QUOTE(Hawkeye_1863 @ Apr 22 2008, 07:04 AM)
Well, I hope that I don't get out of the subject with my opinion about Roy. If I am, I apologize.
While reading the manga (Spoiler just in case somebody didn't read the volume that talks about the war in Ishbal) I realized that Roy was an idealist that learned alchemy to help people. And he joined the Military because he thought that being part of the Military, he'll help more people.
But, after seeing all the horrible things he saw and did in Ishbal, he realized that, instead of helping, he was making things worse. And the guilt was killing him.
That's when he decided to climb up and be the Fuhrer. (sorry, I forgot how to write this word.) He thought that, by being the Fuhrer, he'll help people and he will not receive horrible orders like the ones he received in Ishbal, etc.
At the end of the anime, he saw that the corruption was to deep and no matter how hard he'll try, he'll never aim his wish because, he killed Bradley. And the Military will never forget that.
I think that's why he demoted himself.
I don't think Roy can forget that too. He was an idealist who wanted to take the noble path, even after Hughes' death. But learning Bradley's complicity in his best friend's murder enraged him to the point of revenge (a very bad thing in this series). By killing Bradley, he showed himself to be a petty man lacking the spiritual and moral strength to rule a country wisely and nobly (a good leader does not take revenge as an answer).
BTW, does any outsider really know that Roy killed Bradley? There are no remains, none of the witnesses seemed to have survived thanks to Archer, and the only dead body is Selim, with Bradley's fingerprints all over his broken neck.
I'm proofreading a more detailed thread of this plotpoint. Expect to see it in a few weeks...
Claudius: self-appointed defender of Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa.