Still the Dickied Rice Bush has had some measure of success with our neighbour Pakistan.
America kept insisting that this Mushy stuff was the closest that the Pakistani people could get to democracy. Instead, what was all along a dictatorship in democratic guise has now reverted to form and proved that it was indeed a full blown military dictatorship all along.
Musharraf is a suave, smooth, polite, educated, and eminently reasonable dictator, but a dictator and a ruthless and brutal one nonetheless. He is photogenic and charismatic (wonder where I've heard that before) and an ideal stooge for the U.S. State Department's deeper Neocononial designs in this part of the world.
The last time Musharraf needed to consolidate his power he engineered a war (the '99 Kargil War) with India. The then democratically elected Pak. leader (Nawaz Sharrif) had to flee for his life.
This time Mushy has been concentrating on his Afghany front, and let's hope that he stays focussed there. The chances are that as long as the current U.S. administration is wooing India, Mushy will have to bite his tongue and wait, but nothing is certain in todays global village.
Who knows, perhaps in international parlance this is just one more way of delivering a hidden ultimatum? An openly militaristic Pakistan should certainly fuel the the local arms race and that itself would have made Dickey & Co. very happy. Every cloud should have a silver and gold lining, as should every pocket...
It's too much to hope that India would have learned anything substantial from this, except that there're always ways to make a quick buck. The depth of the pocket is actually what drives politics in India anyway.
Statesmanship is a thing of the rather distant past - a blurry, fading, black and white memory of what was always something of a hazy backlit dream.
"Do, you know that the U.S. tried ever so strongly to dissuade Mushy from such a drastic step?" At least that's the current spin, being disseminated through the hidden alleyways of a 'leaky' State Department.
Everyone does know that Musharraf would never have dared unless he was offered tacit U.S. support.
- We have blown it on Myanmar. We are supporting a brutal military junta.
- We have blown it with Tibet. We have shamed the Dalai Lama.
Let us try to realise the reality of our own proud constitution.
Let us once more try to stand for FREEDOM,
to truly uphold DEMOCRACY, and
to be the champions of JUSTICE
that we once thought that we could be,
and that we would be.
UPDATE 1 (Nov. 5) The headlines about 6 months down the road after a bit of NYT investigative journalism:
RENDERING (justice to) THE COURTS:
Gen. Pervez Mussharaf had exported Pakistan's supreme court justices to the U.S. under the Democracy re-education program sponsored by the US Department of State. Now we are pleased to report that waterboarding and other assorted recreationally educational nontortures at Guantanamo for the recalcitrant Pakistani Supreme Court justices has finally resulted in signed confessions of connections to terrorism from all the judges who had originally refused to swear allegiance to General Musharraf after he imposed martial law in order to save Pakistani democracy. They unanimously support the continuation of Mr. Mussharaf as he is clearly now 'the only dictator capable of restoring true democracy.' The Secretary of State is very pleased that the U.S. has been able to further promote democracy in the world."