April 2008 archive

Someone has to be held accountable

Right now, there are about 25 tabs on each of the 3 firefox windows that I have open, filled with things that I want to blog about for days, but haven't been able to. Not because I am busy, not because I am suffering from some sort of an emotional crisis, but because I couldn't write about them until I wrote about this.

In case you didn't know, last week a US naval vessel, in the Suez Canal, shot and killed an egyptian man. The man is part of a very known group of small time traders who sell trinkets and sometimes groceries to the crews of passing by ships, by taking small boats filled with their merchandise and cruise by the passing ship in case any of its crewmembers wanted to buy something from Egypt but couldn't get off the ship. Needless to say those boat merchants are poor people who are husseling to make a living. When such a boat appraoched the US navy Vessel the Global Patriot, the crew of the Global Patriot apparently shot "warning shots" at the boat that ended up killing one of the men and injuring two others. The US government at first denied killing this man, and then a day later admitted to it. The crew on the boat was not arrested and was allowed to leave egyptian water without incident.

Now, I have been conflicted over this story because I get why the US Vessel people did what they did. The USS Cole thing in 2000 has rightfully made the US navy paranoid of approaching small boats, because they might have on them a suicide bomber with a ridiculous amount of explosives that could destroy or severely damage the ship. So yes, I get it, and I get why they freaked out, and why they ended up shooting warning shots at the boat, even though the boat merchanting thing must be known by the crew. I get it.

But a man died. An Egyptian man. For no reason. A man who was practicing his daily trade, which he uses to support his wife and 2 kids, and a handicapped brother, when he got shot and killed by a jittery American navy crew-member. And not only did that happen, but the Egyptian authorities, massive pussies that they are, didn't even bother with a proper investigation, or try to detain the ship for questioning. They let the shit, whose crew killed an egyptian man- even if accidentally- leave Egyptian waters that same day. They didn't even hold them for 24 hours. They didn't dare. After all, what's the life of a simple egyptian compared to US-Egyptian diplomatic relations? We wouldn't want to wrinkle that now, would we?

Now, dear american readers, If you don;t get why I am so pissed off at this, I want you to imagine if this was an egyptian vessel leaving one of your ports, and the egyptian crew ended up accidentally shooting a poor american boat-hand, and then the US government let the crew go without detention or punishment, hell, not even an investigation. I want you to imagine what Your media would do with the story of his wife and kids and his handicapped brother. I want you to imagine the amount of outrage the american public would have towards the current administration who allowed this to go unpunished in the name of international diplomacy and alliances. Are you there? Ok, cause that's how Egypt is like right now. This is how anti-americanism is born, bred and nurtured, and it's not all the faults of governments needing an enemy or irrational hatred caused by clerics. It's precisely because of events like that.

Now, mind you, the US could do a number of things for damage control purposes, and there are two things they should do regardless: 1) Pay the guy's family reparations, a nice big at least 5 figures in american cash, and make sure it goes directly to them and not through the egyptian government (cause those fuckers will steal at least half of it)  and 2) conduct your own investigation and maybe even- I know this may sound crazy to you- try the person who shot the guy for accidental manslaughter, even if it is for show, because that would be your least demand if the murdered guy was a US national. Our lives aren't forfeit, not to you, even if our government acts like it is to them.

You should do what's right, even if it is hard, because our blood is not cheap!

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