You are the overlord of a serendipitous foreign policy. Wherever you move across the face of the earth, you leave the chaos and violence that cry out for the healing balm of economic and political shock therapy.
Pakistan is your latest creation.
Let me say right off that I have naught but contempt for those who suggest that your administration deliberately plotted the assassination of Benazir Bhutto knowing it would provide the cover for Pervez Musharraf to impose martial law on Pakistan. Granted this is what will probably happen and granted that your administration always supports the suppression of democracy in order to promote democracy. And, if Musharraf does so, we will be right there providing assistance in the form of technical advisors to teach him the enhanced interrogation and military techniques that make martial law sing. But I refuse to believe that your administration was callous and cruel enough to actually “plan” such an outcome.
I also have contempt for those who claim that the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of our CIA. The ISI practices torture, kidnapping and assassination. It is a brutish, third-world intelligence service that doesn’t even begin to compare with ours.
No, George, Pakistan simply highlights the challenges your administration faces when it attempts to manipulate a country of which it is totally ignorant.
Oh, it looked great on the surface. Bhutto was a perfect icon. Forcing Musharraf to accept her return was a stroke of marketing genius. There you were promoting even more democracy in the Middle East by insisting on her return to set Pakistan straight. How the media applauded her bid to be reelected as Pakistan’s Prime Minister.
The brilliance of your plan shown so brightly, it blinded you to the realities of the Pakistani political landscape. According to Dr. Sahbir Choudhry, Pakistan is a federation made up of Baluchistan, the North-West Frontier Provinces, Punjab and Sind. Bhutto was a Sind political leader. The Sinds make up 14.1 percent of Pakistan’s population. They are number three behind the Punjabs (44.68 percent) and the Pashtuns (15.42 percent).
She was not running for prime minister, she was running for a seat in parliament, with the hope that once seated she could put together a coalition that would elect her prime minister. This overlooks the salient fact that under the 17th amendment of the Pakistani constitution, she could not have been elected to a third term, and it would have taken a 2/3 vote of the parliament to change this. Even if she had managed to pull it off, the effect would have been minimal since Musharraf has consolidated most of the real power in Pakistan under his office of the presidency.[i]
But, at the end of the day, what difference does it really make. The door is open for you to further manipulate Pakistan and to prepare the way for the construction of some new bases in the country, which will add to the bloat that is our military-industrial complex. The Beltway well understands that the only way it can keep this sector of the economy prosperous and healthy is to refuse to learn from our mistakes.
And this time, you have some real WMDs to worry about.
Best of all, your dream of a pipeline from the Central Soviet Republics that would bypass Iran by running through Afghanistan and Pakistan is one step nearer realization.
Who would have believed that such stupidity hid such a plethora of accidental genius?
[i] This is the most sense I’ve been able to make out of the fragmented reports that have come out of Pakistan. I would be more than happy if anyone could correct any errors or omission of which I am guilty. You are welcome to email me at Wagenvoord@msn.com. –c.w.