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Ayoon Wa Azan (Revolution, Not a Coup)
Published in AL HAYAT on 10 - 07 - 2013


It was not a military coup.
Egypt has witnessed a popular uprising that toppled the regime that was brought in by another popular uprising two years ago.
I want to use a neutral yet reliable source, Encyclopedia Britannica, which defines a military coup, literally, as follows:
"A coup d'état is the...violent overthrow of an existing government by a small group. The chief prerequisite for a coup is control of all or part of the armed forces, the police, and other military elements. Unlike a revolution, which is usually achieved by large numbers of people working for basic social, economic, and political change, a coup is a change in power from the top that merely results in the abrupt replacement of leading government personnel."
The definition above fundamentally invalidates all the allegations about a coup. To be sure, the toppling of the Muslim Brotherhood government was without violence, or rather, one of its most important reasons was to prevent violence and the country sliding into a devastating civil war.
Violence only erupted after the regime was toppled, and many lost their lives while others were injured in clashes among compatriots, something I believe would have been the precursor of a civil war had the armed forces not intervened.
The definition also states that the "chief prerequisite for a coup is control of all or part of the armed forces, the police, and other military elements." But this did not happen in Egypt last week, as no one changed anything in the structure of the armed forces or moved its command from one set of hands to another.
Encyclopedia Britannica also stated that revolution is usually achieved by large numbers of people, and this is exactly what happened in Egypt, where millions of Egyptians marched to overthrow the Brotherhood's regime after it failed at every level, and the goal of millions of protesters was to effect a basic social, economic, and political change.
The above is the theory, so I will continue with facts: In every military coup in every country, and we have many experiences in the Arab countries to which witnesses are still alive, the putschists would topple rulers only to replace them.
In Egypt, the armed forces complied with the desires of the majority of the Egyptians, and overthrew the Brotherhood regime. But they did not go on to establish a revolutionary council, nor did the colonels of the army appoint themselves to the highest posts in government. Instead, the armed forces handed over leadership of the country to the Supreme Constitutional Council, which, as its name indicates, is the highest judicial authority in the country.
It was a popular uprising whose causes are as clear as the midday sun, and I have two more points I want to make:
- Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is not of the ‘fulul,' the remnants of the Mubarak regime. He was appointed by President Mohamed Morsi, and the army command only intervened to rescue the country, and did not appoint Sisi as leader of the revolution.
- The electoral legitimacy of Mohamed Morsi as president is a much debated point. However, this legitimacy was never established conclusively, and was surrounded by question marks from the moment he was declared as the winner. The other version of what happened holds that during that lengthy press conference on Sunday, June 24, 2012, sources from the military council (SCAF) leaked information that Ahmed Shafik had won the election. But SCAF's members ultimately chose the safe option, and declared Morsi as the winner to avoid daily protests, violence, and riots by the Muslim Brotherhood and their broad support base. Indeed, every other candidate, including Ahmed Shafik, would have been unable to organize protests anywhere close to what the Brotherhood can mobilize.
I also want to say that the talk about a military coup was leaked by the US administration, the evil warmongering cabal, the Israel lobby, and other Likudnik groups, to threaten the interim administration in Egypt with cutting off $1.5 billion in annual US aid, if it does not continue the policy of the Muslim Brotherhood and preserve the peace treaty with Israel.
The U.S. and Israel both need Egypt's cooperation, but Egypt needs no one outside its Arab surrounding. The great fraternal gesture extended by the Gulf countries, including Qatar, to the new administration means that Egypt will be able to act freely and independently of Western political and financial blackmail.
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