Flying the coup

I can remember in February 1986 watching in delight as the beautiful people of the Philippines overthrew their dictator and got democracy instead. I cocked my finger with them. There you have it. Glorious revolution. So easy. Right - so easy so long as the military doesn't back the dictator!!! Otherwise, you get the 1991 slaughter in Iraq!

Once again we had the dictator being given safe passage instead of being hung from a light pole. It's terrible that this needs to be done. But it does need to be done. I wanted to hang Gaddafi from a light pole too. But he rolled over. He's immune now. We need to let these people know that they are far safer if they simply roll over rather than making us use our military.

Anyway, now that the democratically-minded Filipinos had their democracy, they would surely never lose it again! Ouch. Now they faced a string of coup attempts. It was very discomforting seeing the freedom of tens of millions of people hanging by the flip of a coin. Why couldn't more power be added to the forces of freedom?

In December 1989 we had the first example of someone doing exactly that. The only other time since then that something similar to this has happened that I can remember is Aristide being installed in Haiti. I supported that at the time too, but now realise that he made Haiti and the world a worse place.

Anyway, in December 1989, there was a coup taking place in the Philippines, and the US rocked up with some airplanes and turned the tide of the battle:


"One of the deciding factor in the coup is the involvement of the United
States Air Force, who sent its fighter jets to aid the Armed Forces of the


"There have been six coup attempts, with the latest
being in December 1989. This attempt by rebel military
forces was the bloodiest coup yet. U.S. Air Force F-4 jets
out of Clark helped the Aquino government put down the coup
by flying over Manila pinning rebel aircraft on the ground
and provided an important psychological boost to loyal


"In Dec.1989, U.S. Air Force F4 fighter planes from Clark Air Base figured
in turning the tide against rebel forces during a coup d'etat attempt."

Naturally the Soviets protested the US action at the time - interference in the internal affairs of a country, opportunity lost to create another dictatorship just like us, US victory rather than Filipino victory, blah blah blah.

There were hints earlier this year that the dopey Americans would wake up to the need for this tiny amount of force to secure hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives of effort:


"To that end, the Iraqis are trying to negotiate a long term treaty with the United States that would include an American promise to "coup-proof" elected Iraqi governments. That's novel, but depends on the election process remaining uncorrupted."


"It also would help the Iraqi government thwart any attempt to suspend or repeal a constitution drafted with U.S. help and adopted in a nationwide vote in 2005. That appeared to be a reference to any attempt to remove the government by violence or in a coup."

Well just recently the Iraqi parliament approved a SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) and I wanted to see if it covered coups. And the good news is, it's basically there! In Article 27.


"In the event of any external or internal threat or aggression against Iraq that would violate its sovereignty, political independence, or territorial integrity, waters, airspace, its democratic system or its elected institutions, and upon request by the Government of Iraq, the Parties shall immediately initiate strategic deliberations and, as may be mutually agreed, the United States shall take appropriate measures, including diplomatic, economic, or military measures, or any other measure, to deter such a threat."

So that "internal threat ... that would violate ... its democratic system ... the US shall take ... military measures ... to deter such a threat".

So long as any coup plotters are aware of this, that will probably be sufficient to ensure that they don't take any action in the first place. If they do, then so long as the Iraqi government hangs every damn one of them after the US puts it down, it should dissuade a second one.

There is one problem though. Article 24 says "1. All the United States Forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory no later than December 31, 2011."

Quite apart from the fact that Obama has the option of withdrawing earlier, or indeed, deliberately throwing the game by refusing to put down a coup. I wouldn't trust that racist prick as far as I could throw him.

However, it doesn't need to be the end of the world in Dec 2011. Even with the US troops withdrawn from Iraq, they can still put down coups from Turkey or Kuwait. Hopefully towards the end of 2011 they will come up with a memorandum of understanding and a hotline so that the democratically-elected Iraqi government (whoever that may be at the time) can call in decisive US air power any time they want.

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