Egyptian Army Clears Tahrir With Force

US continues to support military council, despite abuses

The Egyptian army drove protesters out of Tahrir Square on Monday destroying tents and smashing signs the demonstrators 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 in Tahrir Square as saying "While they were hitting me I told them I’m pregnant, they shouted: who’s the father, then 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. 

The United States 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, maintenance, support equipment, personnel training and other related elements of logistics and program support. Another $1.5 billion in U.S. 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.

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.