Noam Chomsky on Egypt’s Coup

Below is a short email interview I conducted with Noam Chomsky regarding the coup in Egypt.

Q. Are you pleased or upset by the events in Egypt over the last month or so?

 A. Upset

How have these events changed the outlook for Egyptian democracy and the Arab Spring generally?

A setback, in my opinion, though many of the gains remain.

How would you characterise the relationship between the US, Israeli and Egyptian military/intelligence communities?

As far as I know, nothing significant has changed.  The US provides Egypt with substantial military aid, in the hope and expectation of having influence over its actions.  We have no detailed information about intelligence relations but they are doubtless close.  The Israel-Egypt security arrangements seem not to have changed materially.

How would you compare this to the relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and any allies they have in Washington?

The Obama administration was mildly supportive of the MB government, which maintained the neoliberal programs that the US favors and the existing security arrangements, but the MB does not have close allies in Washington.

Do you see the events as a coup?


What actions specifically, if any, do you think Mohammad Morsi or the brotherhood took which justify the intervention by the military?

There have been “bills of particulars” offered by June 30th supporters, of varying credibility in my opinion. But I’ve seen nothing to justify calling in the military to overthrow the elected government, however flawed the elections or objectionable the post-election policies, and I expect that the faith now often expressed in the benign intentions of the military will prove severely misplaced.



About Austin G. Mackell

I am a freelance journalist who has worked for a variety of corporate and community outlets from my hometown of Sydney and from the Middle East, including from Lebanon during Israels 2006 invasion and from Iran during the tumultuous presidential elections there in 2009. I have recently moved to Cairo to watch the revolutions in Arab world unfold.
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16 Responses to Noam Chomsky on Egypt’s Coup

  1. preoccupiedimagination says:

    Reblogged this on PreOCCUPIED ImagiNATION.

  2. good to have illustrious company – I’ve been arguing this since the coup…

  3. Pingback: Noam Chomsky sur le putsch en Egypte - Pressenza

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  5. Pingback: Noam Chomsky sur le putsch en Egypte #Cuba, #France, #Egypte, #Chomsky | Cayo Hueso

  6. Hussein Elnawawy says:

    With all due respect, is there a link to his official page or anything of that kind?
    I am sorry I am asking this question. I don’t mean any offense; it is just that I am trying to gather some statements/information regarding the coup just for the sake of documentation and debates, and what happens is that when someone feels cornered, she/he simply resorts to questioning if the source is legit.

    So, if there is some link to his official page on Facebook or his official website or anything of that kind, I would appreciate it.
    Both ways, thank you for the effort.

  7. elwi helal says:

    1. Mursi’s ouster is not a coup; it resulted from millions asking the army to step in to save the country, so the re-set button on democracy could be pressed.
    2. Morsi’s failure to bring prosperity was sp clear but he succeeded to achieve the opposite. He ran the foreign reserves down to just USD 14 bn, just enough to last three months and brought misery to the lives of people with hours-long queues for petrol and bread as well as electricity cuts lasting up to ten hours at a stretch. Why? Because he was re-routing those essentials to Gaza.Hamas in Gaza doesn’t took only their needs but also they exported to some other countries like Lebanon and Cyprus cause of the difference in price
    3. Since July 3rd, nobody has been detained for “peacefully protesting”. Those detained were found with weapons or in the act of using those weapons. The MB leaders, not all, are the subject of arrest warrants issued by the Egyptian attorney for inciting killing and violence.
    4. The Egyptian people see those in Rabaa and Nahda as “terrorists” who are attempting to hold the country’s future to ransom by using violence and threatening violence.
    5. Al Qaeda are not away from the Muslim Brotherhood. All the AQ heads – Bin Laden, Ayman Al Zawahiri, Saif el Adel etc. were/are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, while others are members of MB split-off organizations such as Jamaa el-Islamiya which killed Sadat and tourists visiting Luxor in the 90s.

  8. I am very confused by mr Mackell opinion, if he really live in cairo …how in hell he did not notice how much the country was in verge of civil war before june 30 , and how he did not notice that MB controled the capinet,the 2 house of barlement, the official media, the radical islamist television channels,the mb militia, and were implementing grand schem of destablising every aspect of every government administration from intelegence service to suprem court and apointed thier staff and members in every possible official posts, preparing themself to win any election in any level from syndicates to universties students associations.
    How in god name he did not read the main manefist of MB written by late Sayed Kotb declarying in p 12 “that the egyptian socity is non islamic and there is no way to guide it to true Islam and it should be left over until the MB came to power and lead not only Egypt but the whole world to the kind of islam that mr kotb breached which the MB think that it is the only corect interpetation of islam “unquite .by the way …these words mean that El Azhar was wrong and all egyptian were wrong in thier understanding of islam for the last 1400 years,,,,,!!!
    People like mrMackell are misreading Egypt. And did not grasp the reality of Egypt and it,s history beleiving that listening to some of english speaking egyptian intelutual make them well informed ..And unfournetly he is one of the sources that western media depend upon.

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