Clinton statement celebrates ‘civil society’ in Middle East

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Combined Tactical Systems headquarters in Jamestown, PA flies the American and Israeli flags. The tear gas they produce was used in Tunisia, Egypt and the occupied territories.

I think we should welcome Hillary Clinton’s statement on Egypt. She spoke of the tremendous grievances of the demonstrators and said Egypt must become a democracy. Most of all, she spoke of the great ideas coming out of civil society. Twice she referred to civil society in the Middle East. This means the democratic movement in Palestine too.

Jane Harman was just on Andrea Mitchell’s show on MSNBC. She scolded the Arab governments for not heeding Obama’s call to them at Cairo in 6/09 then spoke of the need to honor “human rights” and the legitimate demands of the “youth bulge” in Arab societies. All these issues apply to Israel. In Cairo, Obama said the settlements must end and the humiliation of the Palestinians must end. But Israel continues to trample human rights in Gaza and the West Bank, and as Brian Baird frequently states, there are 600,000 people under 18 in Gaza. Inevitably, the Cairo wave will come further east.

And here’s another echo. Adalah-NY recently posted on American-made tear gas made by Combined Tactical Systems (CTS), a part of Combined Systems Inc.,  being shot at protesters across the West Bank. Now this theme is at last being echoed in the mainstream press, about Egypt and the same US tear gas company. From the Telegraph:

A stark contrast, however, to the US’s calls for calm has come from protesters angry at the fact that the tear gas canisters being fired at them by security forces seem to be made in America – via AFP: “Egyptians staging anti-government protests on Friday vented anger at the fact that the tear gas security forces are firing at them is US-manufactured, probably part of a massive military aid package. “‘The American taxpayer should know how their money is being spent,’ shouted one young male protester who declined to give his name, brandishing a spent tear gas canister marked ‘Made in USA.’

“Dozens of the canisters made by Combined Tactical Systems in Jamestown, Pennsylvania, were fired at crowds on one Cairo street on Friday, littering the road surface along with rubble and spent shotgun cartridges. “Many protesters have been injured through tear gas inhalation and by being hit by the canisters themselves, with the security forces sometimes firing them straight at demonstrators.”

[Original post referred to this pale tweet from Obama administration (Rob’t Gibbs):

Very concerned about violence in Egypt – government must respect the rights of the Egyptian people & turn on social networking and internet]

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