One variant of verbal pyrotechnics in evidence is the contention that there hasn't been a coup because the Egyptian army, while it did unseat the president, isn't running the country. This is nonsense.
Morsi was removed from power not for crimes against the state, but largely for poor job performance and having too many political enemies (particularly in the military). These are issues to be settled at the ballot box, not by mobs and tanks surrounding the presidential palace in Cairo.
Change is never easy and is most often messy. If the events of the last two years have demonstrated anything it is that the Egyptian people want change, they feel empowered to demand change, and, when it is not forthcoming, those in power will be held on a short leash that can be pulled back.
Now it is Egypt's military leadership that faces the temptation to "hold too much." Will this powerful institution exploit the people's anger at the Brotherhood to reconstruct a secular dictatorship?
It is interesting, form a meta-perspective, to observe the debate currently spreading over social networks and the global media as to the definition of the events that unfolded within the last 72 hours here in Cairo. Was it coup or a revolution?
I understand why so many (namely President Obama) are careful not to call this a coup. But whatever we call it, we must acknowledge the basic facts: A president elected in unprecedented free and fair elections was overthrown by an ever-powerful military that took its cues from an unprecedented mobilization of millions of Egyptians challenging his rule. Morsi failed at nearly everything the Egyptian people had hoped and entrusted him to do, chief among them, uniting a divided Egypt. But Egypt's military has failed for far longer, with a lot more blood on their hands. And no one is more ruthless in suppressing the rights of others in Egypt than the American-made military.
What happened yesterday is phenomenal and unprecedented in Egyptian history. While millions of Egyptians cheered and partied until in the early morning on June 30th, and then again yesterday, following the sacking of Morsi, there is, however, a flip side to the coin.
While the U.S. can try to exert pressure for a quick return to a democratic state, ultimately it will be up to the Egyptian military to move the country forward. But its promise of a roadmap for reconciliation will face great challenges because the country is so deeply divided, and the Muslim Brotherhood will be more energized than ever.
The contents of this article are those of the author and do not reflect the position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps. The next revolution w...
Throughout this derailment of Egypt's transition, the U.S. government has managed to appear both disengaged from the brewing crisis and curiously deferential to Morsi's democratic legitimacy, conferred on him in a wafer thin run-off victory against a representative of the discredited Mubarak regime.
Those who don't pay much attention to Egypt would be forgiven for thinking that the images dominating their television sets these days are simply a replay of the popular revolution that overthrew President Mubarak two and a half years ago. They are not. What we are watching today is an attempt by a majority of normal Egyptians to reclaim a revolution that has stalled. They are out on the street in order to reset the conditions for success, and to place the country on a more promising and prosperous path. Make no mistake, these are messy, noisy, uncertain and unpredictable days for Egypt.
Following perhaps the largest national protest in global history, an enormous, diverse group of Egyptians awaits the political results of the rapid erosion of legitimacy of the government of Mohammed Morsi whom they elected very narrowly one year ago.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and militant, street battle-hardened soccer fans, in a replay of the run-up to mass protests two years ago that ousted Hosni Mubarak are positioning themselves for planned watershed mass demonstrations for and against the government this weekend.
It will take courage, patience, smarts -- and a flood of examples of heroes acting bravely for a common good. Let the politicians learn from the people. Egyptians need to get this right. And they don't have a lot of time.
All I can do is look on from a distance as Egyptians tackle the latest bout of revolts. It is the age of discontent, and all over the world we are disagreeing, disputing and disrupting, but can we really know where this is taking us? What I know for sure is that as a woman, I feel less and less safe.
What we do know is that when the dust settles Egypt will still be divided, will still be facing enormous economic challenges, and will still be in need of a national dialogue that can chart a new course for the country.