Sunday, November 11, 2007

Crossing the Line

I'm about to break one of my own rules. I told myself when TKTC came into existence that I would stay out of politics unless it was in jest. I do like to keep tabs on what's happening and don't make a secret out of my leanings but frankly, with friends on every part of the spectrum (well, no fascists that I know about) I try to keep God & Government out of the corner of the web I control. I'll make my foray onto the soapbox brief and keep to bullet points so as not to get out of hand.

The Facts:
  • Today, General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan refused to say when his self-imposed de facto martial law would come to an end, which, by default, means he gets to stay in office as long as he damn well pleases.
  • Yesterday, President Bush called Musharraf "the best President for Pakistan" because they share the common goal of fighting terrorism. Way to give him an out, W. Now Musharraf gets to try out all your lines to justify his "war on terror."
  • The fight on terrorism in Pakistan looks pretty different from how you might expect. It involves suspending the constitution, having aides write him his own constitution, allowing civilians to be tried by military courts (which General Musharaf is head of), hundreds of civilians already jailed and a "President" who is also head of the military. To be fair, I should mention this last point is the part that W's team has a problem with.
  • My question is: When do we get to stop calling him a "President" and start calling him a dictator? A couple days? Maybe 3 weeks? When next semester's international policy classes will convene on campuses around the world, will this guy be a dictator by then? If someone could let me know, that'd be great.
I'm getting annoyed withe self-imposed bullet points so I'm gonna rewrite my rulebook too. I get that Pakistan is a pivitol place for fighting extremism. No argument there. But why isn't this guy working with the secular party in Pakistan to find a solution, why doesn't he have to give a date for when his emergency coup will end and why doesn't THIS count as terrorism with a nicer hat on?

OK, we can now return to regularly scheduled Sunday morning programming. Like getting to the
Arts- Now THIS is an obituary. RIP Norman Mailer.
Style - I'm hearing a lot about skateboarding lately- locally too.
and Travel- Was I not just talking about the abundance or great local mushrooms in Illinois?
sections of the New York Times.

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