The real story behind the military coup in Cairo led by General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi is much more complex than the Western media is reporting. Far from a spontaneous uprising by Egyptians, - aka “a people’s revolution” - what really happened was a putsch orchestrated by Egypt’s “deep government” and outside powers - the latest phase of the counter-revolution against the so-called Arab Spring.A year ago, the Egyptians elected Mohamed Morsi as President in their first fair democratic election. He came from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood, an eight-decade old conservative movement of professionals dedicated to bringing Islamic principles of public welfare, politics, education, justice, piety and fighting corruption. But the deck was stacked against Morsi and the Brotherhood from day one. The brutal US-backed Mubarak had fallen, but the organs of his 30-year dictatorship, Egypt’s pampered 440,000-man military, judiciary, academia, media, police, intelligence services and bureaucrats, remained in place. Even Morsi’s presidential guard remained under control of the Mubarak forces. The dictatorship’s old guard - better known as the “deep government” – sought to thwart every move of the Brotherhood. In fact, the stolid, plodding Morsi only became President after more capable colleagues were vetoed by the hard-line Mubarakist courts. He should have purged the “deep government,” notably the police, secret police, judges, and media who were sabotaging the democratic government. But Morsi was too soft, and the entrenched powers arrayed against him too strong. He never managed to grasp the levers of state. Ironically, after all the media hysteria in North America over the alleged dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood, it turned out to be a dud. The Brotherhood stumbled from one crisis to the next as Egypt’s economy, already in terrible shape before the 2011 revolution, sank like a rock. Tourism, that provided 17 percent of national income, evaporated. Unemployment soared over 13 percent, and over 50 percent among angry urban young. We have recently seen this same phenomenon in Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, Pakistan and Western Europe. Severe shortages of fuel and electricity sparked outrage. Egypt’s curse is that it cannot feed its surging population of over 90 million. So Cairo imports huge quantities of wheat and subsidises retail prices for bread. The US sustained the Sadat and Mubarak regimes with boatloads of wheat discounted 50 percent. This vital aid tapered off when Morsi took power. Food prices in Egypt rose 10 percent.Equally important, ever since Anwar Sadat invited in the US to rearm his outdated military, Egypt’s armed forces have become joined at the hip with the Pentagon. Just as Turkey’s 500,000-man armed forces were, until 11 years ago, and Pakistan’s so remain today. Armies of many Muslim states are designed to control their populations, not defeat foreign enemies. The only Arab military force in recent memory to beat an invader has been the guerrilla forces of Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Having said that, Washington has supplied Egypt with just enough arms to control its population and intimidate small neighbours, but not enough to wage war against Israel. Further, the Pentagon sharply limits Egypt supplies of munitions, missiles and vital spare parts. Many of Egypt’s generals have been trained in US military colleges, where they formed close links with US intelligence and the Pentagon. CIA, DIA, and NSA have large stations in Egypt that watch its military and population. Under Mubarak, the US controlled Egypt’s military and key parts of its economy. When Morsi and the Brotherhood came to power, Washington backed off for a while, but in recent months apparently decided to back the overthrow of Egypt’s first democratic government. This fact became perfectly clear when the White House refused to call the military coup in Cairo a coup. Had it done so, US law would have mandated the cut off of American aid to Egypt. Its politicians and media, with shameless hypocrisy, are hailing the overthrow of Morsi as a democratic achievement. In North America, anything labelled “Muslim” has become ipso facto menacing. The counter-revolution of Egypt’s “deep government” was financed and aided by the US and Saudi Arabia, cheered on by Israel, the UAE, Britain and France. Tiny Qatar, that backed Morsi with $8 billion, lost its influence in Cairo. The Saudis will now call many shots in Egypt.In recent weeks, mass street demonstrations in major Egyptian cities against Morsi were organised by the police, secret police and the Mubarakist structure. Fears of the Brotherhood were whipped up among Egypt’s nervous Coptic Christians, 10 percent of the population, who form much of the urban elite. Then there were tens of thousands of unemployed, highly volatile young street people, as we recently saw in Istanbul, ready to explode at any excuse. Large numbers of Egyptians were fed up with stumbles of Morsi’s government - even some of his former Salafist allies - and the threat of economic collapse. Liberals, Nasserites, Marxists joined them.There may be some armed resistance against the coup, but it will likely be crushed by Egypt’s military and attack-dog security forces. Senior Brotherhood officials are already being arrested, and pro-Brotherhood media gagged, while Washington turns a blind eye. As of now, the threat of a real civil war such as Algeria suffered in the 1990s after a US and French-backed military coup seems unlikely, but not impossible. Meanwhile, the military has installed a puppet President for the time being. The old US “asset” Mohamed el-Baradei may take over as civilian front man for the generals, who prefer civilian sock puppets get blamed for Egypt’s economic and social crises.So much for democracy in the Mideast. The overthrow of a moderate Islamist government will send a message to the Muslim world that compromise with the Western powers is impossible and only violent resistance can shake the status quo.

The writer is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Gulf Times, Khaleej Times and other news sites in Asia. He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Lew Rockwell and Big Eye. He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC.