Text of Noam Chomsky electronic mail interview with Yeni Şafak newspaper

(This is the full interview. Professor Chomsky did not answer any additional questions.)

August 13, 2013

How do you describe of Egypt’s climate right now? What do you see in the coming days?
Would you say that recent events in Egypt were suprising to you?
Did you expect to be a military coup?

CHOMSKY: Yes, surprising. I was aware that the military was in the background, jealous of its privileges, intent on maintaining its economic empire and its traditional political control. But was surprised at their willingness and ability to move so forcefully and with such brutality to install a harsh military regime, and particularly surprised at the range of popular support for these actions – for which, I suspect, supporters will pay dearly in the days to come.

Did you predict that would be a blow to the Egypt by the forces of Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi?
What do you say to the United States to support of Sisi? Or why do you think the western support of Sisi?

CHOMSKY: The support seems to me quite limited. The US and its western allies have not acted significantly to oppose the military coup, but contrary to rumors that are rampant in the region, there is little evidence of firm support – unlike Saudi Arabia, particularly.

USA say that Sisi will bring the democracy to Egypt. What is the democracy for the United States?
After the coup, Catherine Ashton met with Mursi for the first time. Why do you think? What was the real purpose of this visit for EU?

CHOMSKY: It was a small gesture of opposition to the military coup and to Morsi’s detention by the ruling military regime.

Who do you think responsible for the coup in Egypt?
Some analysts said that prevented a military coup by Mursi. Mursi late for that. What do you say about that? Why they think that way?
Some experts says that El Sisi’s cooperation with the Mossad for the military coup in Egypt. Do you agree?

CHOMSKY: Israel did not hide its sympathy for the military coup, but I know of no evidence of significant cooperation.

What do you say about Turkey? Do you believe that Turkey’s role model for the Middle East?
Turkey did not stay silent In Egypt and Syria. Do you agree with this response?

CHOMSKY: Erdogan harshly condemned the coup and voiced strong support for the Muslim Brotherhood. And in Syria has been supporting the highly fragmented and complex rebel opposition. In both cases I think more nuanced approaches are appropriate.

In your opinion; who is the greatest supporter for Mursi nowadays? And why?
People are afraid of the advent of the civil war in Egypt.Do you think something like this it would be? If your answer is “yes” why?
If the situation does not improve in Egypt, how will it affect the Middle East?

CHOMSKY: I am afraid that Egypt is heading to a dark period of counter-revolution. However, important popular forces have been unleashed by the inspiring uprisings of the past several years, and I do not think they will be easily subdued. There may be many more surprises ahead. Undoubtedly what happens in Egypt will have a major impact in the region.