Coming to terms with the truthWherever one goes, military rule is a flop [Archives:2007/1101/Opinion]
By: Hassan Al-Haifi
The recent events in Pakistan and history has shown that for all intents and purposes, whenever the military decides to take over the reigns of authority in any country, they are doomed to a successive streak of failures that eventually turns their rule into a chaotic unsystematic means of running the affairs of state. If one is to refer to the historical background of military rule, one is bound to detect a clear pattern of states that eventually face degradation, misuse of authority, abuse of natural and material resources, the misapplication of law, the pilferage of public assets, the rise of public apathy and the loss of access to all the avenues of public participation in all forms of political and social interaction.
If one recalls, the introduction of military rule began with the glory inspired imperial rule that topped the long span of military adventures by the Roman General Julius Caesar, just a few decades before the Nativity of Christ (Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him). That was indeed be a quick indication of the folly of military rule, for that move was enough to bring about the collapse of the Roman Empire, just when the military (albeit under the control of a civilian government) brought Rome to the height of its glory.
A more recent takeover by the military also brought France, during the Napoleonic era, from one misadventure to another, eventually compromising the role of France as an effective world power in the early decades of the 19th Century, and its leadership as a promoter of democratic ideals.
Even more recently than that we have the takeover of the Japanese Government by General Togo and his ambitious staff of imperial maniacs, who compromised the shining example that Japan was to many of the world's impoverished and backward nations that thought there was no way to achieve progress and catch up with the advances then (1850s), which would cause them to be at par with the hungry imperialist crazed nations of Europe and its younger offspring across the Pacific, the United States. Japan then embarked on the only way possible for progress to be achieved. The once feudal state of Japan, with its oppressive Shogun regime quickly adopted a democratic government and within a half a century was able to militarily beat Czarist Russia forcing the latter to sell Alaska to the United States for a meager US $ 5,000,000 so it can meet the cost of confronting the mighty power of Japan, which it did not anyway.
In our times, there are so many examples of failure of military rule spanning the length and breadth of our home planet Earth, especially those countries that had hopes of rising stardom amongst the club of advanced nations, economically and socially. To speak of matters closer to home, one recalls how Egypt once promised to be a shining beacon of Arab and Islamic culture and social cohesion, until the Generals ended the hope of millions of enlightened Arabs and Moslems, who had hoped that the beacon's light would come their way soon. The Generals of the Nasser Regime ended that dream within a decade of confusion and useless play of the emotions of the masses, which shattered all the looming signs of progress that the regime of the Khedives of Egypt seemed to display far better than their autocratic successors, who introduced excessive state sponsored torture and rule by terror in a society that had once symbolized the hopes of so many of their blood and religious brothers throughout the world.
To come even closer to home, we have the Sudan and then our dear Republic of Yemen. In the former, thanks to prodding by regional “financial”” powers