Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where Do You Go to My Unlovely...

While the Egyptian military snuff out democracy in Egypt...

"The Egyptian army drove protesters out of Tahrir Square on Monday destroying tents and smashing signs the demonstators had made. Human rights activists reported that perhaps a total of 150 people had been detained and dozens brutally beaten by military policemen and armed civilians. Amnesty International quoted one demonstrator... as saying 'While they were hitting me I told them I'm pregnant. They shouted: who's the father, then [he] hit my stomach with his stick'. Despite the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, protests demanding a faster pace of reform persisted as Egypt's ruling military council prepares for former President Hosni Mubarak's criminal trial to begin on Wednesday. Concerns that too much of the pre-revolution power structure remains and that the military-led transitional government may go too easy on the reportedly infirm Mubarak have led to questions about the substance of Egypt's turn to democracy." (Egyptian army clears Tahrir with force, John Glaser,, 1/8/11)

... the United States supplies the wherewithal:

"The US has continued steadfast economic and military support to Egypt's transitional government, just this month announcing 125 tanks, M256 Armament Systems, M2.50 caliber machine guns, 7.62mm machine guns, spare parts, logistics and program support. Another $1.5 billion in US aid has been allocated to Egypt for fiscal year 2012, as the Obama administration has been silent on such continuing abuses as took place on Monday." (ibid)

Meanwhile, back in the US mini-me, Australia, foreign minister Kevin Rudd - who never had a problem with Mubarak and hasn't to my knowledge uttered a peep about the Egyptian military since opining in February that "they see themselves as the guardians of the Egyptian state... [and] when it came to the crunch, they sought to protect the rights of the Egyptian people to engage in peaceful protest, recognise that there was a call for fundamental democratic reform and they were embarked on that trajectory"* - has ire only for Syria:

"Mr Rudd has a deep distaste for Mr Assad [sic] and his regime and about 2 months ago called for him to be hauled before the International Criminal Court. He is also refusing requests from Syria for Australia to reopen its embassy in Damascus." (Rudd's diplomatic snub keeps pariah state out in cold, Phillip Coorey, Sydney Morning Herald, 2/8/11)

Where do you go to, my unlovely, when you're alone in your bed...

[* Egypt's situation still fluid,, 14/2/11]

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