27 February 2010

BUB: Coups de Grace!

Not staging a coup in your country? You might be the only one...

There are a variety of political motivations behind the arrests in Turkey, but prosecution doesn't seem to be among them.

For the last several decades, the Turkish military was untouchable; no one dared to criticize the military or its top generals, lest they risk getting burned. The Turkish Armed Forces were the ultimate protectors of founding father Kemal Ataturk's secular legacy, and no other force in the country could seriously threaten its supremacy. Not anymore.

On Feb. 22, 49 officers -- including active-duty generals, admirals, and former commanders of the Turkish navy and air force -- were arrested on allegations of plotting a coup against the government. Specifically, the officers were charged with authoring a 5,000-page memo that was later published in Taraf, a paper whose editorial policy is singularly dedicated to bashing the military. Among other things, the memo stated that the Turkish military was planning to bomb Istanbul's historic mosques and shoot down its own planes to justify a coup. When I asked a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey for his views on the news, he thought the scenario was ridiculous. "If the Turkish military was going to do a coup, they would not be writing a 5,000-page memo about it," he stated.


Honduras is still cleaning up the mess of their attempted coup last year, as they've fired the military leadership of the overthrow. Of course, the guy the generals kicked out of the top job didn't get it back, so although they've lost their jobs, they did get what they wanted.

New Honduran President Porfirio Lobo fired the military leaders responsible for leading the coup against then-president Manuel Zelaya last June.

Lobo, who took office on January 27, sacked Army General Romeo Vasquez, head of the Honduran armed forces, along with the top military commanders involved in the coup, including the heads of the army, air force and navy.

The president announced that Vasquez "will now retire," and immediately swore in his replacement, General Carlos Antonio Cuellar, who until now was the armed forces inspector general.


An opinion piece in Nigeria seeks to explain why African coups can have the acquiescence of the locals.

I can not recollect whose idea it was who said 'the worst civilian administration is better than the best military government.' In all honesty, I don't believe such to be any where nears the truth. No worst thing is ever of value and there is nothing that qualifies as best that could be any where near goodness. Only those politicians that are characterized by failure and who want to cling unto power usually have such myopic beliefs.

This is Africa's situation. It is not however peculiar to Africa, but it is most common there. Leaders in Africa have this belief that they, and they alone have right of leadership. No matter the amount of colossal failure recorded by the African leader, he and his cronies will do everything to jeopardize the peace and the progress of a country to perpetuate them in power.

The third term bid of Obasanjo of Nigeria has caused the country enormous wastes in resources and has caused hardships of which we are still paying the price. When the move was resisted by Nigerians, Obasanjo decided to foist on Nigerians someone whom he knew can not withstand the terrain of the office of the President. And because 'Yar'adua was either power-drunk or he thought he could save Nigeria from the tumultuous situation, he accepted to be imposed on Nigerians by Obj. The script that Obasanjo drew against Nigerians seems to be working now that 'Yar'adua is hospitalised. We shall see who laughs last between Nigerians and obj.


And speaking of... the Army in Niger is going to take one for the team (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) until the country can put a new constitution in place and call elections.

Niger's coup leaders say they will retain power over the country's newly appointed prime minister until a new constitution is adopted and elections are held. But they set no date for the polls.

The military ousted President Mamadou Tandja last Thursday (February 18) in the midst of a political crisis that began last year.


By: Brant

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