Bhutto, Yes; Musharraf, No
(image via time)
These are the times that try men's souls. Tyrants -- in this case Pervez Musharraf -- are unnatural beasts. They operate entirely against the Principle of Law (For further reference, witness: Idi Amin). Have you ever noticed how dictators tend to have dead, shark eyes? Animale! The sheer shamelssness under which they operate, interpreted, falsely, as acts of boldness, is more properly construed as a pre-civilized psychology. Could this political shamelssness suggest the inability to reincarnate, a symptom of the death of the Soul?
But those are arid metaphysical speculations; we need more solid science here. The American imposition of Benazir Bhutto and, to a lesser degree, the incandescent rise of The Principle of Law provided a fertile ground for Tyrannical push-back. Simultaneous to the Rise of Law is the rise of Law's inseparable compliment, Chaos, in the fetid form of Al Quaeda, which grows, mold-like, at bacterial velocity within the oppressive darkness of anarchic disorder and naught else but utter statelessness.
Clearly, Bhutto, who has had her eye on her Legacy since her exile -- clouded in somewhat shameful, though admittedly exaggerated, scandal -- is not entirely averse to the possibility of Martyrization. Martyrization, as the logic goes, might exonerate Bhutto's previous political mistakes. And Death by Politics is no stranger to the dark Bhutto clan. But Bhutto has also put out feelers of cooperation, however bleakly. Tyrants -- Gogolesque Dead Souls -- tend to react with sanguinary murder at such lamb-like gestures of naive olive branching.
The United States of America ought to support Benazir Bhutto, who, realistically-speaking, has a very low chance of surviving out the rest of the year. It is time we started doing right by the law-loving Pakistani population, or at least -- making allowances for the significance of The Bomb -- veering more towards the population than the tyrants and explaining why we do what we do Granted, the "wisdom" of Realpolitik and the fact of nuclearized Pakistan leads one to the inevitable, Kissingeresque conclusion that the best path would be to make grunting noises, expectorate onto the world stage, rattle sabres, then, ultimately, lugubriously, support Musharraf.
But what about the 1991 Soviet coup? America, with a steady hand (Bush, Father, 41), refused to recognize the Parliamentary siege by the Communists (At least for a few days). Within those few days, the putsch collapsed, and Democracy -- or somesuch Russian permutation -- grew. Briefly, anyway, in those heady pre-Putin days where anything seemed possible and the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty was signed.
Could The United States not do the same this time, with the possibility that if Musharraf doesn't fold in, say two weeks, we could do things, grudgingly, after the Realpolitik manner. But let us not immediately accept Musharraf's gambit and the lures of Realpolitik just yet. Let us not recognize his power grab (yet not-not recognize it, either). Let The President offer "support" for the people -- the legal profession, primarily -- being persecuted. Freeze all further military aid to the ISi ... for the time being. Something interesting might happen. Maybe, just maybe, the Pakistani middle class -- hugely educated and believing in the Principle of Law -- might rise up. And if they do, the united States of america just might -- for the first time in a long time -- be on the side of the angels in Pakistan.
Let us wait and see, for a few days at least, two weeks at most, just how the Pakistan middle class react and how strong Musharraf's hand truly is.