Indira A.R. Lakshmanan & Caroline Alexander — Bloomberg August 3, 2013
Secretary of State John Kerry said Egypt’s army was “restoring democracy” after it toppled elected President Mohamed Mursi, then tempered his remarks and signaled a renewed U.S. diplomatic push to end the country’s political standoff.
“The temporary government has a responsibility” to Mursi loyalists to let them “demonstrate in peace,” Kerry said in London yesterday. “At the same time, the demonstrators have a responsibility” to let Egypt establish “a new normal,” Kerry said before a meeting over the Egypt crisis with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates foreign minister.
Kerry spurred criticism in Washington and Cairo when he appeared to go further than any other U.S. official in justifying the military’s ouster of Mursi on July 3. The American government has had close ties to Egypt’s military for three decades, and the Obama administration has declined to call the president’s ouster a coup. Doing so would have required the U.S. to suspend about $1.3 billion in annual military aid.
The Egyptian army “was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people,” Kerry told Pakistan’s Geo TV Aug. 1 in Islamabad. The military “did not take over to the best of our judgment,” and by replacing Mursi with a civilian government, “in effect they were restoring democracy,” he said.
Asked if he was excusing the killing of hundreds of people in protests following Mursi’s removal, Kerry called the violence “absolutely unacceptable” and described the political crisis as “very confusing and very difficult.”
Comment — August 3, 2013
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s comments typify the sort of double-speak and double-standard that have become a key feature in modern politics.
While making the obligatory denunciation of violence, Kerry nonetheless praises the Egyptian Army’s seizure of power because it “restored democracy”.
If the Egyptian Army seizure of power was an example of democracy in action then the term itself has become utterly meaningless.
I’m not trying to defend Morsi but to say his ousting by the army was an example of “democracy” in action is nonsensical.
Beyond illustrating how meaningless the term has become, it also illustrates how our political leaders now view the electorate. Because if Kerry expects us to swallow his use of words where he describes the reviving of secret police units as “democracy” then he must think voters really are stupid.