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Published:July 10th, 2013 08:48 EST
Does the Loaded Term 'Coup' Aptly Describe What Happened to Mohamed Morsi?

Does the Loaded Term 'Coup' Aptly Describe What Happened to Mohamed Morsi?

By John G. Kays

Was there a military coup in Egypt, ousting Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, on July 3rd? Initially, this was downplayed in the media as too harsh a word, explaining a seemingly benign move by the military, with popular support. Now editors at the Associated Press have advised their staff, coup is an appropriate word to describe what took place in Cairo about a week ago. As far as I can tell (with limited information), the Webster`s New World College Dictionary (Fourth Edition) just about sums up the overthrow of Morsi!

This dictionary is the primary authoritative source used by the Associated Press; the definition was had from a Huffington Post article (AP Editors: Morsi Overthrow Can Be Described As `Coup`), and it reads: "the sudden, forcible overthrow of a ruler, government, etc., sometimes with violence, by a small group of people already having some political or military authority."  

Why was the press and the US administration censoring the use of coup at first? This is exactly what happened; Egypt just experienced a coup! Yet, I felt confused, as I began covering this complex story yesterday evening. Well, I could tell, the Egyptian people were confused also, as they grew more paranoid and suspicious of those around them (I mean, who can you trust). I needed to do some digging; I had to review the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, when Hosni Mubarak was ousted.

The main cause of Mubarak`s usurpation was the economy; okay, so this rings a bell - one of the reasons given for a carefully orchestrated coup of Mohamed Morsi is also the economy, as well as the unpopularity of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. But Morsi was democratically elected. Who`s pulling the real puppet strings of power? That`s an easy one, it`s the military, with General Abdul-Fattah-el-Sisi as the spokesperson, sidestepping or deflecting any claim that the military has Egypt in its political grip!

They`re just acting on behalf of the people, we`re hearing them say. Yet, the killing of more than 50 people in Tahrir Square is sending a different message; the ousting of Morsi is not to be contested. The Muslim Brotherhood is out for good! The interim president appointed is Adli Monsour, a senior judge, but he wasn`t elected. It looks like the military is the real government in Egypt now. What really happened in Tahrir Square on Monday? 

Tahrir Square was once a bastion for freedom of expression and legitimate dissent against oppressive governments, but now we`re learning, something different is going on there. You may want to read an article that appeared in The New York Times yesterday, Bloody Day In Unrest Widens the Rupture Among Ordinary Egyptians, by Ben Hubbard and Kareem Fahim. Are the crowds organic or are they synthetic plants organized by the military, in order to squelch the remnants of the Muslim Brotherhood faction?

What I think we`re seeing now in Egypt, is a clean up and consolidation of the coup of Morsi, yet the only difference is that initially it was a bloodless coup, now it`s getting violent, with military sharpshooters murdering innocent Muslims, who are simply voicing their protests of the ousting of Morsi. 

Democracy has left Egypt for now! As such, it won`t be such a good idea for the Obama Administration to give the usual 1.5 billion in aid, most of which goes to the military anyway. That aid is contingent on Egypt having a democracy in place, not supporting a military junta regime, such as we did in the Nixon years.