One of the most important things for a successful democracy is civilian control of the military. The power of a standing army to take over a nominally democratic society can be seen in the multiple coups and handovers of power in Turkey and the more recent reign of Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan. Those are the best case scenarios, where the power that was seized by the military was returned to the civilian governments, that is not always the case. Burma being an example of when the military takes over and does not relinquish power.
“Originally posted at Squarestate.net“
All this makes the recent establishment of the Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots is so troubling. Talking Points Memo is reporting that active duty marine Gary Stein has formed the group at his Camp Pendleton base.
By doing so Sgt. Stein is breaking long standing policies about active duty military members and partisan activity. Here are a couple of quotes by Sgt. Stein from the TMP article
“People in the military need to be heard,” the group’s prime organizer, Gary Stein — a Marine Corps sergeant stationed at Camp Pendleton in southern California — told TPMmuckraker in an interview. “Our opinions do count.”
Many people in the military “feel like they can’t speak out against Obama or Congress,” said Stein. “The armed forces should have a little bit more say than we think we do,” he said.