Underscoring just how thin their commitment to the Arab Spring protest movements actually is, the Obama Administration is loudly demanding that the Egyptian military junta launch a crackdown on dissent to “meet its obligations under the Vienna Convention.” They warned the junta of “consequences” if they didn’t crush the protests around the Israeli Embassy.
The call was quickly praised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said he was confidenct the US “used all the means and influence” at its disposal to press Egypt to take action against the protesters.
On Friday, Egyptian protesters sacked the Israeli embassy, breaching an external barricade and swarming into the building, tossing Hebrew-language paperwork into the streets. No embassy officials were hurt in the attack, but some 450 Egyptians were wounded by security forces.
Egypt’s junta, predictably, has announced that it will be launching a new crackdown on all public protests, adding that it will take “harsh measures” against anyone who aims to damage Egypt’s image. They also vowed to use “all articles” of Hosni Mubarak’s emergency law, which for decades has been used to silence any and all dissent, and which was at the center of the first protest movement early this year.
The US government wasn’t keen on the first protest movement, which ousted Mubarak, but eventually came to publicly endorse it. It seems the protests against the “interim” junta, and the demands to finally set a date for elections, have reset the administration’s position to its default – crush all dissent.