Thursday, November 15, 2007

Miss Ann is talking

That means that YOU are listening!

If Republicans end up with a divided convention between Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, I say we pick Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

Musharraf has declared emergency rule in Pakistan, shut down the media and sent Supreme Court justices home. What's not to like about a guy who orders policemen to beat up lawyers? I bet he has a good plan on illegal immigration, too.

The entire history of Pakistan is this: There are lots of crazy people living there, they have nuclear weapons, and any Pakistani leader who prevents the crazies from getting the nukes is George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison all rolled into one.

We didn't hear much about Musharraf -- save for B. Hussein Obama's threat to bomb Pakistan without informing Musharraf -- until the last few weeks.

Musharraf has been a crucial ally of ours since Sept. 12, 2001. His loyal friendship to the United States while governing a country that is loyal to al-Qaida might prove dispiriting to the terrorists. So, until recently, the media mostly confined stories about Musharraf to page A-18.

Now, with the surge in Iraq working, Democrats are completely demoralized. Al-Qaida was counting on them. (We know the surge in Iraq is working because it is no longer front page news.)

In a tape released in early September, Osama bin Laden bitterly complained, "You elected the Democratic Party for this purpose" -- of ending the war in Iraq –- "but the Democrats haven't made a move worth mentioning."

It isn't enough for the media to drop all mentions of the surge or to subsidize ads denouncing Gen. David Petraeus as "General Betray Us." (He is betraying liberals by winning the war for America, the enemy of liberals.) They need to stir up trouble for the U.S. someplace else in the world.

On Sept. 20, Osama bin Laden cued liberals by issuing another tape demanding Musharraf's ouster. The Democrats and the media quickly followed suit.

Weeks later, The New York Times editorial page called on "masses of Pakistanis" to participate in "peaceful demonstrations" against Musharraf, which would be like calling on masses of Pakistanis to engage in daily bathing (The New York Times editorial page being the most effective way to communicate with the Pakistani masses). Most of the editorial was a mash note to that troublesome woman Benazir Bhutto for demanding democracy in the land of the deranged.

Media darling Bhutto returned to Pakistan after fleeing the country following her conviction for corruption as prime minister. Her conviction was later overturned by the corrupt Pakistani Supreme Court, leaving me to ponder, which is worse: being convicted of corruption in a Pakistani court or being exonerated of corruption in a Pakistani court? She was again convicted in a Swiss court of money laundering.

The media adore Bhutto because she went to Harvard and Oxford, which I consider two more strikes against her. A degree from Harvard is prima facie evidence that she's on the side of the terrorists. I note that Bhutto demonstrates her own deep commitment to democracy by giving herself the title "chairperson for life" of the Pakistan Peoples Party.

Liberals hysterically opposed our imposing a democracy on Iraq and despise Nouri al-Maliki, the democratically elected leader of Iraq. Say, has Maliki ever been convicted in a Swiss court of money laundering?

Compared to Pakistan, imposing democracy in Iraq is like imposing democracy in Darien, Conn. But in Iraq, liberals prefer an anti-American dictator, like Saddam Hussein. Only in Pakistan do liberals yearn for pure democracy.

You wouldn't know it to read the headlines, but Musharraf has not staged a military coup. In fact, he was re-elected -- in a landslide -- just weeks ago under Pakistan's own parliamentary system.

But the Pakistani Supreme Court, like our own Supreme Court, believes it is above the president and refused to acknowledge Musharraf's election on the grounds that he is disqualified because he is still wearing a military uniform. That's when Musharraf sent them home.

Musharraf's election was certainly more legitimate than that of Syrian president Bashar Assad (with whom every leading Democrat has had a photo-op) or Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (adjunct professor at Columbia University) or Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez (loon).

Where were the headlines like this week's Economist's ("Time's up, Mr. Musharraf") about those lovable rogues? They hate America, so they can stay.

The last time liberals were this enthusiastic about popular rule in some Third World country was in 1979, when they were gushing about Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran. Professor Richard Falk of Princeton University assured liberals in a 1979 New York Times op-ed that the "depiction of Khomeini as fanatical, reactionary, and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false."

I'm no clock-watcher, but it's been 28 years; I don't think Falk is going to be issuing an apology.

Falk cheerfully concluded that the fanatical Muslim leaders in Iran "may yet provide us with a desperately needed model of humane government for a Third World country."

And just look at all the wonderful things Khomeini did for Iran!

How might popular rule turn out in Pakistan? As Saul Bellow rhetorically said of multiculturalism, "Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus?"

Pakistan is a country where local Islamic courts order women to be raped as punishment for the crimes of their male relatives. Among the Islamists' bill of particulars against Musharraf is the fact that he has promoted the Women's Protection Bill, which would punish rape, rather than using it as a device for social control.

According to The Boston Globe, the most common form of homosexuality in Pakistan –- punishable by death –- is pederasty.

Pakistan doesn't need Adlai Stevenson right now. It needs Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to impose military rule and drag a country of Islamic savages into the 19th century, as Ataturk did in Turkey. Pakistan's Ataturk is Gen. Musharraf.

To try to force democracy on the differing "I hate America" factions in Pakistan at this stage would be worse than Jimmy Carter's abandonment of the Shah in 1979. It would result in what former assistant secretary of state Edward Djerejian called: "one man, one vote, one time."

The difference is: Instead of scimitars, this den of al-Qaida-supporting pederasts will have nukes.

When Benazir Bhutto was elected to lead the Pakistani government a great many people, myself included, thought that it was a very positive sign. After all if a Muslim state like Pakistan could elect a pro-Western woman who believed in Democracy, women's rights and a strictly secular government could win an honest election in Pakistan then it was very unlikely that Pakistan was poised to go the way of Iran.

That is likely still true. It would seem that the Pakistani people absorbed at least some civilizing influences during the time when Pakistan was a part of India and under British rule. That Bhutto was a socialist was not seen as a problem since Margaret Thatcher was and is also a socialist and Thatcher is the best friend America has ever had in a foreign head of state.

Like many I believed that the charges of corruption against Bhutto were politically motivated and lodged by Islamic hard-liners who wished to take Pakistan in the direction of Islamic fundamentalism. Unfortunately, some or even all, of the charges may have been true (Born Again Redneck has a good summary of Bhutto's career here). It now seems that she, or her husband, may have even been behind the suicide bombing that killed 139 of her supporters on the night of her return to Pakistan (story here).

It is also a sad fact that no matter how much Bhutto believed in women's rights and secular government in Pakistan her government offered significant support to the venomous Taliban government in Afghanistan.

I believe that Miss Ann is correct about Pervez Musharraf. He has been an ally to the United States despite the fact that there is a great deal of popular support for al Qaeda in his nation. He has walked that tightrope with a great deal of skill and America has benefited from it.

The Bush administration needs to seriously rethink its commitment to Democracy Über Alles in light of the fact that if most of the Islamic world were free to vote for whatever government they truly wanted the result would be a giant Muslim caliphate controlling most of the world's oil, armed with nuclear weapons and ruled by Osama bin Laden.