Congress trio praise bloody crackdown

Two months after the military ousted Egypt’s first elected president and began a bloody crackdown on his supporters, a delegation of US Republicans visited Cairo at the weekend to tell the new government to keep up the good work.
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”We are here as members of Congress to say, ‘We are with you, and we encourage you’,” Michele Bachmann said in a news conference broadcast over a pro-government satellite network.

Egypt’s interim government has described its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood as a battle against terrorism, and Mrs Bachmann supported that reading, wrongly implying a link between the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the Brotherhood.

”We stand against this great evil,” she said, adding: ”We remember who caused 9/11. We remember who it was that killed 3000 brave Americans.”

Congressmen Louie Gohmert and Steve King, appearing with her, compared coup leader and military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to George Washington.

Mr Gohmert overlooked the interim government’s mass shootings of hundreds of mostly unarmed protesters, its round-up of thousands of political opponents and its suspension of all legal protection against arbitrary arrest; instead, he commended General Sisi and the appointed civilian leaders for creating a government where the rule of law was ”king”.

All three representatives vowed to defend the $US1.3 billion ($1.41 billion) in US military aid to Egypt.

Samer Shehata, a political scientist at the University of Oklahoma who studies Egypt, called the three politicians’ statements ”utterly absurd” and compared the conference to ”a Saturday Night Live skit – unbelievable, ludicrous, almost comic if it wasn’t so painful”.

Shadi Hamid, research director of the Brookings Doha Centre, said it was especially ”concerning” that members of Congress appeared ”so unaware of the basic facts of 9/11”.

The Muslim Brotherhood condemned the September 11 terrorist attacks, which were, in fact, carried out by al-Qaeda.

The Brotherhood has explicitly opposed the theology and tactics of violent Islamist groups such as al-Qaeda for decades, and al-Qaeda scorns the Brotherhood for its commitment to non-violence and elections.

New York Times

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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