted on American-made tear gas made by Combined Tactical Systems (CTS), a part of Combined Systems Inc., being shot at protesters across the West Bank. Now this theme is at last being echoed in the mainstream press, about Egypt and the same US tear gas company.
    From the Telegraph:
    A stark contrast, however, to the US’s calls for calm has come from protesters angry at the fact that the tear gas canisters being fired at them by security forces seem to be made in America – via AFP: “Egyptians staging anti-government protests on Friday vented anger at the fact that the tear gas security forces are firing at them is US-manufactured, probably part of a massive military aid package. “‘The American taxpayer should know how their money is being spent,’ shouted one young male protester who declined to give his name, brandishing a spent tear gas canister marked ‘Made in USA.’
    “Dozens of the canisters made by Combined Tactical Systems in Jamestown, Pennsylvania, were fired at crowds on one Cairo street on Friday, littering the road surface along with rubble and spent shotgun cartridges. “Many protesters have been injured through tear gas inhalation and by being hit by the canisters themselves, with the security forces sometimes firing them straight at demonstrators.”

    (INCLUDES A PHOTO CAPTIONED THUSLY: “COMBINED TACTICAL SYSTEMS HEADQUARTERS IN JAMESTOWN, PA FLIES THE AMERICAN AND ISRAELI FLAGS. THE TEAR GAS THEY PRODUCE WAS USED IN TUNISIA, EGYPT AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES.”)

    ENTIRE MONDOWEISS POST – http://mondoweiss.net/2011/01/party-building-on-fire-shots-fired-at-demonstrators-army-pouring-into-streets.html

    P.S. FROM FIREDOGLAKE: Please sign our petition to Congress to immediately vote to cut off any American military aid to the Egyptian government.http://action.firedoglake.com/page/s/egyptfunding

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention The ugly face of the U.S. in Egypt: ‘This is an American grenade. American! American!’ | Alex Kane -- Topsy.com

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