By Austin G. Mackell
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?
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.