“Don’t call it a coup” is the resounding sentiment of Egypt’s anti-government protestors, the same ones who would like the U.S. to stay out of their politics.
But it turns out our own administration is also invested in keeping the word “coup” out of discussions about Egypt’s inner turmoil—otherwise, it can’t lawfully keep sending $1.6 billion worth of aid to the country. And that would effectively cut off its influence there.
On last night’s The Daily Show, interim host John Oliver made fun of U.S. officials’ awkward attempts to sidestep the c-word by turning them into a game show, “Your challenge is to describe the events in Egypt, but if you use the word ‘coup’ you will lose everything,” Oliver said. “It’s like the $100,000 Pyramid, except it’s $1.6 billion, and the pyramid is an actual pyramid.”
Oliver suggests in place of the word, and its lame alternatives—like, “delicate situation” or “complex event”—we can start calling the revolution in Egypt a “Morsi-ectomy, the forced removal of the president from the country he was hurting.”