Po-TAY-to/Po-TAH-to

That clever little title may not work as well when it’s written as opposed to spoken, but I’m too lazy to change it. It’s the first thing that came to mind and I’m going with it.

So…anything happen today? Kidding. Kind of a big day in Egypt. The military stepped in and informed Morsi that his term was officially over and they made the head of the Constitutional Court the interim President. A coaltion of multiple parties will be formed to draft a new constitution and new parliamentary & presidential elections will be held soon.

The big discussion on the news today was whether or not this could be called a “coup”. Some folks were saying that it was a coup because it was the military removing the current government and putting a new one in place. Actually, my favorite part was when Jake Tapper used Wikipedia for the definition of “coup” on CNN. Really, Jake? WIKI-FREAKING-PEDIA? Egads.  I think we still have dictionaries, if I’m not mistaken. Mine reads:

noun, plural coups d’é·tat – a sudden and decisive action in politics, especially one resulting in a change of government illegally or by force.

By that definition, this was decisive, not crazy sudden, because the President was given 48 hours to step down or make changes, it wasn’t the President’s idea, so it was by force and only illegal because the constitution the Brotherhood wrote made no provision for any kind of dissent. See? Confusing.

For most of the day I’ve been on the side of “it’s not a coup.” Here’s why:

1. I see it as the military facilitating the will of the people – populist impeachment

2. The military didn’t sieze power for themselves. They transferred it from one President to another.

3. They don’t intend to stay in control – they are committed to stepping aside when a new president is elected.

4. There is no mechanism for impeachment, or recall or any kind of dissent. The people had no choice to take to the streets. All the people saying they needed to work within thes system don’t know the “system.” There is no system. The Brotherhood was running everything and there was no room for anyone to disagree.

Then a couple of hours ago, I started hearing other things. Morsi and his advisors under house arrest. More than 300 arrest warrents issuesd for members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim tv stations, including Al Jazeera, being cut off. That feels coup-ish. It makes me nervous about what could happen over the next few days. I might be just an ignorant American, which I’m willing to accept. It just seems that alienting the Brotherhood, who is very angry, and who you promised could be part of the new process, is a bad idea. But a week in Egypt does not an expert make. I will wait and see and pray.

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