Author Topic: State of Emergency - Pakistan  (Read 21822 times)

skdadl

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« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2007, 03:23:01 PM »
What complaint? I thought the justices were blocking his double powers.

Mandos

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« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2007, 03:37:07 PM »
The judge crisis started when the supreme court chief justice blocked the privatisation plan for a major industry.  But I was responding to your statement that throwing liberals in jail is a response to the rise in fundie provocation.  That's not the reason for throwing the liberals in jail.

skdadl

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« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2007, 03:50:41 PM »
Well, no. I was being, y'know, poetical.   :wink:

I obviously don't know all the contending forces in detail, but there are a lot, yes? Musharraf -- or anyone else -- has to do a massive juggling game, and the whole thing became deranged further when Cheney barged in. Cheney has been winking at anything else Musharraf had to do to pacify (they thought) a variety of interests, just so long as M went along with the plans for Iran, which involve him.

sparqui

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« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2007, 03:52:43 PM »
Quote from: Mandos
The judge crisis started when the supreme court chief justice blocked the privatisation plan for a major industry.


I find this economic angle fascinating Mandos. The DAWN article didn't go into any details but it's interesting how the western media tends to overlook economic issues when reporting on this.
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

Mandos

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« Reply #34 on: November 04, 2007, 03:58:47 PM »
The blocking was done on constitutional grounds, as were other decisions that Musharraf rejected.  Hence a Provisional Constitutional Order.

matttbastard

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« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2007, 04:15:54 PM »
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There is no intelligent way to think about any of this, though, without recognizing that there is a regional war on simmer -- and in a few places now boiling -- that crosses over from Central Asia to the Middle East, and that has happened mainly because of U.S. foreign policy, with al-Qaeda (Saudis) as a secondary effect. All of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are now part of that simmer, and it could spread west (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan/Palestine).


Agreed.

Have you read Nir Rosen's latest Boston Review article, No Going Back? He touches on the simmer, which is heating up in Syria, Lebenon, Jordan, in part due to the influx of refugees from Iraq (and, with that, the import of sectarian designations that previously were unknown in the region). And of course there's Abrams' creative plan to destabilize Palestine by deliberately triggering a civil war between rival factions.  As you said, so many regional factors are coalescing into what I fear will eventually lead to WWIII (or IV, if you buy the revisionist notion that the Cold War actually WAS WWIII).

One big misnomer I've noticed with regards to how many pundits evaluate  US foreign policy post 9/11 is the notion that what has happened (and continues to occur) is somehow a result of 'incompetence', and that, eventually, sanity will magically prevail. This attitude is perfectly illustrated by this recent Miami Herald op-ed poo-pooing the notion that war with Iran isn't already a done deal because "[l]aunching another war with unlimited unintended consequences would only secure Bush's claim on being the most trigger happy and reckless leader the free world has ever seen." Of course, one could contend that, judging by those who have, for the most part, held the ear of the president, war with Iran is not a matter of 'if', but 'when'; the word 'legacy' has a different meaning to the Bush admin and their neocon advisors.

All this is entirely intentional. And nothing is going to change--Kagan then is the same as Kagan now;  the same holds true for the Bushies.  Always expect the worst from Cheney and Co. They haven't learned a goddamn thing.

Sorry that my rant digressed from the immediate subject at hand - carry on.  I need a drink.

(Oh, and my quibble re: forum placement was indeed minor, hence the emoticon; my apologies for any inherent insult.:oops: )
I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.

lagatta

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« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2007, 04:25:30 PM »
A very short (and hasty) piece by Tariq Ali on this mess:

http://comment.independent.co.uk/commen ... 127343.ece
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

skdadl

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« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2007, 04:41:10 PM »
matt, I agree with you that both Cheney and the neo-cons, from their not-identical perspectives, do this intentionally. About competence and the neo-cons, I dunno -- I think they truly are incompetent because they truly are deluded.

But I don't think Cheney is incompetent at all, and in one sense, he is not deluded. Joan Didion wrote an essay over a year ago, I think, in the NY Review of Books about Cheney and destruction and chaos. She didn't have a lot of the detail we do, but she sliced through to the truth. The man thrives on destruction, always has; he profits from it; he believes in it. Nothing that has happened in Iraq bothers him -- why should it? If bombing Iran sets the whole region alight, so much the better for him.

