As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Pakistan Update

A call for defiance from the ousted Supreme Court Justice:

“The lawyers should convey my message to the people to rise up and restore the constitution," the chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, told dozens of lawyers on speakerphone at a meeting of the Islamabad Bar Association before his cellphone line was cut. “I am under arrest now, but soon I will also join you in your struggle.”

Today, the second day of protests, police arrested 50 lawyers in the eastern city of Lahore and clashes broke out between hundreds of lawyers and Pakistani police in Multan, about 200 miles to the southwest. On Monday, in Lahore and other cities, thousands of lawyers protested, with many beaten by baton-wielding police officers and then thrown into police wagons. By the end of that day, about 2,000 people had been rounded up by the authorities, among them 500 to 700 lawyers, according to lawyers and political officials.

It's good to see the United States on the side of justice and democratic rule, isn't it? I mean this is pathetic:

As I said earlier in my statement, that we made it clear to the President that we would hope he wouldn't have declared the emergency powers he declared. Now that he's made that decision, I hope now that he hurry back to elections.

Quite a bold freedom agenda!

Meanwhile this may not stop at Pakistan:

The fact is that governance in a region that is ambivalent about America, Europe and the West in general is becoming more complicated everywhere in the Middle East and South Asia. And it is America's failure in Iraq, its unwillingness to deliver on Palestine, and its bellicosity and hubris that are motivating the Muslim street against those perceived to be aligned with American interests.

But it is good to watch what is happening in Pakistan. Because unless there is a "strategic shift" in the region, as Senator Chuck Hagel recently called for, Musharraf's moves could metastasize in Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and other states in the region.

Todd Gitlin suggests "Who Lost Pakistan?" as a Democratic war cry -- but I'd suggest "Who Lost the Middle East?" or "Who Lost the Whole World (except Israel, Palau, and the Marshall Islands!)?"

90 people were killed today in a major bombing in Afghanistan. The region is experiencing chaos all over the map. This represents the failure of Bush foreign policy by focusing so narrowly on things the Administration can promote ("Look, they had elections!) instead of undermining the real forces driving terrorist violence. Pakistan is a perfect example of that, where we were just interested in pointing to an ally in the region instead of looking at his true nature, which is a despot.

And to combat this, Democrats have...

... I'm waiting.

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