Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Musharraf: another political victim of the 'war on terror'

Will one of America's major allies in the 'war on terror' fall into the sea of turmoil devouring parts of his nation?

Dictator Musharraf is growing unpopular, and neither the US nor the Taliban is helping. Someone who both works with terrorists — namely by condoning the hotbed of extremism on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border — and an unpopular nation seen as a hegemonic power, while also ruling undemocratically, is bound to run out of luck sometime. Musharraf has faced a series of debacles, including the taking of the Red Mosque in Islamabad by fundamentalists and backlash to his sacking of Pakistan's chief justice and critic of the regime (although he was reinstated).

It has just been reported that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf may declare a state of emergency, although that is denied by the government.

A member of the inner circle of the Pakistani leadership told Reuters, however, that U.S. ally Musharraf was considering the option, which could allow him to extend the tenure of the national and provincial assemblies by 12 months and delay elections due by the turn of the year.

The government could explain such a step by citing growing insecurity because of the threat posed by Islamist militants allied to the Taliban and al Qaeda after a series of attacks, many of them by suicide bombers, in the past month.

Political analysts and opposition leaders, however, have feared that Musharraf, who is going through his weakest period since coming to power in a 1999 coup, might resort to an emergency because of difficulties he faces in getting re-elected by the sitting assemblies, while still army chief.

Many have lost political support by cooperating with America. To make up for that, in certain cases the US gives massive amount of aid, like in the case of Saudi Arabia, but most still keep their distance.

Portrayed by extremists as an imperial occupier bent on the destruction of Islam and working with its Zionist pal Israel to achieve that goal. Obviously that is a misconstrued perception meant to radicalize the population, but it makes it all the more easier to see why it is not good to be seen as a puppet of the United States, not least in the Middle East [and the Muslim world in general].

Pakistan has proven itself to be not only a hotspot for extremism because of the extremists there, but also because of Musharraf and gang are seen as friends of the Great Satan (i.e. America). In addition it, along with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other undemocratic nations, is a perfect example of American neocon hypocrisy on outsourcing democratic principles while also working closely with and giving massive amounts of help and aid to — with few positive results — horrible regimes. How is it OK justify the invasion of Iraq as removing a tyrant (Saddam Hussein) if you are giving billions in military aid to governments almost as condemnable?, has become a common question.

I believe that, under President Bush, America has taken the wrong path to ridding the world of Islamic extremism. It has been made all the more powerful by actions by Washington and its allies that have just fueled the fire paradox.

While his pall Mubarak looks to be doing fine turning Egypt into a full-fledged police state, Musharraf faces a darker future. The religious extremists don't like him, believers in liberal democracy hate him too. US presidential candidate Barak Obama has even jumped on the Musharraf-hate bandwagon, it seems, naive move of course and one he will regret.

Pakistan, a nuclear power, runs the risk of being taken over by extremists. America has once again chosen security over freedom in supporting dictatorship over democracy, although, in its defense, both seem like pretty bad options (think: the democratic election of Hamas). It as failed in principle and seems to be failing in practice. What is needed is stability, a hard thing to come by in the turbulent [extended] Mideast region.

Delaying the democratic process is bad enough. It is all the more worse, for Musharraf and democratic principles, if America assists him in maintaining his dictatorship, as it has in other so-called allies in the GWOT. It's probably going to end up being a lose for Musharraf, a lose for the US and its 'war', and a lose for democracy. Meanwhile, the Pakistani government appears to be falling apart... perhaps declaring a state of emergency is redundant at this point.


Anonymous said...

Your article is lot of trash. Nothing will happen any thing, "Inshallah" to Pakistan, its Government and Musharaf.
M Hussein

clearthought said...

You really think Musharraf is doing a fine job, supported by the people; and that the country is so stable and not at all on the brink?

Sameet Mehta said...

You are uninformed. Musharraf used to employ terrorists all the time in Kashmir. So don't portray him as purely a victim of the US unpopularity. The fact is he himself helped to make the fundamentalists / Taliban strong

clearthought said...

I never said Musharraf doesn't have ties to extremists I also did not say the US was the only thing standing in between him and popularity; he dug his own grave, I know.

Anonymous said...

You think that the US should be blamed for strengthening Musharraf and also for weakening him.

You also think that the US is wrong for not working to overthrow of Musharraf and Mubarak, but also wrong for overthrowing Saddam Hussein.

No one with any sense could possibly take you seriously.

clearthought said...

Where did I say that I supported an American effort to overthrow sovereign regimes?

Anonymous, I think it is you who should not be taken seriously: you misconstrue my words while alleging I am the one lacking logic.

You paint me out as a reverse-neocon; that I am not. I think Musharraf and Mubarak and Hussein should have been/be 'overthrown' by their own people in a manner that does not promote destruction and chaos. I do not think a foreign power like America should, however, be the overthrowing party.

Just because I don't think the US should be throwing guns at authoritarian and brutal regimes doesn't mean I want it to overthrow them.