Below are exerpts of Wikileaks cables that shine a broad light on the problems facing Egypt. The first is a Quote taken from cable 09CAIRO79, which was created in January of 2010 by the American embassy in Cairo and classified by Ambassador Margaret Scobey.
“Summary and comment: Police brutality in Egypt against common criminals is routine and pervasive. Contacts describe the police using force to extract confessions from criminals as a daily event, resulting from poor training and understaffing. Brutality against Islamist detainees has reportedly decreased overall, but security forces still resort to torturing Muslim Brotherhood activists who are deemed to pose a political threat. Over the past five years, the government has stopped denying that torture exists, and since late 2007 courts have sentenced approximately 15 police officers to prison terms for torture and killings.”
Oppression = 1. Democracy = 0.
The next quote was taken from a letter addressed to Condoleeza Rice, written from prison by Ayman Nour (former candidate for the Egyptian presidency who is currently working to organize a coalition government) In his letter, Nour is using the words of one of Egypt’s most famous journalists, Mostafa Amin. wikileaks reference ID 06CAIRO6171.
“Maybe America gains a lot when it exports to us arms and cars or planes, but it loses more when it does not export the best that its civilization has produced which is ’Freedom and Democracy and Human Rights.’ The value of America is that it should defend this product, not only in its country but throughout the world! It may harm some of its interests, but it will make gains that will live hundreds of years, for the friendship of peoples live forever, because the peoples do not die, but governments change like the winter weather.”
Oppression = 2. Democracy = 0.
We have supplied the Egyptian government with at least $15 billion dollars in aid since 2001. More than half of this aid comes back to the United States in the form of Egyptian Military spending. They spend the money we give them on planes from Boeing and tanks from Abrams which are manufactured right here in the good old U.S.A.
What you can do? Write your representatives… Obama is on Facebook. Your state governor’s email can be found in less than 2 minutes if you have a decent grasp of how to use google. Just let them know that foreign aid to Egypt should not pass through Mubarak or his regime.
Beyond that, I urge you to friend someone in Egypt. Follow them on Twitter. Try to understand what they are going through. Let them know that you care. Make friends with the people of Egypt.
*** leest1 ***
Vaughns Summarries for their U.S. Foreign Aid Summary:
army-technology.com for information of Egypt’s military vehicles: http://www.army-technology.com/projects/abrams/