Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pakistan, The U.S. and the Myth of Democracy

On my drive home from work yesterday I heard this interview on NPR with Ahmed Raza Kasuri, an advisor to Pervez Musharraf. They were talking about Musharraf suspending the Constitution and postponing elections. There's no transcript up yet, so I've transcribed as best I could the portion that was, for me, the "Amen" moment--the moment that makes so painfully clear how deeply corrupt and dishonest the Bush Administration is when they talk about the importance of and their commitment to "Democracy." And how if American's are aghast at what's going on in Pakistan, they shouldn't be, because they're in much the same position right here in the good old U.S. of A.

MICHELLE NORRIS: Now, there's Rule of Law, but there's also Respect, which authority really relies on holding onto the respect of the people, and are you concerned that this will undermine his authority in the long run?

KASURI: You know he is very, very, very, very strong; he has been elected for a second term. Elections will take place, he has got a very powerful party. Kindly see, you have in your country a very powerful history of a democratic tradition of values, after 9/11 what have you done? You see, you have also introduced [unintelligible] so you can pick up anybody--detentions, where the court's part is totally stripped off--well, these are the some of the measures that you have to adopt in order to maintain stability of the country, the prime consideration is integrity and the stability of the country. I mean, there are a lot of fingers raised on you when you talk of 'Rule of Law' and what you call it 'Due Process of Law.' There are so many fingers on you that you are running a [unintelligible] where the Supreme Court of the United States does not have access, you see. If we have become unpopular, we have become unpopular following your agenda against terrorism.

It was, of course, only after no WMDs were found in Iraq that this whole "Adventure in Democracy" was promoted as the rationale for war. But anyone who's awake in this country knows that this administration had planned to invade Iraq from day one, long before 9/11. And when it comes to respect for the Rule of Law and the Constitution, we know from example after example after example after example after example just how much this Administration thinks of those cornerstones of American Democracy.

But of course, every violation of law, every instance of disregard for the constitution and the ideals on which this country was based are done in the name of protecting the very ideals and freedoms they betray. And as we've learned, painfully, they have no shame. There is no hypocrisy of which they are not capable. And yesterday gave us yet another of the glaring disconnect between what George W. Bush says, and what he does.

Here's the White House Transcript:

Q: Mr. President, you came down so hard on Burma and other nations for their crackdowns on pro-democracy demonstrators. Yet you seem to be giving Musharraf a pass. So the question is why are you going so soft on Musharraf? Is there a double standard?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I spoke to President Musharraf right before I came over here to visit with President Sarkozy. And my message was that we believe strongly in elections, and that you ought to have elections soon, and you need to take off your uniform. You can't be the President and the head of the military at the same time. So I had a very frank discussion with him.

Got that? "You can't be the President and the head of the military at the same time."

Alrighty then.

1 comment:

moneymonk said...

Can't you imagine these guys breaking out into some gay musical dance number for W?