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 Politics: On Bhutto, Musharraf, Bush, Pakistan, and the CIA

InternationalOne libertarian's thoughts/opinion by Christine Smith,
written Dec. 27, 2007

What a sad day, though not surprising (it seemed inevitable) to learn popular opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated in the midst of her campaign for fair elections in January.

For me, regardless of who is ultimately identified to us as the culprit from among her enemies, it brings to mind the corruption pervading politics and governments worldwide.

And then my thoughts go immediately to what the U.S. government will now do in Pakistan and for Musharraf, one of Bush's good allies in his endless "war on terror," and to U.S. interventionism worldwide in general.

First, of course, came the predictable lip service from Bush, "The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy," said Bush as a condolence to Bhutto's family, the families of others killed, and the people of Pakistan.

But I found his words of concern for the Pakistani people lacking in credibility, when I consider the U.S. government has given billions of dollars of American taxpayer money to support the brutal Pakistani dictator Musharraf and his lawless government of arrests, torture, and secret detention centers--all of which have been a terrible oppression on the Pakistani people. (1) ...

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Similarly, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the assassination would "no doubt test the will and patience of the people of Pakistan" but asked that Pakistanis "... work together to build a more moderate, peaceful, and democratic future," all the while when Rice condones and defends U.S. government military actions worldwide and dollars sent to conflicts which result in chaos, violence and needless death across the globe.(2)

Though, I suppose Bush is most appropriately the one to discuss cowardly acts meant to undermine democracy. Musharraf 's own recent attacks on his people were just another side note Bush gave light words of disapproval of at the time while simultaneously pumping millions of more dollars over to Musharraf . Bush always gives lip service to what's right then turns around and does what's wrong. (Musharraf's actions against the press, judiciary and lawyers of his nation should have been strongly condemned by any world leader who truly cared about civil liberties and democracy.)

Further, it was U.S. government operations (CIA) which resulted in the death of so many Pakistanis in the recent past due to missile strikes on villages - again all in the name of the war on terrorism.(3) Bomb villages, civilians die and are maimed, and for what--possibly killing a terrorist?(4)

So, it has never appeared that Bush nor the U.S. government had any concern for democracy and the well being of the people of Pakistan before now, why should anyone think suddenly the welfare of the Pakistani people matters to his administration? Bush's goal was only keeping his ally of Musharraf, and thus his sending our money to him in the name of fighting terrorism, so that Bush can continue on with the agenda of empire building.

This is nothing new. U.S. government operations in Pakistan have a long history, with Pakistan's military relying on our government for roughly a quarter of its entire $4 billion budget.(5)

While "...Early last week, six years after President Bush first began pouring billions of dollars into Pakistan's military after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Pentagon completed a review that produced a classified plan to help the Pakistani military build an effective counterinsurgency force."(6)

Now it turns out even our government is being called to accountability for all that money--because--guess what? It doesn't even seemed to have accomplished much in the way of fighting terrorism.(7)

What will Bush do now? Give greater support to dictator Musharraf in the name of creating stability and fighting terror? Send billions more of our dollars to him? Bhutto's assassination provides the perfect circumstance for Bush's to increase his interventionism in Pakistan--again all in the name of spreading democracy--now he may claim he must help his ally Mushareff more than ever to build democracy and stability...after all, friends stick together don't they? All they want to accomplish is democracy for the people, right?

Bush had no more business diverting billions of dollars to Pakistan's government than he does to continue his Iraq War. In my opinion, bolstering dictatorships (or overthrowing them) for political expediency is what's important to Bush, and I don't think he could care less about the millions who die and suffer because of U.S. government military interventionism worldwide, and he sure couldn't care less about democracy anywhere in the world--not in Pakistan, not in Iraq, not even in America.

What should we do regarding Pakistan? Precisely what we should do worldwide - leave it alone - ending all forms of U.S. "aid".

It is precisely this kind of waste, and worse this kind of interventionism, which often results in a vindictive retaliatory blowback against American citizens. But such policy is not an invention of Bush. It's the history of the U.S. government. And it is we who continue to suffer the consequences. Only a completely non-interventionist foreign policy will stop this insanity.

The United States must elect leaders who will truly care about human life worldwide and show it by ending our government's unjust military (covert and overt) operations worldwide. And, for that to ever occur, will also require the abolishment of the CIA which has become an agency of terror itself worldwide(8) ... a tool used to secretly circumvent the Constitutional restraints over the power of the Executive in foreign policy...an organization responsible for coups, assassinations, torture, murders, and secret prisons worldwide, and often it appears for economic and geopolitical desires of the US corporate elite.(9) Let's also not forget that Pakistan is also critical to US intelligence agencies’ presence to monitor Iran and in case a military attack is brought against Tehran, and has been a subject of concern because of the wanted development of the oil and gas reserves of Central Asia.(10) The CIA has unfortunately, and with dire consequences, become not the eyes and ears of America it was intended to be - it has become her soul - utilized for agendas far from the best interests and safety of the American people.

I believe a libertarian policy of non-interventionism would provide far more security for the American people, and that the internal affairs and conflicts of other countries should be none of our concern. But our nation has a long history of decades of politicians saying we must defend our "national interest" abroad and then define almost anything happening anywhere as a threat. But I believe that all we should ever be concerned with is how any particular country acts towards us (whether they are a threat to our soil and shores) and us alone.

(1) Picture of Secret Detentions Emerges in Pakistan by Carlotta Gall

(2) Analysis: Bhutto Death Deals Blow to USBy MATTHEW LEE (Associated Press Writer)

(3) CIA kills in Pakistan shadows by Douglas Jehl

(4) How to Lose Friends and Gain Enemies, CIA Bombs Pakistan, Hits America By BRIAN CLOUGHLEY

(5) Questions raised on how Pakistan spends U.S. aid, Officials say funds to fight militants diverted, expenses inflated by David Rohde, Carlotta Gall, Eric Schmitt, David E. Sanger, New York Times

(6) US aid to Pakistan diverted, squandered: report
(and 7) http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/24/world/asia/24military.html?ex=1356152400&en=19a8b44eb685fafa&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

(7) U.S. Officials See Waste in Billions Sent to Pakistan By DAVID ROHDE, CARLOTTA GALL, ERIC SCHMITT and DAVID E. SANGER, NYTimes

(8) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Central_Intelligence_Agency

(9) Saddam's parallel universe,Allan Little, BBC world affairs correspondent

(10)Pakistan Gets F-16s in Exchange for US Bases to Attack Iran-Kilafah.com


Christine Smith is a writer, public speaker, humanitarian and political activist. Her website is www.christinesmith.us

[Posted 29 December 2007]

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