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Monday, August 18, 2008

Because in Pakistan, their Constitution still matters
Posted by Jill | 5:59 AM
Unlike in the U.S., where Congressional Democrats and Republicans have decided that gross violations of the Constitution don't matter, and that presidents are allowed to set their own laws even if they violate said Constitution, in Pakistan things are different:

Under pressure over impending impeachment charges, President Pervez Musharraf announced he would resign Monday, ending nearly nine years as the head of one of the United States’ most important allies in the campaign against terrorism.

Speaking on television from his presidential office here at 1 p.m., Mr. Musharraf, dressed in a gray suit and tie, said that after consulting with his aides, “I have decided to resign today.” He said he was putting national interest above “personal bravado.”

“Whether I win or lose the impeachment, the nation will lose,” he said, adding that he was not prepared to put the office of the presidency through the impeachment process.


Mr. Musharraf has been under strong pressure in the past few days, as the coalition said it had completed a charge sheet to take to Parliament for his impeachment. The charges were centered on “gross violations” of the Constitution, according to the minister of information, Sherry Rehman.

The rhetoric from the coalition mounted over the weekend, but the leading politicians wavered on an exact date for bringing the charges, thus leaving a window for Mr. Musharraf to leave.

In his speech, Mr. Musharraf tore into the coalition for what he called their failed economic policies. He said Pakistan’s critical economic situation — a declining currency, capital flight, soaring inflation — was their responsibility. In contrast, he said, his policies had brought prosperity out of near economic collapse when he took charge in 1999.

He then gave a laundry list of his achievements, ranging from expanded road networks to a national art gallery in the capital. Although Pakistan’s literacy rate hovers around 50 percent, and is much lower among women, he took credit for new schools.

The army, the most powerful institution in Pakistan, stayed publicly above the fray in the past 10 days. But in remaining studiously neutral and declining to come to Mr. Musharraf’s rescue, the new leader of the army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvaz Kayani, tipped the scales against the president, politicians said.

So in Pakistan, we have a general who took power in a bloodless coup, and yet that country's coalition government was prepared to impeach, while here in the U.S., that beacon of democracy for the world, our so-called opposition party leader announced right after an election which put her party in power, that impeachment was off the table, and that a president who has committed crimes that make Nixon look like George Washington, should have no accountability for his crimes.

The irony makes the mind reel.

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Blogger Carl said...
Jill, you and I both got tapped at Memeorandum for Musharraf posts.

Bush has somehow wrested the mantle of Teflon Don, errrr, President, from Reagan. Look at how many world leaders he's helped destroy, while clinging tightly to office.