We Will Deliver Ohio, er, Pakistan for the President
A recent audiotape has surfaced in Pakistan in which a voice believed to be that of Abdul Qayum, Musharraf’s Alberto Gonzalez, expressed some pretty insane confidence that the dictator’s PML-Q party would win the upcoming elections despite the tsunami of opposition to Musharraf’s “King’s party”.
Shades of Wally O’Dell, the Diebold CEO who’d promised in a letter to Republicans five years ago that he and the voter tabulation company were “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.”
Lending credence to this audiotape are events that have taken place in Pakistan since the late Benazir Bhutto first touched down in Karachi last autumn.
Pakistan’s election commission has received more than 1,200 complaints of cheating so far. The allegations concern bribes to acquire ID numbers in order to cast fraudulent ballots, the misuse and counterfeiting of postal votes, and fake reports which allow police to arrest campaign workers without charge, as well as kidnappings and shooting.
And just today, a suicide car bomber drove his car into the election headquarters of a candidate, killing 37 and wounding almost 100. The bomber’s target was obviously members of the late Bhutto’s Democratic PPP (Pakistan People’s Party). While no one as yet has taken responsibility for this latest suicide bombing, is it that removed from the realm of possibility that al Qaida or the Taliban to whom Musharraf has been giving safe haven are responsible?
Musharraf is so unpopular in Pakistan these days that even members of his own party avoid mentioning him and refuse to be seen with him. Gee, where have we heard that before? Oh, yeah: The same Republicans who were promised by Wally O’Dell that Diebold would deliver Ohio to Bush.
As Bush extends his cherry-picking Legacy Tour to Africa, carefully avoiding the most troubled nations such as the Sudan and Kenya, which has also seen bloodshed after their own elections, it’s more than obvious that Bush is so disingenuous and divorced from reality that when pressured even in the slightest his hypocrisy is revealed.
Bush’s rationale is to focus on the “success stories” of Africa rather on the genocide still continuing in the Sudan’s Darfur region, the post-election riots that had broken out in Kenya and no doubt Bush also won’t be visiting nations such as Cameroon, the Congo and Zambia that have been victimized time and again by vulture fund managers that Bush still refuses to put out of business.
No, no, nothing to see there, folks. Look at Benin, instead.
Let’s also not look too closely at our central Asian ally in the war on terror who’s making his country look more like a banana republic dictatorship than ever before. By insisting on supporting Musharraf, Bush is showing his true colors when he spouts off about the democracy that the Pakistani dictator’s opponents desperately need and want.
Just as he showed his true colors when he vowed to veto any FISA extension that didn’t contain telecom immunity, the law that expired last night when House Democrats held firm and called the GOP’s bluff, the law that Bush said alone was keeping us alive. Even a functional idiot like Bush must know that even without an updated FISA bill to replace the old, the wiretapping program would still continue for another year, or until after his administration ends. That’s why he can afford to be so stubborn about an immunity-free bill.
Yet, by Bush’s deliberately misleading rationale, he’s quite willing to endanger American lives just over retroactive immunity for telecom giants for spying on millions of citizens.
When one observes how much America and its leaders have come to resemble the banana republic, Third World dictatorship that Pakistan has been since Musharraf’s seizure of power in 1999, at the overt hostility toward democracy while mealy-mouthing platitudes espousing the virtue of democracy, the purging of the judiciary, an openly corrupt electoral process, the disappearances and crackdown on dissidents, the suspension of civil liberties in the interests of the common good, the refusal to take the bad with the good, the coddling of terrorists, one is put in mind of the final nightmarish scene in George Orwell’s Animal Farm:
The pigs and the humans are no longer distinuishable.