America’s first president was also its first army general and having led his forces into the defeat of the British, his consequent popularity automatically elevated him to the presidency. But long before The founding of America, though, there were Alexander the Great of Greece, Julius Caesar of Rome and many other military leaders who became or were rulers, emperors, kings of their respective countries almost to the point that the soldier background seemed a perquisite to one becoming a country’s ruler.
When, therefore, in 1970, our army’s Shah and LaSalle tried out in their mutiny audition to become this country’s leader, it was not an aberration; rather it was the norm in many parts of the world. If the soldier got a bad name as a ruler, it was more in the last century where duly elected governments were deposed by their army – not necessarily because of bad governance by those elected (although that was often the reason) but because oftentimes the army was on an ego trip.
I have time and again agitated for some kind of military involvement in our political dynamic because of the diehard nature of supporters of the two parties which dominate our political arena and who don’t care how bad they are because of their sycophancy.
It’s not that I support the idea of a military takeover, but that the army/police should have an intelligentsia that could make its voice be heard on matters that affect the society and that because of their muscle-flexing, hardware toting ability what they say might not be dismissed as triviality as when, say, sissies of the opposition do so.
To the point: If Mr. Gary Griffith, throws his hat in the ring, that would be a plus in our political dynamic – especially if he gets the support of the armed services. For too long, politicians have behaved as though they are the boss of us and everything else; it is about time they think twice about sneering at a people who wouldn’t riot even though they are spat and defecated upon.
So, Welcome, Gary Griffith, former Police Commissioner.
By Lester Siddhartha Orie