Media rights groups have voiced growing concern over intimidation of journalists in Pakistan amid political turmoil sparked by Musharraf's suspension of Chaudhry in March that has led to mass protests by opposition parties and lawyers.
A U.S. diplomat, who was not authorized to speak for the record, confirmed last week that the United States plans to stick with Musharraf. "We are not pulling back from that relationship in any way," the diplomat said.
Letter to President Musharraf About Attacks on Journalists in Pakistan, April 27, 2007 Record of Conflict Between Government and Dawn, March 31, 2007
This is the wonderful stuff of politics: The US "agenda" runs counter to its "policy". Musharraf would be more popular in Pakistan if he got out of the clutches of the US; the US would be more popular in Pakistan if they dropped their support of Musharraf. I feel the urge to read "Catch-22" again. (Sorry if this doesn't sound like a serious response to serious problems, but I assume y'all know enough not to expect the outlook to change from the US side any time in the next year and a half, at least. I am curious to know if anyone thinks that really matters.)
Zalman, "This is the wonderful stuff of politics: The US “agenda” runs counter to its “policy”. " The US' agenda IS its policy :)
Desi: Understood--seriously, of course, in theory one should serve the other. "But in practice," to continue using Ms. Schaffer's language, spreading democracy has never been high on this administration's list of priorities, except where it provides a convenient pretext for carrying out actual policy (e.g., in Iraq). What I find funnier is that even the stated agenda, counter-terrorism, is itself a pretext for this administration's actual agenda. It's all just words, of course, but it's kind of entertaining, in a perverse way, to see how the poor things are abused....
Desi: I forgot--thanks for the additional links. Overall it's really an outrageous situation that Pakistan's citizens have to put up with these abuses.
Zalman: "spreading democracy has never been high on this administration's list of priorities, except where it provides a convenient pretext for carrying out actual policy (e.g., in Iraq)." Absolutely. What I was trying to say is that the US' "agenda" is not really what it says it is; "democracy" is the window dressing that they use to clothe their policy. So in that sense, agenda (establishing a "free market" where the US actually has the upper hand)=policy (establish free market). And another thing that I've noticed, too: "democracy" is all to conveniently conflated with "free market." *** "Overall it's really an outrageous situation that Pakistan's citizens have to put up with these abuses." I'm going to join your club- there are free speech abuses galore everywhere... But I think it's absolutely fantastic that you have people who refuse to put up with these abuses, despite it all. Like the Dawn says something. Or Geo TV. Or the lawyers and other activists that have consistenly protested against the assault of the judiciary. The civil society groups in Pakistan that have rightfully criticized Musharraf's watered down version of the Hudood Ordinances. Or the Pakistan Independent Human Rights Commission that criticizes the government. I find all those folks really admirable. Then you think about everything that has happened in the US (US attorney firings, illegal moves, system devaluation of civil rights, lies pushed by the administration to wage wars, etc), and you realize that America is generally a pretty complacent nation.