Egypt’s political crisis: Military coup or popular uprising? - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Egypt’s political crisis: Military coup or popular uprising?

As media gurus search for a metaphor to describe Egypt’s political crisis, many linguistic comparisons abound.  Many have labeled it a ‘coup’ or ‘a political uprising.’ Still others feel content to call it ‘the end of political Islam’ or ‘the great Islamic awakening.’

However, falsifying words to support or denounce political escapades still does not change the fact that the man who at one time declared himself above judicial oversight with final and irrefutable decisive powers in Egypt is no more. Call it by any name, but ‘the Pharaoh of the Nile’ has been deposed by a military coup.

Adly Mansour

Adly Mansour

It follows that if a coup is synonymous with the overthrow of a democratically elected government, then all evidence points to the fact that Morsi did not voluntarily step down. It was the military that suspended the Constitution and   named Adly Mansour chief justice of the Constitutional Court.

As a result, the insistence of Morsi’s top adviser and the proclamation of the Muslim brotherhood respectively that “the military has carried out a coup” and “for historical accuracy and the sake of Egypt, let’s call what’s happening in Egypt a military coup” sheds much justification that it is indeed so.

But in an attempt to continue funding the Egyptian military and to protect its interest in the Middle East, the US prefers to be entangled in a semantic knot in stopping short in calling the military intervention a coup.

It is documented that ‘under the Camp David Accord, the US sends huge amount of aid to Egypt to increase security in the Sinai, help prevent attacks from Gaza into Israel, counter terrorism and security transit through the Suez Canal.’

Intelligence sources confirm ‘that Egypt is a leading power in helping to contain Iranian power in the Middle East and to dull its efforts in becoming a nuclear weapons power.’ Moreover, Egypt’s geographical position in the Middle East make it possible for the US to effectively function.

Branding the crisis in Egypt a ‘coup’ will be going against the US’ own interest and the beneficial role that Egypt plays in the Arab-Israeli peace process. Calling the crisis by its real name will affect the billions in aid, national security and President Obamas’ constancy  of stimulating democracy globally; for according to the Foreign Assistance Act, ‘there is a restriction on all assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.’

randpaulEven as Rand Paul (R-KY) charges that “Egypt is an example of the US’ misguided foreign policy,” Egypt’s peace effort in aiding the US still cannot go by unnoticed. Its brokering of a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas that ended 8 days of rocket and air strikes serves a necessary compliment. The crackdown on arms smuggling in the Hamas ruled Gaza strip by the Egyptian military is also worthy of note. The access of the Suez Canal by Egypt to the US to carry out strikes against Iraq during the 1991 Gulf war cannot be forgotten. Combined, they   serve a great purpose in pursuing Washington’s interest.

When viewed from another angle Morsi’s deposal and crackdown of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt weakens Hamas, which is already facing a sharp drop in financing from Iran and declining relation from other outside forces.

Nonetheless, as other critics assert ‘Egypt does not face any military threat’ and it is hypocritical that much of US aid goes to funding the modernization of the Egyptian military with modern armaments while Egypt refuses to implement policies that support freedom of expression, human rights, the growing Shia- Sunni divide, and the values of liberty that support the forces of democracy.

It is true that the forces of liberal democracy has been awakened in Egypt  but  it is time that the US realize that there are some things that money can’t buy and democracy just happens to be one of those things.

Why then should the blood and sweat of American taxpayers assist and aid a despotic regime that works against the true causes of democracy?

It now seems that military interventions are now the resolve of disputes within the throng of democracy and it leaves a bitter taste when digested to the extent of twisting language from its original meaning to act as a shield for the exposed.

The US now has no choice but to re-engage itself in Egyptian affairs but the blatant hypocrisy that the political crisis in Egypt was not a coup tampers with language and arouses meaning within the Orwellian realm that “political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable”

Many queries still persist when it comes to foreign aid, and with Egypt not an enemy of the US but still far from being an ally the greatest question is- Will politics again surpass the law?


About the author

Rebeca Theodore

Rebeca Theodore is a national security and political op-ed columnist based in Washington DC. Her work has appeared in various newsprint throughout the Caribbean, Canada and the US. Follow her on twitter @rebethd. Contact the author.