Thursday, November 22, 2007

Bush and Musharraf: kindred spirits

Bush seems to be climbing in bed with Pakistan's military dictator:

President Bush yesterday offered his strongest support of embattled Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, saying the general "hasn't crossed the line" and "truly is somebody who believes in democracy."

Bush spoke nearly three weeks after Musharraf declared emergency rule, sacked members of the Supreme Court and began a roundup of journalists, lawyers and human rights activists. Musharraf's government yesterday released about 3,000 political prisoners, although 2,000 remain in custody, according to the Interior Ministry.

Let me go on record as predicting that this backing of Musharraf is going to blow up in our faces. I hope not literally, but that's a possibility. I'm no Pakistan expert, but from where I'm sitting Musharraf looks like bad news. And he's not even useful to us. The guy is a military dictator with nulclear weapons who is duping the United States into giving him billions of dollars in military aid for a task he doesn't really want to do. I'm glad some people in government are speaking out on this:

"What exactly would it take for the president to conclude Musharraf has crossed the line? Suspend the constitution? Impose emergency law? Beat and jail his political opponents and human rights activists?" asked Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a presidential candidate. "He's already done all that. If the president sees Musharraf as a democrat, he must be wearing the same glasses he had on when he looked in Vladimir Putin's soul."

Bush was asked in the interview if there is any line Musharraf should not cross. "He hasn't crossed the line. As a matter of fact, I don't think that he will cross any lines," Bush replied, according to an ABC transcript. ". . . We didn't necessarily agree with his decision to impose emergency rule, and . . . hopefully he'll get . . . rid of the rule. Today, I thought, was a pretty good signal, that he released thousands of people from jail."

Tom Malinowski, Washington director of Human Rights Watch, said that "it's hard to imagine how the administration will be able to achieve anything in Pakistan if the president is so disconnected from reality. "Almost everyone in Pakistan who believes in George Bush's vision of democracy is in prison today," Malinowski said. "Calling the man who put them in prison a great democrat will only discredit America among moderate Pakistanis and give Musharraf confidence that he can continue to defy the United States because Bush will forgive anything he does."

(If Maestro, my super-secret government contact with some subject matter expertise in this area, would like to weigh, in I'd be very interested.)


Blogger ogre said...

DEMOCRACY defined:
# the political orientation of those who favor government by the people or by their elected representatives
# a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
# majority rule: the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group

Clearly that's not applicable to Musharraf's dictatorship.

Bush's education shows through again; he doesn't have a clue as to what democracy means (that's the generous interpretation. The other one... well, involves words like fascist).

1:19 AM, November 23, 2007  

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