John Kerry seems to have put his unique mark on the State Department. Just last week, Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to say that he was for the coup in Egypt before he was not sure about it. Now, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki has declared that the U.S. had “determined that we do not need to make a determination” over whether the ousting of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt was a coup. The wonderful thing is that no one can oppose our foreign policy if no one understands it. Brilliant.
Kerry had to do one of his signature backtracks last week on Egypt. He first insisted that the act of overthrowing an elected president by the military constituted “restoring democracy.” That seem a bit odd for people used to treating democracy as a term referring to political self-determination and elections. Otherwise places like North Korea could claim to be saving democracy by denying it.
Kerry then returned to the time-honored tradition of saying things that say nothing at all: “The temporary government has a responsibility with respect to demonstrators to give them the space to be able to demonstrate in peace. But at the same time, the demonstrators have a responsibility not to stop everything from proceeding in Egypt.”
His spokesman then came in with the truly Kerryesque statement that a determination has most certainly be made . . . not to make a determination.
Of course, the State Department usually makes determinations about coups and does not hesitate to condemn the actions of other countries. However, this is an ally so we are going to treat this as something between a non-event and the apocalypse. It is the coup that must not speak its name.
I was highly critical of Morsi and concerned over the increasing Islamic restrictions being imposed by the government. However, it is hard not to define a military takeover as anything other than a coup when they arrest and imprison the president and create a new government. It might have been better to simply misunderstand the question and answer a different one like “no this is not a coupe. A coupe is a a short, four-wheeled, closed carriage or an ice cream dish. Egypt is not an ice cream dish.” That would make a lot more sense.