Monday, November 05, 2007

Democracy in Pakistan?

Our great democratic ally Pakistan. Seems not so democratic after all. This is a comment by President Bush when President Musharraf visited Washington last fall:

Bush explained: “We talked about democracy. The last time I was with the President, he assured me, and assured the people that were listening to the news conference, that there would be free and fair elections in Pakistan in 2007. He renewed that commitment, because he understands that the best way to defeat radicalism and extremism is to give people a chance to participate in the political process of a nation.”

and this from July:

“Musharraf is a strong ally in the war against these extremists. I like him and I appreciate him. I’m, of course, constantly working with him to make sure that democracy continues to advance in Pakistan. He’s been a valuable ally in rejecting extremists. And that’s important, to cultivate those allies.”

Here’s what our great ally did on Saturday:

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday declared emergency rule, suspended the constitution and fired the country’s chief justice, extraordinary steps that gave him almost absolute power in a country that he described as spinning out of control.

Here’s the full story from the Post.

Once again the Bush administration is caught with its pants down. They seem not to know what to do (I know that comes as a huge surprise) and want to wait and see what happens. Maybe they hope martial law will only be declared for a few days. (And once again instead of having a policy dealing with the country they have a policy dealing with the man in power similar to the way they are handling Russia.) So much for creating a beacon of democracy to shine in the Middle East.

Just imagine if Musharraf is overthrown and a government "unfriendly" to the Unites States takes power. If that happens, we won’t have to wait for Iran to get a nuclear bomb; Pakistan already has several.

1 comment:

Arthur Schenck said...

I think the Bushies will be all talk on this one. They don't want to risk nuclear-armed terrorists, which is one thing we can all agree on, but they have no plan for building any sort if international alliance built in shared democratic values; they have contempt for such things, actually.

But because of their attitude problem, once again the US will end up on the wrong side, supporting despots and dictators rather than democracy. Some things don't change,regardless of who is president.