Why Benazir Butto's Death Matters
Barack Obama is a strong opponent of the Bush administration, which is similiar to the Musharraf administration in at least the fact that it came to power illegitimately (without a proper vote count of the people) , has been largely ineffective in its war on terror , and uses fear to nationalize and ideologue its people.
The state of emergency that Pervez Musharraf declared to stabilize his country was reported as military move against destabilizing forces in the region. In fact, Musharraf used the state of emergency to remove judges from power, harass journalists and arrest students. This is very similiar to the Bush administrations repeated attempts to replace Attorney Generals in states where investigations are being run against the administration's practices - using the homeland security laws that allow the appointment to be made without senate confirmation. Musharraf, like Bush - sees himself as a military leader.
And also, like Bush, he has been completely ineffective at controlling the spread of nuclear weapons, halting terrorism, or containing the country within a secure border. Pakistan , and in particular, the subregion of Pakistan, is an international stronghold of Al Qaeda. And it is clearly unstable as a result of this failure; by contrast the Bush administration has merely spent more money than any other administration and not unlike the alcoholic husband who refuses to acknowledge his abusive behavior, has destroyed our country's image and standing in the world while force-feeding it bank fraud, and illicit cross border venture capital to maintain an artificially stimulated failing service economy. There are entire swaths of the United States where the very idea of patriotism is bound to military response. And of course, these are also strongholds of voters who are willing to trade ideology for conservatism, style over substance, and demagoguery over democracy. In short, when it comes to preventing attacks or controlling Al Qaeda, Pervez Musharraf is a Bush Republican.
So visualize Barack visting the Pentagon, and being surrounded by Bush Republicans and suddenly, from out of nowhere, a shot is fired that fells Barack Obama as his motorcade pulls into the wing where Bush has placed a special guard patrol from his secret service. Nobody sees the gunner and then his evidence is completely lost. The second Barack falls, the secret service surround the body and refuse to allow doctors to see it. Then, they release a statement that said that Barack fell and hit his head on his sunroof and died of blunt force trauma from the result of the explosion.
What would be different about you and the average voter in Pakistan, is that they already know that Pervez Musharraf is a criminal - to them , this is just another brick in the wall. Try convincing a redneck bush republican that conservatism doesn't mean pissing away 200 billion dollars a year "fighting the war on terror" by invading countries that had nothing to do with us, or Al Qaeda. We have a climate of disinformation and complacency that normally precedes either revolution or the death of a nation.
However, we have reasons for enforced conformity in our intelligentsia. Americans are used by major corporations as a sort of soylent green, a renewable resource of warm food. Because corporate America is anti-democratic, it breeds officers within its ranks that regularly hunt down those whose lifestyles vary from the norm, be they christian or kink. They attempt by their actions to ensure their job safety. As long as those above them continue to fail to recognize the advantage of outsourcing even this position.
Most companies in fact fail to realize the value of their employees. The same is true for governments, and their constituent voters. Lobbyists take the place of the status whores that populate corporate America, and interpose themselves as filters and assemblers of the corporate interests that would drive the corporate direction of a country or a people. Or, in the case of Customer Response Management - normally interpose several complicated layers of technology that remove human response from corporate response. This is no different than removing a statesman from their comfortable office where the people of a particular region, visiting and discussing their regions concerns - are replaced with altered statistical reports that have very little basis - reports that are usually "Averaging" several broadly different sets or groups of data, thus creating meaningless metrics - which allow for manipulation of results and , well .. I mean. In the end, what is six divided by zero. Its meaningless. Right? So having those garden gloves on makes it hard to play the steinway.
The people of Pakistan are pretty much aware of Pervez' tricks. (they call him in "uncle pervie" here in the states.. ho ho ho). And most of the people I've spoken with are pretty clear about the fact that Pervez wanted to legitimize his power by having a sort of strained election that placed him in charge. Kind of like a domestic dispute between yourself, and your wife. Except that he wanted everyone to see that she wasn't really being beaten up behind the scenes. Never mind the fact that the first thing he did after she died was blame her for his problems. Classic abusive. But also , pathetic enough for us to actually discern his relative innocence.
Bill Richardson is correct: Pervez Musharraf should resign. It is no different than a failed corporate structure where the management is not delivering results - accountable to shareholders (and not conveniently placed board of directors "lobbying for the man") - they would demand stepdown. The elections that are to be held, would have offered strong opposition to his reign.
America arranged for Benazir to return, the state dept. under Condoleeza Rice assisted her re-entry into not only politics, her country and their party - but also the general imperative that both the Bush administration, and Pervez Musharraf felt to legitimize his failures over the past year. The Bush administration has precious few substantial international allies, and the much touted accomplishments of their foreign policy held as its centerpiece the alliance between America and Pakistan and their putative victories across the Indo-Pakistani border territories battling Al Qaeda.
In the end, however, America is best served by furthering democracy over dictatorship, and stability over soundbyte. The end of the lame duck Bush administration and the beginning of a viable foreign policy with which to replace these obvious failures, will begin with a democratic presidency elected by people who were willing to invest more of themselves than the simplistic concepts of wars financed by tax cuts and economies powered by illusion.
This does not preclude a return to conservatism. Far from it. Conservatism returns when sensitive government is re-established. Difficult decisions are made for which huge, multi billion dollar no bid contract to give away - maybe we will even choose not to give them away at all but follow democratic bid processes established thirty years ago when the laws were written. America needs a new president that will respect the laws of this country, and the role of the federal government in their execution. And above all, a diplomat that effectively represents our interests.
Benazir's death matters because it is the type of event that most evenly illustrates the need for new leadership and direction in Pakistan - and also reflects the state of emergency that truly exists. In this context its probably a good idea for Pakistan to try to find the assassins that killed Benazir, wherever they are - and not simply track down the doctors that tried to help her as she entered the E/R, or the students at her rally supporting her cause, or the judges that might have ruled the unconstitutionality of Pervez Musharraf's attempt to cancel elections. She is dead.
So. The conclusion. If you're a Perv, and you can't stop the abuse women. Or you can't establish control, and people don't respect you... Or, if you think that destroying intelligent, kind people is some kind of response that makes sense , if you want to wage some kind of war on a human emotion... you should just cut the cord. Leave. Its time for you to go home, Perv. You've done your job. Al Qaeda has grown, the Bush administration's family friend is safe and sound - and now, fortuitously enough - the one person that threatened your paycheck is now unemployed and underground. Time for Musharraf to resign. Or, as I used to say when I surfed..
Kooks Go Home.