Since the overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, U.S. government officials have been wrestling with a question of semantics: should Morsi's removal be called a coup? The answer to the question has serious foreign-policy implications, since U.S. law precludes sending non-humanitarian aid to a country that has experienced a military coup.
Our own Ben Zimmer addressed this delicate question in a video interview for Voice of America's Learning English program. The installment also featured comments from VOA listeners hailing from Egypt, Libya, and Macedonia.
For more background on the coup question, see:
- "A Coup? Or Something Else? $1.5 Billion in U.S. Aid Is on the Line" (New York Times)
- "Do Egyptians Consider Morsi's Ousting A 'Coup?'" (NPR)
- "When a Coup is Not a Coup" (Washington Post)
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