The new military leaders of Egypt are denying they staged a “military coup,” because if whatever happened there is classified as a coup, US aid to Egypt must be cut off. And it’s a good bet the leaders of the *cough* don’t want that to happen, since all those impressive jet fighters they’ve been flying over Cairo were paid for by that aid.
The Washington Post makes it clear where they stand: US Must Suspend Aid.
THERE IS no ambiguity about what happened in Egypt on Wednesday: a military coup against a democratically elected government and the wrong response to the country’s problems. The armed forces forcibly removed and arrested President Mohamad Morsi, who won 51 percent of the vote in a free and fair election little more than a year ago. A constitution ratified by a two-thirds majority in another popular vote last December was suspended; dozens of leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood have been arrested and a number of media outlets shut down. A little-known judge appointed as president and granted the power to rule by decree will be entirely dependent on the armed forces for his authority.
Having not spoken up against the excesses of Mr. Morsi’s government, the Obama administration has, with equal fecklessness, failed to forthrightly oppose the military intervention. But there should be no question that under a law passed by Congress, U.S. aid to Egypt — including the $1.3 billion annual grant to the military — must be suspended.
It’s a nasty, tangled situation all right, and yes, the Muslim Brotherhood was voted into power by a majority. But since that election they’ve been taking major steps that have nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with turning Egypt into an authoritarian Islamic state. One of the big reasons Egyptian secularists rose up against the Morsi government in such gigantic numbers was because they saw their democratic freedoms eroding before their eyes, and feared that the “free and fair election” described by the Post would also turn out to be the last free election.