The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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As the 40 day period of mourning comes to an end, nothing very good seems to have come out of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. Eager to capitalize on the outpouring of outrage in the aftermath of the assassination, the Pakistan People’s Party, led by her widower Asif Zardari, refuses to consider any reforms, procedures, or policies... Read More
With Pakistan in the middle of a burgeoning security and political crisis, the report from Islamabad is that Musharraf has finally turned to the opposition to provide his government with stability...and his nation with unity. But he’s not turning to Benazir Bhutto’s PPP, the supposedly empowering force that the United States has been promoting as... Read More
America's Delusional Policy Pushes Pakistan Toward Catastrophe
How’s that U.S. plan to stabilize Pakistan working out? Not too great. And not all the troublemakers are inside Pakistan. In fact, a lot of them are right here in the U.S.A. It's not just Islamist extremists who see U.S. meddling as the source of Pakistan’s problems. Liberal, secular opinion inside Pakistan increasingly sees U.S.... Read More
Beyond the immediate tragedy of Benazir Bhutto’s death by violence in Rawalpindi, the greater tragedy for Pakistan is that the opportunity for a peaceful transfer of power—one that did not involve assassination, judicial murder, or legal vendetta—has been lost. What was going to happen after January 8 parliamentary elections was probably not going to be... Read More
It's All Over But the Squealing
...About the vote rigging, that is. Update: IRI has its numbers and the ISI apparently has their own. And perhaps political strength and electoral success are two different things. According to a report in Dawn, reflecting assumptions in early December, when the parliamentary elections are done and the seats divied up, the PML-Q--though excoriated as... Read More
U.S. Ignores Own Polling Showing Bhutto's Weakness and Sharif's Strength
Benazir Bhutto has a clear strategy. Participate in the January 8 parliamentary elections under protest, contest the results with some street demonstrations, push Musharraf out of the presidency, and govern Pakistan from a strengthened prime minister office. The United States has a clear strategy, also. Back Bhutto and her political program, and rely on her... Read More
Western scribes are perhaps overly enamored of the “Musharraf has his back against the wall and is being forced to make democratic concessions” narrative, which grows organically out of misrepresentation of Benazir Bhutto and the United States as the leader and sponsor, respectively, of an anti-Musharraf democratic vanguard. Onthe contrary, events in recent days have... Read More
For those of you keeping score, the United States has been pushing Bhutto-Musharraf power-sharing in order to broaden the base of Musharraf’s support. Musharraf’s fan club has shrunk to the military core after a series of political mis-steps, so that vote-rigging any significant success for his PML-Q party in the upcoming parliamentary elections would have... Read More
First a news flash: Frederick Kagan and Michael O’Hanlon are idiots
via, Pakistan Daily
United States Ignoring Pakistan’s Judiciary and Supporting Musharraf’s Bid for Second Term
In my previous post, I noted that the United States has been oddly silent on the central, precipitating factor in Pakistan’s crisis—Musharraf’s use of the State of Emergency to move against the Supreme Court that was poised to disallow his election to another term as president. I speculated that the U.S. silence signaled a New... Read More
Musharraf, America, and Pakistan's Supreme Court
One thing we don’t hear about from the United States concerning the crisis in Pakistan is the sticky situation with Pakistan’s Supreme Court that provoked Musharraf’s declaration of the State of Emergency in the first place. But no demands from Washington yet that Musharraf reinstate the by now presumably terminally intractable Supreme Court, which had... Read More
With commendable restraint, the New York Times
Loyal reader B directed me to an
The easiest and psychologically most satisfying solution for failure is to move the goalposts. We saw it in Iraq, where a glorious end-zone to end-zone drive to save the world from a maniac armed with weapons of mass destruction shrunk incrementally until today success is measured by the America’s ability to reduce sectarian violence in... Read More
Democracy and Its Discontents in Pakistan and Elsewhere Benazir Bhutto has been pretty cautious and cagy in her dealings with President Musharraf, avoiding outright calls for his ouster. Until now. Maybe. In an
Zalmay Khalilzad Tries for Regime Change in Pakistan
Robert Cohen’s