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'Soft' Dictatorships & the Misrule of Law

By Mumia Abu-Jamal  Posted by Hans Bennett (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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'Soft' Dictatorships & the Misrule of Law

[col. writ. 11/8/07]
(c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal

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It has been over a week since the eruption of the so called State of Emergency in Pakistan, and already, despite occasional rhetorical terms of excitement, there has been a tacit acceptance by the U.S. government of what should have been unacceptable.

In Pakistan, the unelected military leader, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, has already gotten the nod to continue the repression of the nation's judiciary, lawyers and civil society activists for the next 3 months (until Feb. 2008)

Despite initial rumblings of State Dept. protests, now even the threat of withholding military funding for the Pakistani dictatorship is (to borrow a phrase from U.S. House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA.) "off the table."

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So, despite any words, in deed, the U.S. has thrown Pakistan a timeline of acceptability for a campaign of repression against any prominent figures who have spoken out against the nation's military rule.

Notice, if you will, how Americans have given the OK to February elections, but have fallen silent about the government's blatant reshaping of the Supreme Court.

Indeed, in addition to publicly beating lawyers, the Pakistan government has been adept in pulling the plug to television, cable, and internet media, only allowing state channels to air.

One wonders, why is the U.S., Pakistan's chief funder, so silent in the face of such actions by the deeply unpopular dictator, Musharraf?

Because the U.S. knows that anybody else in the country, from any other sector of society, would find more popular support if they opposed U.S. actions - not followed them.

In other words, the U.S. wants a deeply repressive satrap, or puppet - for anything approximating popular support will, by necessity, follow different paths than those the U.S. prescribes for them! In a real sense, we are seeing the same thing we saw during the so called 'Cold War', where the U.S. supported brutal, undemocratic dictators the world over, for strategic reasons, against the wishes of their own people.

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Musharraf is riding the tiger, and in many ways, he can't let go.

That tiger isn't the new bogeyman, terrorism - it's the U.S., which has managed to push its massive thumb into the eye of millions of Muslims around the world.

How can it now, realistically, openly oppose a dictator, who has been doing openly, what the Bush regime has been doing by subterfuge.

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Hans Bennett is a multi-media journalist mostly focusing on the movement to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners. An archive of his work is available at and he is also co-founder of "Journalists for Mumia," (more...)

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