Egypt holding 19 American hostages

Discussion in 'Politics' started by 377OHMS, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. 377OHMS


    "Ignoring a stern U.S. threat, Egypt on Sunday referred 43 NGO workers, including 19 Americans, to trial before a criminal court for allegedly using illegal foreign funds to foment unrest.

    The decision marked a sharp escalation of the dispute between Cairo and Washington over Egypt‘s crackdown on U.S.-funded groups promoting democracy and human rights. The two countries have been close allies for more than three decades, but the campaign against the organizations has angered Washington and jeopardized the $1.5 billion in aid Egypt is set to receive from the U.S. this year.

    On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Egypt‘s foreign minister that failure to resolve the dispute may lead to the loss of American aid. The Egyptian minister, Mohammed Amr, responded Sunday by saying the government cannot interfere in the work of the judiciary.

    “We are doing our best to contain this but … we cannot actually exercise any influence on the investigating judges right now when it comes to the investigation,” Mr. Amr told reporters at a security conference in Munich.

    Among the Americans sent to trial is Sam LaHood, the head of the Egypt office of the Washington-based International Republican Institute and the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Five Serbs, two Germans and three non-Egyptian Arab nationals are also among those referred to trial.

    All 43 have been banned from leaving the country. A date has yet to be set for the start of the trial.

    The Egyptian investigation into the work of NGOs in the country is closely linked to the political turmoil that has engulfed the nation since the ouster nearly a year ago of President Hosni Mubarak, a close U.S. ally who ruled Egypt for nearly 30 years. The generals who took power after Mr. Mubarak’s fall have accused “foreign hands” of being behind protests against their rule and frequently depict the protesters as receiving funds from abroad in a plot to destabilize the country.

    Those allegations have cost the youth activists that spearheaded Mr. Mubarak’s ouster support among a wider public that is sensitive to allegations of foreign meddling and sees a conspiracy to destabilize Egypt in nearly every move by a foreign nation.

    But Sunday’s decision to refer the 43 to trial raises questions about the Egyptian military’s motive to allow the issue to escalate so much that the valuable $1.3 billion it gets annually be placed in jeopardy. Washington also is set to give Egypt $250 million in economic aid this year.

    The U.S. assistance has allowed the Egyptian military to replace its relatively antiquated Soviet-era weaponry with modern and sophisticated arms, ranging from fighter-bombers and transport aircraft to tanks and personnel carriers. The aid is closely but informally linked to Egypt‘s continued adherence to its 1979 peace treaty with Israel, Washington’s closest Middle East ally.

    Already, Egyptian authorities are preventing at least six Americans — including Mr. LaHood — and four Europeans from leaving the country, citing a probe opened last month when heavily armed security forces raided the offices of 17 pro-democracy and rights groups. Egyptian officials have defended the raid as part of a legitimate investigation into the groups’ work and funding.

    Also Sunday, security officials said Mr. Mubarak, 83, would be moved soon to a prison for the first time since his arrest in April. Since his arrest, Mr. Mubarak has been kept in custody in a hospital at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh and later at an army’s medical facility east of Cairo.

    They said Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim pledged in a meeting on Sunday to upgrade the medical facility in Tora prison south of Cairo in “record time” but did not set a date for the move. Mr. Mubarak is on trial on charges of complicity in the killing of hundreds of protesters during the 18-day uprising that forced him to step down.

    The officials also said that about 50 former regime insiders held at Tora would be dispersed to five different jails in the greater Cairo area within the next 48 hours. They include Mr. Mubarak’s two sons, businessman Alaa and one-time heir apparent Gamal, two former prime ministers and the former speakers of parliament’s two chambers.

    The decision to move Mr. Mubarak and spread the regime officials appeared to be a concession by the military to pro-reform activists who complain that the ruling generals led by Mr. Mubarak’s defense minister for 20 years were treating the ousted leader with reverence and turning a blind eye to former regime officials clustered in Tora to use supporters to undermine security."
    The 19 Americans should be rescued immedietly and all US aid to Egypt cut off. The egyptians have simply been using the aid money we supply to upgrade their military equipment.

    The Obama regime has botched this badly. The Arab spring is turning into and Islamist nightmare. Is this what Obama wanted?
  2. pspr


    But Jimmy Carter said it was going so nicely in Egypt with the Islamists taking over and Obama should be happy.
  3. 377OHMS


    Isn't Jimmy Carter amazing?

    A former president who actually hates his own country. I sincerely believe that and saw if for myself when I was active duty USAF.

    To me Carter illustrates the tendency of the American public to overreact. The country was pretty horrified when it found out what Nixon had been up to and decided it needed an "honest man" in the Whitehouse. Carter turned out to be unsuited as President in almost every regard except honesty.

    I believe similarly that Barrack Obama is an overreaction to George Bush, the wars he entered and his inability to understand the economy.

    The difference between Carter and Obama is this. Carter was elected on a perception that he was honest. He *was* honest just incompetent. Obama was elected on a perception that he would reunite the badly divided country but he isn't making good on his promises.

    Right now the 19 Americans are being given refuge at the American Embassy. Obama should get them out of Egypt ASAP before they are detained and dispersed to prisons all over Egypt where it would be extremely difficult to rescue them. All aid money to Egypt should be cut. It is ludricous that we are supporting an islamofascist regime.
  4. pspr


    I just know that Carter has become a loon. Well, maybe more of a loon. He was pretty bad while in office.

    You're right about Obama being an over reaction but without the meltdown in October 2008 and McCain making a fool of himself over it I don't think Obama would have won. He was just at the right place at the right time.

    Unless, of course, one were to believe the Democrats conspired to bring down the U.S. financial system one month before the election.
  5. Obama is our latter day Jimmy Carter. Carter and his people actually welcomed the takeover of the Iranian government by the imams. They counseled the Iranian generals whio had worked closely with the US, to do nothing. Within weeks, they had all been murdered. Then the Iranians took over the uS embassy and held hostages until the day Reagan took office.

    Now we have an amazingly similar situation. A clueless US president pulled the rug out from under a longtime US ally, Mubarak. Now we get another hostage crisis. It is a foregone conclusion that Egypt, under muslim brotherhood rule, will withdraw from the Camp David peace treaty and link up with Iran to try to destroy Israel.

    At least we can save the 3 bill or so we piss away on Egypt, provided the congress has the backbone to defy lobbyists and do something. We can save another 3 bill or so on pakistan. Why waste money on a country that we will probably end up at war with sooner or later?

    This will all end in a series of nuclear exchanges.
  6. The Mayans may have been right after all, it is 2012.
  7. 377OHMS


    Who nukes who? I hope it doesn't trigger a problem between the US and China or Russia or both.

    Its just amazing that the persians and arabs would rather die than allow Israel to exist. Attacking Israel is an existential decision. Perhaps they don't realize that.

    Hopefully Obama will let our military go pluck those 19 Americans out of Egypt without any violence while there is a chance. If Obama hesistates he'll have a hostage situation which might affect his reelection chances. Just get our people out of there and then cut the funding to Egypt in Congress.

    Egypt does not have oil exports so it isn't clear how they can sustain any kind of functioning economy without foreign aid or tourism. I know there is a cotton industry but am not aware of anything else that brings in significant money.