July 3rd, 2013

Is Egypt experiencing a coup? Fmr Amb. Edward Walker, Fareed Zakaria & Fouad Ajami discuss with Wolf Blitzer

How should events today in Egypt be defined?  Former U.S. Amb. to Egypt Edward Walker, CNN and TIME’s Fareed Zakaria and Fouad Ajami, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution discussed whether the situation in Egypt is now a military coup with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room.
A full transcript of this edition of the program will be posted on http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS.
CNN’s WOLF BLITZER:  Our officials at the state department yet defining whether or not this was a coup, because as you know, Jill, there is legislation that was passed by Congress, signed into law by the president that if there is a military coup, that could end U.S. military and economic assistance to Egypt, which totals, what, about a billion and a half dollars a year.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Right.  And then, there’s other money for, you know, other purposes, but they are not.  In fact, I asked that question that they are not saying at this point, and it’s a crucial question, you’re right, Wolf.  Is it a coup, because that could define whether or not the U.S. would have to pull the aid.
EDWARD WALKER, FORMER U.S. AMB. TO EGYPT:  I would call it a democratic exhibit of popular will.  But not a coup.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN’S “FAREED ZAKARIA GPS”:  Well, I think it’s the best argument you can make if you’re trying to make the case that this is not a coup.  And it’s fair to say that the fact that the military has not taken power does distinguish it from some other coups…maybe we now needed new term.  I would suggest we look at 1997 turkey.  The military ousted the democratically-elected government.  It was called in Turkey a soft coup, but they didn’t take power themselves.  They held new elections.  
FOUAD AJAMI, SR. FELLOW, HOOVER INSTITUTION:  Wolf, a coup by any other name is a coup.  This is a military coup d’etat.  The Egyptian military says that coups are not part of its practice, but this is, for all practical purposes, a coup d’etat.  It’s a sad day for Egypt, because the choice will be between chaos and a coup d’etat.
CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer airs weekdays from 5:00pm to 7:00pm and Saturdays from 6:00pm to 7:00pm.  All times Eastern.