Friday, March 13, 2009

Democracy and the military

Our world history demonstrates that most coups that happens in coup-stricken countries are usually staged by that country's military. It is obviously the case for our beloved Fiji.

The main difference would be in these coups is - who really has the mandate of the majority of the population to support their military in overthrowing their democratic government and for which reasons.

Take for example Turkey, it is widely known that the military in Turkey holds itself "as a bulwark against political Islam and what it would regard as surrender to terrorism." This means the military maintains that they are here to protect the ideals and values of secularism, which espouses democracy and make sure that any elected government does not stray from the foundations set by Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, making Turkey the only Muslim country that has democracy, freedom of speech and an international lifestyle. One BBC news reported controversial artist Bedri Baykam adding, "That is not a coincidence. It's because of Ataturk's ideas and the Turkish army's care and attention."

But after four military coups even army supporters like Baykam says, "
"We do not want any military coup d'etat, because that would take us 20 or 30 years backwards. But we also don't want an Islamic coup, because that would take us 1,000 back. Between 30 and 1,000, I would prefer 30."

You see there are really clear cut choices that citizens make when it comes to their government. Because issues are different in different countries, to have coups or not should be dependent on the fact if we are really suffering a total economic or political meltdown and if our democracy, freedom and liberty is on the verge of non-existent.

But when military leaders use their gun-might to stage coups citing lame reasons like alleged corruption, which later is turned to all sorts of excuses, lies and personal agendas, then for me it is becoming like an "Islamic coup", which takes us back 1 000 years.

Therefore, for our current military to rest their laurels on the achievements of highly-regarded past comrades, is a "slap in the face" for those who really tirelessly and with determination and commitment brought upon that image for the preservation of our democracy and freedom.

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