Pakistan in Crisis
On November 3, President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in his country. He arrested Pakistan's Supreme Court judges and suspended Pakistan's constitution. A very brief synopsis of the events which led to this action are in order.
Musharraf was re-elected in Pakistan's presidential election in October. As he was running for president he was also the acting head of Pakistan's military. The Pakistani Supreme Court declared that it would decide if Musharraf was constitutionally able to run for president due to his position as head of the Pakistani military, opening up the possibility for another election in January of next year.
When one puts aside the various reasons Musharraf gave for suspending the constitution and for declaring a state of emergency (the full text of his speech can be found here), one has to admire Musharraf's efforts at power-grabbing; he saw a threat to his power and sought to eliminate that threat. The Machiavellian in me is screaming with pride for this man, but what really bothers me is the international reaction to Musharraf's actions, especially America's reaction.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice responded to the events in Pakistan as follows: "The U.S. has made very clear that it does not support extra-constitutional measures as they would take Pakistan away from the path of democracy and civilian rule." White House National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe stated that: "President Musharraf needs to stand by his pledges to have free and fair elections in January and step down as chief of army staff before retaking the presidential oath of office" (original quotes can be found here).
Who is the United States to dictate to other nations what it's leaders can and cannot do? Who gave us the authority to dictate to other nations that they must adopt democratic forms of government? Daveed Gartenstein-Ross of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies stated today on MSNBC's political-news program Tucker that it is better for the U.S. to have pro-Western leaders through non-democratic processes than anti-Western leaders through democratic processes. I think this statement is very telling: those within political circles and intelligentsia in America, the very proponents of the unending value of American style freedom and democracy, don't really care about democracy; these same leaders only care about having pro-American leaders controlling world governments. It isn't about democracy people, it's about having a world that bows down to the whims of the United States. A friend of mine said the other day that "America's dream is the world's nightmare." I think she was right.