What would you call it if the military or an insurgent group in some foreign land ousted the legally elected government and cracked down violently on the citizenry?
If you said a coup, you would be correct. But when this very thing happened recently in Egypt, with the military overthrowing Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, it may not have been a coup. Why? Because the Obama administration says so.
Although no final determination has been made, government sources told the Associated Press that the Obama team, amid a legal review of Morsi’s army-engineered departure and the violence that has followed, wants desperately to avoid calling it a coup because under U.S. law, that would require an end to all non-humanitarian aid to Egypt, and the administration doesn’t want to cut off $1.3 billion in assistance to the Egyptian military, which is seen, despite the recent events, as a stabilizing factor in Egypt and the region.
The United States has a long and embarrassing history of supporting despots and dictators who were malleable to U.S. wishes, so we have little doubt that, barring a further explosion of the Egyptian powderkeg, some way will be found to suggest that Egypt remains on the road of democracy and that, really, there was no coup, just an unfortunate bump on that road.