US Sends Egypt 140,000 Tear Gas Canisters to Use on Peaceful Protesters
Washington hasn’t given up on repressing the Egyptian people:
A shipment of teargas canisters from the United States arrived at the Abadeya Port in Suez on Sunday, according to official documents obtained by Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Five containers carrying 140,000 teargas canisters were shipped to the Interior Ministry by Aramex International, a courier service based in Alexandria.
In case there is anyone out there thinking these canisters are for a deterrent effect, or some state-funded art project, the shipping documents explicitly stipulate that “the Egyptian government may use the canisters” but that “they are forbidden to re-export the shipment or sell it to third parties.” Hardly a difficult task for a despotic government dealing with rowdy citizens.
The decades-long US support for the Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt has already been virtually erased from history if you take it from the mainstream commentary. But even since Mubarak’s overthrow, Washington has been sending Egyptian security forces anti-riot gear, crowd control equipment and weaponry.
In addition, Washington continues to send about $1.5 billion to Egypt every year, mostly in security assistance and F-16 fighter jets, and offering even more in debt relief, apparently as a bribe to keep “American interests” a priority.
As The New York Times reported last year, US aid to Egypt helps keep the pockets of defense corporations nice and full. But the broader strategy there is the same as its always been: to bribe the Egyptian tyranny towards conformity to US interests.
“[T]he U.S. strategy in the region is to prefer a managed transition to civilian rule and democratic governance as long as the American major strategic objectives are not challenged,” wrote Esam Al-Amin last year. Namely, to “keep the Americans in, the Chinese and Russians out, the Iranians down, and the Israelis safe.”
Because really, what’s a few more battered and pummeled Egyptian citizens compared to the selfish interests of Washington?