3. Sending warning shots across the bow, is more like it.
A warning to the masses of "who's in charge here", and not to get out of line.
I think we're going to see existing democracies doing this more and more over the course of the next 10 to 15 years as a result of the Egyptian Spring type thing, with the masses demanding more and more compliance from their governments....governments and those with power are going to be pushing back more.
The earth populations and their governments can either evolve with the new global awareness of its people, or it will struggle to go backward and more authoritarian. For the most part, the bad guys who desire full control have all the military power, so it will be interesting. Because, after all, MOST soldiers are people, too.