Monday, March 12, 2007

Bhutto : Musharraf Can't Handle Taliban

An Update on the "So-called War on Terror"TM

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I had the opportunity to meet former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in May of 2002 at Molloy College's Joseph F. Maher Leadership Forum. She called the United States of America, "a beacon of democracy" in a world of darkness. She laments, however, the Bush administration's strong support -- up until now -- for General Pervez Musharraf, the dictator who took power in a coup d'etat in 1999.

For too long, the international perception has been that Musharraf's regime is the only thing standing between the West and nuclear-armed fundamentalists.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Islamic parties have never garnered more than 13 percent in any free parliamentary elections in Pakistan. The notion of Musharraf's regime as the only non-Islamist option is disingenuous and the worst type of fear-mongering.

The US has made mistakes before, as described here. We tend to prefer Capitalist dictatorships over democratic, Socialist governments. As long as we keep giving lip service to "democracy" while actually fighting only to make the world safe for un-regulated, laissez faire, "free-market" capitalism, we're going to keep making mistakes, we're going to keep alienating the rest of the world, we're going to keep making enemies, and we're going to remain a target for terrorism.

The West has been shortsighted in dealing with Pakistan. When the United States aligns with dictatorships and totalitarian regimes, it compromises the basic democratic principles of its foundation -- namely, life, liberty and justice for all. Dictatorships such as Musharraf's suppress individual rights and freedoms and empower the most extreme elements of society. Oppressed citizens, unable to represent themselves through other means, often turn to extremism and religious fundamentalism.

Restoring democracy through free, fair, transparent and internationally supervised elections is the only way to return Pakistan to civilization and marginalize the extremists. A democratic Pakistan, free from the yoke of military dictatorship, would cease to be a breeding ground for international terrorism.

Musharraf should go. NOW.


Anonymous said...

you make some good points.

I've heard the former prime minister before on the World Service.

Its rather sad that American foreign policy sees dictatorships better than democracies.

I'd never in my life consider America to be the beacon of democracy because as it goes, its too old.

Britain I know. I think having 3 main political parties strengthens debate, while countries like Italy are crippled by the many different parties that make up the government.

America has two. And as much as I'd like to say I want the Democrats to do well, they just aren't the sort of people I'd vote for in a British setting.

I really can't imagine the Democrats doing anything radically different like promoting democracy.

I saw this somewhere and laughed, but its pretty true.

"Fighting for freedom is like f**king for virginity".

You'll be glad to know that although I don't always agree with you, I do think you make good points.

d. Shaw

Dr. Fallon said...

I know you do, d.a. Don't take my curmudgeonliness too personally.

My main difficulty with you (and I know, it's my problem, not yours) is that you take those other two (you know of whom I speak) seriously. You seem to believe they are actually North Korean communists. They are far right-wingers having sport with the "weak-minded lefties."

Every time you make an anti-communist argument with them they're laughing at you simply because you don't get it.

God forbid you might actually be in favor of the occasional government intervention (as I am), and they tar you by association -- WITH THEMSELVES!!!

Thanks for dropping by. Come back again.