Mauritania Update (plus my opinion)
A military junta has now been set up in the African nation of Mauritania, ousting dictator Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya. The "Military Council for Justice and Democracy" put out a statement saying, "The armed forces and security forces have unanimously decided to put a definitive end to the totalitarian activities of the defunct regime under which our people have suffered so much over recent years," and "This council pledges before the Mauritanian people to create favorable circumstances for an open and transparent democracy." Apparently, most Mauritanians are overjoyed at the news of Taya's removal, and they are celebrating in the streets of the capital, Nouakchott.
This is the part where I rain on their parade. I think that the removal of a dictator is a good thing, and I don't blame the people in Nouakchott for celbrating his ouster. However, the replacement of a dictatorial regime with another dictatorial regime is NOT a good development. Military coups are usually justified on the grounds that the armed forces saw something wrong in the country, seized power as saviors of the nation, and say a democracy will eventually be established once they get the situation under control. IT'S BUNK! Military juntas usually do not like to give up their power to civilians, they don't trust civilians. Instead they usually tend to think that their entire country should be run like the military, meaning that the government give the orders, and anyone who doesn't follow them is punished severely. The country will then become a full-fledged police state, or more accurately a "barracks state" (since the nation is run as if it were a giant military base.)
If this "Council for Justice and Democracy" does actually bring democracy to Mauritania, then I applaud them. However, If they behave like most other juntas, they will do nothing of the sort. While they're at it, they will probably abandon Taya's support for Israel, America, and the rest of the democratic world. In short, they will probably make life hell for Mauritanians and be a real pain in the rear-end to rest of the world. I don't think the celebration in Nouakchott will last much longer.