As Egypt falls into the hands of the military, The Daily News offers another useful guide to doing things yourself. Don’t try this at home, although admittedly it’s hard to stage a military coup where you live, as our grandmother discovered at her nursing home only last week.
The expressions “coup” and “overthrow” are also interchangeable. You may have also heard the expression “putsch”, which was coined in 1980 when some Jewish golfers attempted to storm an 18th hole in New York State ahead of slow putters.
A coup d'état is considered successful when the usurpers establish their dominance. When the coup neither fails completely nor succeeds, a civil war is a likely consequence. Alternatively, the military can simply act as if nothing has happened or that they were joking.
Here are some of the things to consider when wondering how to stage a military coup.
5) Uniforms. Very important. You’ve already got the uniforms as you are the military but that’s no reason to get sloppy. The Madagascar coup of 2009 briefly faltered when Andry Rajoelina introduced a Dress Down Friday policy.
4) Rationale. There isn’t really a rationale for staging a military coup. After all, the military have no more right to seize control of the country than do the roofers or ornithologists (see Italy’s infamous Bird Fanciers Rebellion of 1781). But you’ve got all the weapons so frankly, bring it on.
This attempted coup by military brass in the UK failed after they alerted authorities weeks in advance to arrange road closures and policing.
3) Tanks in a square. There are always tanks in a square in a military coup. Nobody’s really sure why. And frankly it’s a bit show-offy on the aggression front as not much goes on in the big parliament squares of any country except for a few tourists milling around or the occasional gig by Brian May.
But still, it looks like you are in charge. But do remember to only use tanks: Major Gideon Orkar’s troops attempted to take Nigeria’s presidential square on mobility scooters and were mown down within seconds.
And the failed Soviet rebels of 1991 commandeered dozens of milkfloats to invade Red Square, only to be sprayed with machine-guns, resulting in a gigantic omelette when the sun came out.
2) Storming. You must make sure your storming skills are on the money when you’re thinking about how to stage a military coup. There’s loads of it involved. Windows, roofs, heavy oak doors, swing doors, you’ll have to bash through the lot. Usually the only resistance will be some kind of security personnel or ceremonial bods in funny outfits whose job is to nominally “guard” the government buildings. When you encounter them, you can give them a warning. “We’re the military: skedaddle” or somesuch. If they resist or use sarcastic language, blow their heads off.
1) New government. The military are great at seizing power but when thrown into the intellectual challenge of running a country they might as well be PE teachers.
In Gambia, Yahya Yammeh’s coup achieved nothing more in its first 100 days than introducing a standard scoop size for ice creams and banning all hairdresseing businesses from using puns in their names.
Get some clever folks on your side, people who know about the workings of government in great depth. People like the politicians or dictators you have just overthrown.
Consider reinstating them, with the proviso that you can hang out in their buildings and do the tanks-in-a-square thing whenever you like.Tweet