Egypt Snubs US, Raids Pro-Democracy Groups

Three US-funded agencies are among the targets
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2011 7:11 PM CST
Workers from a US-based non-governmental organization, the National Democratic Institute, wait as Egyptian officials raid their office in Cairo Thursday.   (AP Photo/Mohammed Asad)
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(Newser) – Egypt's ruling military council doesn't appear to be cowed by pressure from the US and the rest of the world into speeding up reforms. Security forces raided 17 nongovernmental offices today, including three funded by the US that do things like monitor elections and promote democracy. The US is demanding answers and warning that it will review the $1.3 billion in annual aid it gives to the military, reports Reuters.

Some what-it-means views from the wires:

  • Washington Post: "The move represented the most definitive sign to date that Egypt’s military intends to run the country’s post-revolutionary transition on its own terms and without interference from Washington, its biggest benefactor."
  • Los Angeles Times: "The move appeared to be part of a strategy to intimidate international organizations. The ruling military council has repeatedly blamed 'foreign hands' for exploiting Egypt's political and economic turmoil. But activists said the army was using the ruse of foreign intervention to stoke nationalism and deflect criticism of abuses."
  • New York Times: "The raids were a stark escalation in what has appeared to be a campaign by the country’s military rulers to rally support by playing to nationalist and anti-American sentiment here."
(Read more Egypt stories.)

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