Don’t mention the coup.
Certainly not on Tahrir Square, or pretty much anywhere in polite, liberal society in Egypt.
As military jets periodically screamed over Cairo, even making a formation salute with colored smoke trails, many Egyptians took pains to stress that the toppling of their elected president, announced by a general, was not a “coup.”
“A coup? No!” said Ahmed Eid, 19, a business studies student at Cairo University, as he and his friends snapped souvenir pictures of each other, draped in the national flag, on Tahrir Square. “This was our new revolution!”
“Our president was very bad. The army are our brothers.”
For educated liberals in the capital, ending the year-long presidency of Mohammad Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood was worth resorting to the national tradition of military force - even at the risk of the new democracy born out of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011’s Arab Spring.
With foreign goodwill - and aid dollars - at risk, however, it is now imperative to show Mursi was wrong when - from the Republican Guard barracks where he is detained - he branded the maneuver against him “a total military coup.”
Many outside Egypt found it hard to fault Mursi’s logic. But Egyptians have proven creative in contradicting him.
Not a “coup” but a “popular impeachment” was one original expression, put forward by Amr Moussa.
A foreign minister under Mubarak, he now leads of one of the liberal parties that endorsed the “roadmap” back to democracy spelled out by the armed forces chief on Wednesday when he went on television, in full uniform, to suspend the constitution.
“Some Western media insist what happened in Egypt was a coupd’etat. In fact, this was unfair,” Moussa, who headed the Arab League until two years ago, told Reuters - as military helicopters clattered overhead near the Nile riverbank.
“This was a popular uprising, a popular revolution,” headded. “In fact it was a popular impeachment of the president.”
The army did not take the initiative, he said, it heeded mass protests which put millions on the streets on Sunday.
“It didn’t come as a result of a meeting between a few officers,” he said. “It was the people who insisted.”
Coup? What coup? Many Egyptians see no evil
Don’t mention the coup.
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