The Fijian Coup
So the inevtable has occurred. Bainimarama has done as he has threatened. The world has reacted as we all expected. No surprises whatsoever. It is now abundantly clear in the post-cold War era that military dictatorships have found a new calling-that of 'democracy.' This all harks back from Musharraf's brilliant coup d'etat.
The process is simple, but requires two characteristics. One, a country with historically unstable and corrupt governments and two, a history of military intervention. In the past military intervention tended to lead to unstable governments, but these days the reverse seems to apply.
As mentioned before, modern day coups seem to take the Musharraf example. Take into account corrupt and unstable governments, and act in the 'national interest.' So far this is no different from past coups except now, claim that this is being done in the interest of democracy. Kiss American ass, promise stability and allow for 'window-dressing' democracy. This is enough to satisfy Western morality. So today Musharraf still remains the president of Pakistan, with a puppet PM. The Thai military has done the same citing political uncertainty and appointed a cabinet and now Bainimaraman has done so citing the need to act to remove a racist and corrupt government.
In all three cases I fear to say that the governments gave the military ample opportunity to act. All three thumbed their noses at the citizenry (at least sizeable sections of them). In all cases it is not hard to justify removing these corrupt leaders but unfortunately it is done by the military with their own agenda rather than by the people in a democratic movement.
Bainimarama has simply strengthened the hand of the racists by his coup. He has only further driven a wedge between indigenous and Indian Fijians. I see no hope for a proper democracy in Fiji in the near future. Military governments are notorious for failing to yield power to the people. It is easy for someone like me who thing Qarase is a racist prick to defend the military but that is the wrong thing to do. What we must support is for grassroots democracy in Fiji, not the military or the deposed government. Qarase is guilty of a massive miscalculation, and Bainimarama is guilty for being a power hungry military commander who thinks he knows better than the people. Really, they both deserve each other. There are no winners here-everyone is a loser.