By Manifesto Joe
For all the bravado and posturing we've seen from the Bush administration since 9-11, the chickenhawks seem to have met their match in a rather unimpressive Pakistani general named Pervez Musharraf. As democracy activists and lawyers around Pakistan are rounded up in the name of homeland security, all we are hearing from Washington is that it's "regrettable" but that the aid to our crucial ally in the War on Terrorism will likely continue. Maybe someone should ask some of the Pakistani detainees how they would define terrorism.
In all, about 1,500 arrest warrants were issued. Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the de facto opposition leader, is keeping pretty quiet and staying home. There is reportedly a chill being felt all about, with just a few small protests quickly broken up by police.
And of course, few have any more knowledge of where Osama bin Laden or Mullah Omar are hiding.
We can't know much about what's happening on the streets of Pakistan. Musharraf's police state has blacked out all uncooperative domestic media, as well as the major Western outlets.
Something clearly emerging from this, in any case, is the ultimate impotence of the Bush administration. It is just one more of many diplomatic disasters for them, but they are piling up. Our current State Department is about as useless as tits on a boar hog, and all it takes is a Third-World tyrant like the Mush Man to show the full picture of what Tricky Dick Nixon described as a "pitiful, helpless giant."
If Musharraf has now clearly become a liability, an international rodent, it wasn't something that couldn't have been predicted long ago. U.S. policymakers decided to get in bed with him, as they have with so many other sulfur-scented dictators. The odor tends to travel. Now they discover that they have little influence over his reckless actions. One thinks of a variation of the line from Claude Rains' character in Casablanca: "I'm shocked, shocked to find jackbooted thugs running this country!"
Chalk it up as one more big American foreign policy blunder -- trusting this creep with anything, ever -- and it seems like the U.S. has been on a special roll on this sort of thing since January 2001. One would have to go back nearly 150 years, to the James Buchanan administration, to find a time when the screw-ups piled up higher.
But I somehow suspect that, secretly, when Bush heard that Musharraf had suspended the constitution, he pondered, "Now, why didn't Turd Blossom ever think of that?"
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.