Even the neo-cons have had self-doubts, or have been disappointed in the conduct of the war(s), but not Cheney. He is the destroyer of worlds, and he likes it that way.

matttbastard

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« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2007, 06:06:45 PM »
He's certainly no utopian idealist, that's for sure.

I'm currently battling some sort of stomach bug (thus the relative incoherence of my last offering) so I'm going to bow out of a discussion that is, alas, causing my dehydrated head to spin.

But I did want to leave a link to the Didion essay you'd mentioned, which I do recall reading at the time; will look over again tonight.

Hopefully tomorrow the disorientation will have lessened and we can continue this properly.
I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.

skdadl

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« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2007, 06:21:28 PM »
With some trepidation and humility (because I haven't  reread it in over a year), I offer this  for your reading list too, matt.

matttbastard

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« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2007, 06:49:10 PM »
Thanks, skdadl :) What you wrote about Deadeye Dick fits with what I've garnered from my own readings on the Veep, including Suskind's One Percent Doctrine, one of the texts Didion draws upon in her essay (another, Rise of the Vulcans, is currently gathering a thick layer of dust as it awaits my delinquent attention).

One cannot discuss Cheney without including a look at his bag man, David Addington.  Jane Mayer's "The Hidden Power" and the lesser-known but still informative "Cheney's Guy" by Chitra Ragavan are both essential pieces, as is WaPo's series Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency. Not to assume that you haven't already read 'em, but if you or anyone else hasn't I highly recommend doing so; these pieces (and skdadl's post) provide a great deal of insight with regards to the true power within the White House.

Is so easy to forget that, for all intents and purposes, Bush is little more than a figurehead.
I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.

sparqui

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« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2007, 07:05:58 PM »
Maybe I'm fixated, but the word "privatization" made me go search.

First a primer on the Islamic approach to economy:

http://www.islamonline.net/english/Cont ... e2-e.shtml

Some interesting links covered by this blogger about oil privatization:

http://karlmarxwasright.blogspot.com/20 ... chive.html

An opinion piece on privatization from DAWN (July 2005):

Quote
...In Pakistan, by contrast, concerns raised by several quarters about national security implications of the sale of entities in strategic sectors to foreign elements did not even elicit a response. Instead, the government used strong-arm tactics to neutralize union opposition to the privatization of PTCL, the country’s giant telecommunications corporation.

Pakistan’s coterie of generals have more than once used the armed forces to serve US foreign policy interests in disregard of Pakistan’s own interests. And the recent military intervention in PTCL raises apprehensions about its use in future to protect foreign investor interests from ‘labour trouble’. It would indeed be tragic if the country’s armed forces are turned on the very people whose sweat sustains it.

The PTCL privatization has proved to be a politically divisive issue. Spearheaded by PTCL unions, the protest was the first major trade union action in recent times and the strikers were opposed to privatization in terms of principle; issues of job security and benefits were secondary. This was in sharp contrast to the early 1990s, when the All-Pakistan State Enterprises Workers Action Committee (APSEWAC) opportunistically abandoned opposition to privatization and limited their negotiations to the size of golden handshakes.

The privatization debate in Pakistan continues to be based on the explicit premise that the public sector is inefficient and corrupt and the implicit assumption that the private sector is the unquestionable answer to efficient economic management. The fact is that there is no factual basis for either of the two beliefs. There are more than a dozen instances of successful and profitable public sector enterprises, which show that the public sector can be efficient and can contribute positively to the national exchequer as well as to the economy.

After all, PTCL is not only highly profitable, but has posted record improvements in service quality and reduction in telephone rates compared to what these were two decades ago. Pakistan State Oil, National Bank of Pakistan, etc., are other current cases of successful public enterprise management. PIA has not only become profitable, but it is eminently superior in punctuality and service quality to any of the private airlines.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are many dozen cases of private sector failures and several graveyards across the country of failed private sector projects over the last quarter of a century, resulting in default in bank loan repayments to the tune of billions of rupees. The point is that there is nothing inherent about the efficiency of the private sector or the inefficiency of the public sector. Millat Tractors was a profitable public sector enterprise, which continues to be a profitable privatized entity. On the other hand, Zeal-Pak Cement was a profitable enterprise under the public sector, but went bankrupt within months of privatization...

