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Bush's Falling Dominoes

By       Message Ron Fullwood     Permalink
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BHUTTO is dead in Pakistan, and there's going to be a flurry of accusations of blame from her supporters and from her detractors as well. But, for Americans who are left to witness the reactions and retaliations, there should be no doubt that the assassination is a direct hit on the Bush administration's blundering attempts to shape their foreign policy around their manufactured aggression in Iraq.

The Bhutto assassination also reflects on the administration's reliance on Pakistan's dictator to manage and suppress the forces of opposition to U.S. expansionism in the region and restrain the forces in his country who have been inspired in their resistance by the example and influence of the 9-11 terror suspects who've been gifted with over six years of safe haven from prosecution by Bush's Iraq diversion.

"Certainly, we condemn the attack on this rally," deputy State Department spokesman Tom Casey said after the news broke. "It demonstrates that there are still those in Pakistan who want to subvert reconciliation and efforts to advance democracy," he said.

But, that sentiment of Bush's would directly apply to Musharraf's latest assault on his country's democratic process with his suspension of the constitution and the upcoming election, his disbanding and replacement of the Supreme Court justice with one who would not question his dubious appointment as president, and his arrest and jailing of thousands of his political opposition and their leaders.

In the dictatorial fashion in vogue these days with his friends in the White House, Musharraf claimed he was defending against 'extremist' elements in his country as he directed his police and military forces to violently put down the protests which inevitably erupted in the wake of his crackdown. Villages were attacked and scores were killed by government forces and labeled as 'insurgent' or terrorist, to justify the anti-democratic attempt to disrupt Pakistan's political process of free and fair elections.

The arrival of Bhutto, herself, was orchestrated by the U.S. in an attempt to allow their dictator to continue in power through some sort of power-sharing agreement. The assassination attempt which greeted Bhutto's initial arrival back in Pakistan, however, sparked a direct opposition from the former prime minister to Musharraf and his autocratic moves against her campaign and others. The response and attitude from the Bush administration was a predictable, but uncharacteristic, timidity in directly denouncing Musharraf as the enemy to democracy he demonstrated he was with his reliance on his imposed authority to maintain his unpopular position.

'Look, see . . . he's taking off his uniform. Look, he's promised to hold the elections he unilaterally suspended. See, he's released the political prisoners he unilaterally arrested and detained. And, he's still holding on to the nuclear weapons we pay him to maintain . . . Did we say that out loud?

Listening to this administration is like relying on a bad weatherman. They can tell you when it's finally raining, but they can't seem to acknowledge, after the deluge, that they've been predicting sunshine and blue skies all along. They refuse to acknowledge the folly of their mindless militarism in Iraq and the negligence of their abandonment of the hunt for the original 9-11 suspects in Afghanistan while they isolate the consequences of that neglect and blame the ensuing chaos and unrest on the fugitives they refuse (and their Pakistani dictator refuses) to capture.

Now, Bhutto is dead. Al-Qaeda will undoubtedly be blamed. Perhaps they are involved in her killing. The inevitable response from Bush will be his insistence that 'terrorists' are threatening democracy. But, there is no greater example of a threat to democracy than the invader and occupier of sovereign Iraq, Bush, and his unwavering support for the dictator of Pakistan. Certainly, Bush has done nothing to stem the anger toward the U.S. which has flowed freely from opposition to the occupation of Iraq to those abroad who would threaten violence to our interests or allies. The evidence from his own intelligence agencies is that the Iraq occupation is a conduit for resistant violence.

Bush, predictably, condemned the assassination and called for 'justice.'

"The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy," he said, from his ranch in Crawford, Texas. "Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice . . . We urge them to honor Benazir Bhutto's memory by continuing with the democratic process for which she so bravely gave her life," he said.

Bush's 'war on terror' is a disaster; both for the U.S. and for those abroad he pretends to defend with his reactive, opportunistic militarism he's toying with for political gain at home. His PNAC cronies who backed him in to power used to be fond of pushing their un-democratic 'domino' strategy, where Iraq would be a catalyst for the fall of regimes in Iran, Syria and anywhere else where Israel's interests are remotely threatened. But, as in Pakistan, not all of the falling dominoes are lined up behind the interests of America or Americans. And, as Bush continues to press forward with his disruptive, distracting, anti-democratic aggression in Iraq, we're all left to wonder together where the next dominoes will fall.

 

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Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price

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