A Coup That Wasn’t A Coup

There was a revolution in Egypt, the Egyptian people spoke
After decades of dictatorship they threw off dictatorship’s yoke
The police killed a thousand people by the time all was said and done
But the military wouldn’t join in the slaughter, and the people won

Eventually elections were held, the Muslim Brothers got the vote
Right away the shadow government tried to sink the Brothers’ boat
Police were taken off the streets, a fuel shortage was engineered
And when the military took the power back, some Egyptians cheered

The western powers don’t like the Brothers, they wanted stability back
And stability means the west is king and Egypt is the jack
So the western powers hemmed and hawed and looked in the other direction
They said it’s kinda like democracy, just without an election

It’s an interim government that’s a military junta, a coup that wasn’t a coup
A massacre that wasn’t a massacre, what in the world is the world gonna do

But the Muslim Brothers wouldn’t give up, their leader was detained
So they camped out in the streets of Egypt, peaceful protest reigned
So with snipers on the rooftops, bulldozers in the streets
The junta killed the people and history repeats

Kerry got on TV, said isn’t this a shame
Violence is regrettable, but both sides are to blame
The president was playing golf, working on his swing
Here, have another billion dollars and a meeting in the West Wing


El-Baradei resigned, he couldn’t take the heat
Just one too many bodies covered over with sheets
You play by the rules and then they change, what’s gonna happen next
No one can predict it, but surely this will be the context


This song has never been recorded in a studio or been released in any kind of album form. Only as an “iPhone broadside.” I wrote “A Coup That Wasn’t A Coup” while stranded at Narita Airport in Japan, which happened to coincide with the 2013 coup in Egypt, when the democratically-elected government of Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood was overthrown by the Egyptian military, Al-Sisi at the helm. The United States government in the form of John Kerry and others fudged around with avoiding using the term “coup” to describe what was fairly obviously a military coup, since if they called it a coup, they’d have to cut off very significant amounts of military aid to Egypt, thus possibly risking the loyalty of the Egyptian military, thus threatening Israel’s security, perhaps the ultimate no-no of US foreign policy.