The privatization policy in Pakistan has never commanded a moral base. The argument for privatization was first presented on the grounds that public enterprises were loss-making entities and a burden on the national exchequer. Yet, the first phase of mass privatization in the early 1990s began with sell-offs of profitable units. Currently, entities a la the Habib Bank, PTCL, PSO, etc., were or are profit-generating entities. Far from being a drain on the national budget, they were/are actually contributing to containing the fiscal deficit. However, there appears to be a pathological desire to sell; — a compulsion that is so strong that, if domestic buyers are not available, these entities must be sold to foreign interests.


http://www.dawn.com/2005/07/11/op.htm
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

k'in

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« Reply #42 on: November 04, 2007, 07:40:01 PM »
Quote from: skdadl
Sheesh. Anything that has happened as window-dressing for democracy in Pakistan since 2001 happened because Musharraf accepted the deal he couldn't refuse (as presented pretty graphically by Richard Armitage, link easily googlable)

Remember the post 9/11 special aired on PBS?  Colin Powell was interviewed stating that when it came to Musharraf, he spoke & Musharraf listened.  An order, not a request and all that.  Musharraf was keen to gain some trade advantages (i.e. textiles) but he had to play along.

Quote from: skdadl
But I don't think Cheney is incompetent at all, and in one sense, he is not deluded. Joan Didion wrote an essay over a year ago, I think, in the NY Review of Books about Cheney and destruction and chaos. She didn't have a lot of the detail we do, but she sliced through to the truth. The man thrives on destruction, always has; he profits from it; he believes in it


Cheney is wired to sabotage anything good and/or stable.  He needs drama and reaction.  People need to understand this.  There is no appeal to reason possible.  Rattlesnakes bite, cats meow, and Cheney destroys.

ReWind.it

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« Reply #43 on: November 05, 2007, 10:35:26 AM »
Man this is getting so old already.

Quote
The Bush administration signaled on Sunday that it would probably continue to keep billions of dollars flowing to Pakistan's military, despite the detention of human rights activists and leaders of the political opposition by Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the country's president.


This is the sham of democracy. Disgusting.

http://www.star-telegram.com/national_n ... 92389.html
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
Sir Winston Churchill

ReWind.it

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« Reply #44 on: November 05, 2007, 12:29:40 PM »
Barnett Rubin in Islamabad. Defining 'Lawfare".

Quote
Musharraf Adopts Bush-Cheney Doctrine of "Lawfare"

Islamabad -- One of the curious aspects of General Musharraf's speech last night (by the way, it is General, not President, as he first annulled the constitution and then invoked one of its provisions to declare an Emergency, acting not as president but as Chief of Army Staff), at least to this observer, was the general's thoroughly un-self-conscious invocation of two major threats to the security and integrity of Pakistan: terrorism and "judicial activism."    snip

Opposing "judicial activism" is one of the rallying cries of the American right. Initially this was simply a cover for racism, as the most salient examples of "judicial activism" were Brown vs. Board of Education and other decisions by the Warren Supreme Court overturning American apartheid. Over time, however, the term began to cover a larger protest against attempts to extend the rule of law to the disadvantage of the powerful.

Not until the Bush administration, however, was this political code word integrated into the National Security Doctrine of the United States. Scott Horton of Harper's, writing on "Bush's War on the Rule of Law" describes how the attack on judicial activism entered national security doctrine through the concept of "lawfare":

    According to Major General Charles J. Dunlap Jr., now the Air Force’s deputy judge advocate general, lawfare is the “strategy of using or misusing law as a substitute for traditional military means to achieve an operational objective.” As the neoconservative lawyers David Rivkin and Lee Casey have put it, lawfare aims to “gain a moral advantage over your enemy in the court of world opinion, and potentially a legal advantage in national and international tribunals.” The concept, which has been discussed in the Federalist Society and at National Review Online, became doctrine in the March 2005 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America: “Our strength as a nation state will continue to be challenged by those who employ a strategy of the weak using international fora, judicial processes, and terrorism.” Note the equation of “international fora, judicial processes, and terrorism.” In other words, turning to courts for the enforcement of legal rights, appeals to international tribunals, and terrorism are seen as the elements of a single consistent enemy strategy. In the strange reasoning of the lawfare theorists, lawyers who defend their clients, or who present their claims to domestic or international courts, might as well be terrorists themselves.


If you visit the site, click the Borowitz Report for a chuckle

http://icga.blogspot.com/
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
Sir Winston Churchill

 

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