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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The troublesome response of the US to the recent violence in Tahrir Square

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, photo courtesy of the Daily Caller.

Any thinking person would have anticipated problems with the ascendancy of the Egyptian military to power in the aftermath of the takedown of Hosni Mubarak. 

Now that violence has erupted again in Tahrir Square, the generals appear to be reluctant to move toward a legitimate Egyptian government.

Correspondent Kristen Chick at the Christian Science Monitor reports from Cairo the troublesome response from the US to the worsening of the power struggle between the military and the protestors:

Security forces have killed at least 29 as Tahrir Square protests enter their fourth day. The US has come under attack for backing the military junta despite vows to support democracy and human rights.

The US attempt to reposition itself as a supporter of democracy and human rights in the Middle East is being undermined by a growing Egyptian perception that Washington will back Egypt's military junta unreservedly despite its increasing repressiveness.

That perception was reinforced yesterday, when a White House statement on the clashes between protesters and security forces appeared to place the blame equally on both sides for violence that has killed at least 29 protesters since Saturday.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the US was "deeply concerned" about the violence and "tragic loss of life" and called for "restraint on all sides, so that Egyptians can move forward together to forge a strong and united Egypt.”

That call for restraint on “all sides,” in the face of days of excessive use of force by police and soldiers, was met with incredulity in Cairo. Security forces have shot not only tear gas and rubber bullets, but bird shot and live ammunition at protesters throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.


  1. Troubling indeed.

    I feel as if I do not know my country anymore.

  2. Hi SYD,

    As always, it's good to hear from you. A message from you is like a friendly wave from someone else struggling to make sense of our increasingly chaotic world.