As I watched the coup take place in Egypt yesterday, I was reminded how blessed we are in this country that despite our differences, we are able to elect our government without bloodshed and without our military’s involvement. The concept of the military answering to a civilian authority is not well known in large parts of the world.
I served for 3 years on the Joint Staff in the J-5 Directorate that handles Strategy and Policy for the JS. I worked as an Action Officer who liaised between the U.S. and various other countries.
I distinctly remember a meeting between the Fijian CHOD (Chief of Defense Force) Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama and one of the Flag Officers in J-5. The main topic of the meeting was a discussion on why Bainimarama shouldn’t take over the government of Fiji, which he viewed as corrupt. The Flag Officer made a compelling case invoking the United States as a model on how the military should act, but Bainimarama was having none of it. He had previously “dissolved” the government and wouldn’t hesitate to do so again if he thought it appropriate.
Later that year he conducted another coup and is currently the Prime Minister of Fiji.
On this day remember the relative rarity of a country who has followed the same Constitution and successfully transferred government peacefully for our entire history (setting aside that unpleasantness called the Civil War). There aren’t many other countries with that kind of track record.
Enjoy your Independence Day!This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Rich