Tear Gas and Rubber Bullets

I am about to send an email to each of my Senators.   For what it’s worth, here’s the content:

Dear Senator [name]:

As a supporter of yours, I am deeply concerned to know your position regarding the Egyptian people during this time of crisis in their country.

The news agency, Al-Jazeera English, is reporting that tear gas canisters and shell casings from rounds fired at the Egyptian people during their legitimate protests  have “U.S. markings” on them.   Moreover, because of those markings, many Egyptians are now asking the reporters why our country is opposing them.

Sir [or Madam], I believe the wide spread perception, however wrong, that the U.S. is actively oppressing the Egyptian people can do nothing but harm to U.S. interests in Egypt and the region.

Therefore, I adamantly urge you to prevent such a pending disaster by taking action now to impose an emergency ban on the export of tear gas and rubber bullets from the U.S. to Egypt.   Both common humanity and U.S. interests demand such action.

I have the pleasure of being your staunch supporter,

[Name]

I need some help here:

First, how can I improve on the wording of that email?

Second, does anyone wish to join me in asking for an emergency ban on U.S. shipments of tear gas and rubber bullets to Egypt?

By the way, I probably should send something to my Congressperson too, but he’s the sort who is extremely unlikely to do anything worthwhile.   So, I’m going to pass him up.

17 thoughts on “Tear Gas and Rubber Bullets

  1. True, our allies would be better served by using real bullets and sarine gas against these insurgents. The gods know that all these sorts respond to.

    Get it? Non-lethal means are being used to quell a violent insurgency, not a “legitimate protest.”

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    • Hi Jonolan! Of course, I think you know that violence, by itself, does not de-legitimatize a protest movement. Otherwise, the American Revolution, for instance, would have been de-legitimatized by the violence of the Founders and Revolutionaries.

      Also, given what seem to be your views in this case, you might find the very similar views of Pamela Geller over at the Atlas Shrugs blog to be intoxicating — if you have not discovered her already.

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      • If you’re using violence, you’re not a “protest movement.” You’re insurrectionists, rebels, or revolutionaries depending solely upon which term you favor.

        Whether or not you’re “legitimate” is solely based upon whether or not you succeed in your goals and how history views your subsequent actions – and the same holds true for the government who responds violently to such rebellion.

        In our case in the US, we won the war and generally did well by the world’s standards afterward so we’re classed as legitimate.

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      • It fascinates me you do not think a violent protest movement is properly called a legitimate protest movement. I guess I should not be too surprised though — most folks have their own views. And of course, we do too.

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      • I don’t think, once you’ve chosen on violent methodology, you’re a “protest movement” at all, irrespective of whether or not history will claim your rebellion was legitimate.

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  2. Senator, I am sure you hear of United States tear gas and ammo being use in Egypt on the Muslim news?
    The United States did not sell these munitions intending to cause harm to innocent protesters but it has become the perception
    .
    It would be prudent that the States act progressively to recognize the fact that this use of munitions is unacceptable.
    Profits are good but it is now not worth appearing to endorse oppression of the rise of democracy in Egypt.
    Would you please introduce a bill that addresses this perception by Egyptians?
    Thank you for introducing legislation accepting responsibility and condemning this use of force even if non-lethal…
    I have supported you in the past and realize that you recognize the importance of proactive measures to mitigate perception of the United States.
    ——————————————-
    1. do not act as if you deserve response as a supporter. Pay to play not pay to ….
    2. Senators realize that perceptions are manipulated by Muslim media.
    3. addressing a senator as if knowing the reaction desired is better than whining.
    ———————————————-
    Succinct contact might be better.
    This is my opinion.
    ———————-
    It will make little difference that you support the Politician and it appears to be a threat or pat-to-play type demand.

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  3. I think I’d leave out that closing too. It sounds to my “ear” as if you’re trying to suck up to them.

    Also, the introductory sentence doesn’t seem to have much to do with the request for the emergency ban. Could you tweak it so there’s more of a connection? Or just say you’re deeply concerned about the U.S. role in the situation in Egypt?

    I’m a little dubious anyway as to whether there’d be much point to your senators acting to pass an emergency ban. Since it would have to go through the usual route in Congress, even if it passed, by the time it was implemented it’s likely the situation in Egypt will have been resolved, at least to the point where rubber bullets and tear gas aren’t a major feature.

    There might be some minimal PR value in having senators speak out now against the U.S. supplying Egypt with these items, but only if a fairly large number did so and there was little in the way of vocal opposition. I’m not at all sure you can count on that.

    I should think what might be more effective would be for your senators simply to make a forceful public statement of solidarity with the protesters.

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    • Yours immediately strikes me as excellent advise, SW. I’m going to see if I can’t combine a bit of my original idea with the advice you and Curtis have given me to come up with something really worth sending to a Senator.

      Not that any Senator will care, of course.

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  4. Do you think we are actively transporting tear gas and rubber bullets, right now? I imagine the Egyptian government is using items that are stockpiled.

    Some senator could call for a ban, and it could be approved, but I think it would by symbolic only and not actually change the experience for the protestors on the ground.

    There are other steps that the U.S. government could take that would be more real, more meaningful.

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    • It should also be pointed out that “the US” doesn’t export these things; American corporations do so and the distribution chain may or may not be directly to the end user.

      Rubber bullets and tear gas aren’t “secured” exports and can be sold and purchased w/o any sort of government approval beyond allowing trade with a nation at all.

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  5. Remind the Senator that you have voted for him — or her — in the past. Most especially, if you have, be sure to mention that you’ve actually contributed some dough to his or her campaign.

    Invoke the democratic values of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution and the concept of freedom of expression.

    Demand transparency in U.S. dealings with various dictatorships in the Middle East. These damned U.S. Senators have grown far too pompous by far and need to be slapped around a wee bit.

    Onward to the Glorious Revolution!

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    • “Demand transparency in U.S. dealings with various dictatorships in the Middle East. These damned U.S. Senators have grown far too pompous by far and need to be slapped around a wee bit.”

      I agree, Karen! That’s good advice.

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  6. Pingback: Sunday in Outer Blogness: What’s up world? edition! | Main Street Plaza

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