A question posed by Reggie, Contributing Editor, TvNewsLIES.org
Does any thinking person really believe that the President of Pakistan is able to make ANY political or military decision without the approval, if not the actual direction of the US Government?
The answer is so damned obvious as to be childish: NO, HE CANNOT… because US dollars protect Pervez Musharraf and keep him in power. The 700 MILLION dollars in economic and military assistance the US gave to Musharraf this year alone are most definitely not an altruistic gift that comes without strings. The 800 million dollars scheduled to reach the Pakistani government in 2008 will guarantee that Musharraf continues to do exactly what the Bush administration wants. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that President/General Musharraf would not last a day in office without US aid and protection. Not a single day.
In fact, the financial ties between the US and Pakistan create a cooperative, albeit symbiotic relationship between the two nations. In the two years after 2001, US aid to Pakistan increased by a whopping $ 224 million! Aid of this sort is guaranteed so long as the leadership plays ball with the US and supports its foreign policy to the letter. That is standard foreign policy operation, and is no different for all the countries that formed the coalition of the ˜willing” in Bush’s war against Iraq.
But not all goes as planned, as Bushco never seems to understand. The recent conflict over Musharraf’s retention of both a military uniform and a political role has stirred up opposition that this administration was not about to tolerate. Musharraf is an absolutely essential figure in the control that the US exerts of Pakistan. His power, however titled, must be maintained, but a victory in the January, 2008 elections could not be guaranteed because of rising opposition from a whole spectrum of political and ideological groups within the country.
So, the US arranged for the return to Pakistan of former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto. She would run for office via an agreement with Musharraf and continue her sycophantic support of the Bush administration. Bhutto’s self exile following charges of major corruption notwithstanding, the US was going to ensure the elections of its purchased puppets in the January elections. Bush strategically had seen to it that Bhutto received full amnesty and that all criminal charges against her would be dropped.
As it turned out, Bhutto was welcomed by a violent attack by those who opposed her return that killed scores of her supporters. At the same time, Islamic militants were out to depose Musharraf, and supporters of democracy within Pakistan were making loud noises of opposition as well. Among these were defenders of Supreme Court Justice Iftikar Chaudhary who was fired and placed under house arrest after resisting attempts to curb the independence of the Pakistani judiciary.
So, as things got really out of hand, our dictator-ally in charge of a nuclear bomb found himself in some real political turmoil. In response, Musharraf suspended the Pakistani constitution and as well as all civil rights throughout his country, and established martial law in a desperate attempt to hold on to power.
According to the AP, Musharraf’ restrictions covered:
· Protection of life and liberty.
· The right to free movement.
· The right of detainees to be informed of their offense and given access to lawyers.
· Protection of property rights.
· The right to assemble in public.
· The right to free speech.
· Equal rights for all citizens before law and equal legal protection.
· Media coverage of suicide bombings and militant activity is curtailed by new rules. Broadcasters also face a three-year jail term if they “ridicule” members of the government or armed forces.
To top it off, Musharraf announced plans to postpone new elections for a full year!
DOESN’T THIS ALL SOUND TOO DAMN FAMILIAR????????
Since 9/11, so many of these same rights have been eroded right here in the United States! We have lost our precious right of habeas corpus and the protection of the Fourth Amendment. Our government has regularly breached Constitutional and International Law with impunity. Both through the passage of actual laws such as the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and by the abuse of Presidential Directives and Signing Statements, the US Constitution has been gradually and successfully eviscerated by this administration.
Not only have the rights of Americans been violated and restricted, but plans have been put in place for future suspension of what remains of checks and balances among the branches of our government, and for the declaration of martial law in this country, exactly as it now has been installed in Pakistan.
Which brings me to the logical question posed by this article:
Could the events in Pakistan be a testing ground for what Bushco might be planning in the US to avoid the consequences of fair and democratic elections here in 2008?
Understand that none of Musharraf’s actions could have been implemented without the approval of the Bush administration. Understand as well that Condy Rice has announced that these actions will not mean the discontinuation of aid to the government of Pakistan.
She told reporters, “ We have to be very cognizant of the fact that some of the assistance that has been going to Pakistan is directly related to the counter-terrorism mission…” In other words, anything and everything is acceptable in the name of fighting terror!
And then consider the possibility that a successful return to total dictatorship in Pakistan would bode well for those who are loathe to relinquish the power they have worked so hard to acquire in this criminal administration. The only differences between the actions of the two governments are the relative transparency and speed of their destruction of democracy. Musharraf openly took over in a day. Bushco has secretly eaten away at our freedoms for nearly seven years.
But then again, there is one more major difference. Pakistani lawyers and other protesters, much like the brave Buddhist priests of Myanmar, have taken to the streets. Thousands are being beaten, gassed and arrested as I write, but they will not sit quietly and allow their government to destroy the democracy they crave without a fight. That just doesn’t happen here in very large numbers, and when it does, the media ignore those who turn out and in the end, no one really cares and absolutely nothing changes.
Maybe, just maybe, this is a dry run to see what happens when democracy is sacrificed in the name of national security. Maybe, just maybe the international response to the events in Pakistan will be a test of such reaction should it happen here.
And maybe, if it happens, Americans will quietly pass across the subtle divide into full dictatorship without a murmur. And maybe not. Maybe, just maybe, they, too will stand up and be counted.
Judging from the past few years, it’s hard to tell. We’ll just have to wait and see.