04 November 2007

Pakistan: A Disappointment

I can see why the Bush administration would deplore General Musharraf's latest stunt of declaring an emergency and suspending the country's constitution. First of all, it makes the U.S. look bad by backing a dictator again. Some "realists" think this approach is OK on the theory that someplace like Pakistan isn't really ready for democracy. The problem in the Pakistani case is that they've had democracy, and have had it frequently in the intervals between coups d'etat. This suggests to me that the problem isn't anything to do with Pakistani culture, but something very much to do with the Pakistani military. Nor does the war-on-terror excuse hold weight, once you recall that Islamic extremism had nothing to do with Musharraf's becoming a dictator in the first place. That happened when he objected to being sacked by the civilian government. Past civilian governments can be deplored for their corruption, but civilian corruption never justifies military dictatorship. You can find out more about Musharraf here.

As I said, I can understand Bush's own dismay. What's this about suspending the constitution? he must ask himself. Moosh is the president, isn't he? Then he's the commander-in-chief, right? Commander-in-chief's got the power to do what he's got to do to protect the country, right? Well, that comes from the constitution, donit? That's how it works here in the U. of S. I would never ever suspend the constitution, cause then I couldn't do anything!

Who are we to disabuse him of his fantasy?

1 comment:

crhymethinc said...

And yet, all it would take is another terrorist attack for el Presidente Bush to declare martial law, take command of state militias from the state governor's and, viola! Instant American dictatorship. I'm not saying it will happen, just saying that, thanks to Mr. Bush, the President of the US now has that executive authority.

Want a scary scenario? George Bush is off making a speech somewhere in the US. A "terrorist attack" assassinates him, making Dick Cheney President (& Commander-in-Chief), and he immediately calls up this executive privelege. Image in that - Fuehrer Cheney. Think about it.