Friday, November 25, 2011

If You're A Female U.S. Citizen And Journalist In Egypt, State Will Protect You ... Maybe.

Count on getting off easy with fractured arms, beatings, and sexual assault. And the "fuckings" (also known as fascist thugs in these parts) could have been worse if not for the intervention of the State Department on behalf of award winning American journalist Mona Eltahawy, whose tweets describing her harrowing experience while "detained" in Cairo's Interior Ministry can be read here.

Isn't it ironic that the right in this country continues to believe such torture and sexual assault are just fine as long as Americans do it? After all, this assault on an American journalist in Cairo happened the same week Republican candidates for president presented a near-unanimous front trumpeting torture as a valuable foreign policy weapon, one candidate breezed past serious allegations of sexual assault (similar to what Ms Eltahawy suffered — the groping of her crotch area), and peaceful street demonstrators were harshly repressed by riot-geared military police (in the South American dictatorships of the 70s and 80s, these types were known as "milicos"), and sprayed with a known lethal agent.

Imagine the conversation between Egyptian authorities and the U.S. embassy in Cairo as it demanded the release of Ms Eltahawy: After watching the GOP debates on CNN and those images of peaceful demonstrators being pepper sprayed, they very likely laughed in our face. In truth, if not for all the military aid we give Egypt, we'd have zero leverage with them in such matters as conforming to international human rights law, much less the UN Convention against torture. Ms Eltahawy is one brave, plucky woman. They broke her bones but not her spirit. She posted this picture to make sure the thugs got the message. American exceptionalism:

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