Sunday, December 03, 2006

Coups and Views

As the legacy of one dictatorship approaches the end of its final chapter with Augusto Pinochet being given last rites after an "massive heart attack," military units in Fiji have decided to pay "a friendly visit" to the headquarters of the police tactical response unit in order to "examine what weapons this unit has." Assistant Police Commissioner Moses Driver assured the country that the military was not in control of the police headquarters -- at least not yet -- and that the visit was "not violent." Bear in mind, though, that military chief Commodore Frank Bainimarama has had disagreements with civilian authorities, claims it is corrupt and has threatened to bring down the government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase. But for the moment, the troops are just taking stock of police weapons; nothing to be alarmed about.

Meanwhile, Thailand's own recent military coup appears to be stagnating and Surayud Chulanont's caretaker government is encountering increasing disappointment of the population, who are growing unsatisfied with the lack of action since the putsch.
Unsurprisingly, the general public is increasingly fed up with both the CNS and the Surayud government. What initially appeared as joy and relief in seeing the back of Thaksin have turned into disappointment bordering on disillusionment. Having dithered for two months and squandered the post-coup momentum in the process, the generals appear to have botched their seizure of power. They are facing the specter of an inexorable downward slide, possibly leading to anti-military and anti-government protests down the road.
There can't be much that is more dissatisfying than squandering that feel-good "post-coup momentum." That's just gotta piss people off.

Update: Augusto Pinochet has been "brought back from the brink of death" with bypass surgery. It now appears that Pinochet is several steps back from the brink of death though he is still a bit wobbly. Pending any future dalliances with death's brink, Pinochet will then stand trial for crimes against humanity and likely be hanged from a tree until dead.


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