If one wishes to understand the hypocrisy, short term opportunism and gross stupidity of the United States foreign policy, one need look no further than the current brouhaha in Pakistan. Where General Pervez Musharraf the mockney President of that misbegotten land has declared a state of emergency, which in reality means martial law. His political opponents among them Javed Hashmi, the acting president of the Muslim League (N), the party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif; cricket star-turned politician, Imran Khan; Asma Jehangir, chairman of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan; and Hamid Gul, former chief of the main intelligence agency and a vocal critic of Musharraf, have all been thrown in jail along with anyone within the State bureaucracy who has a history of opposing Washington favorite satrap. TV stations bar the one the General controls are off the air, as to are some mobile phone networks. That Benazir Bhutto is not amongst those arrested I fear shows that she intends to hide under the protection of General Musharraf sword; and explains why he allowed her to come home and parade herself before the PPP faithful in Karachi. Indeed Musharraf has used the suicide bomber who exploded their device that day as one of the pretexts for establishing martial law. Benazir has always been a vainglorious and greedy woman and she must believe there will be some tidy pickings to be had from the General’s table to have become his democratic window dressing.
Never fear the rule of law still prevails, General Musharraf who has been waiting in trepidation for the Chief Justices Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry to deliver his verdict on the legality of the General’s victory in the very dubious October 6th Presidential election. Decided to wait no more and has had his goons turf Judge Chaudhry off his bench and into detention via house arrest, to be replaced by a far more pliable fellow. In case the Chief Justice wished to make a public argument of the matter, Musharraf had Chaudhry’s lawyer Mr Aitzaz Ahsan arrested as well.
What has been the US administration’s response to this latest disaster for American foreign policy, a public statement from the feeble US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, issued from Ramallah of all places, Ms Rice proclaimed that Pakistani President Pervez Musarraf should cut his affiliation with the Army and restore civilian rule. Well hooray for democracy, the US satrap changes into a nice neat suit and eases himself into the very Presidency that the Chief Justice was about to deny him via the rule of law, I suppose if Benazir is a good girl she will in time be offered the prime ministers chair. Neat footwork all around some bright spark in the State Department must have thought.
To sum up the Bush Administration after having provided approx US$11 billion of US tax payers hard earned cash to Pakistan since 2001, when Musharraf allied his presidency with Washington after the September 11 terror attacks, have exactly what to show for it. An increasingly disintegrating Pakistani State, which had become a nuclear power in the process and which has a porous border with Afghanistan through which bin Laden’s men regularly transgress with ease; and which is governed by a man who has lost all touch with reality and democratic norms. In stead of slapping this nasty satrap down and demanding that he resigns and free and fair elections are held, GW Bush is currently mobilizing the might of the US armed forces to invade Iran. You really could not make this up!