Monday, September 17, 2007

What System Of Government For Pakistan?

Another one of those letters that is critical of the United States. Nothing out of the ordinary, but there were some paragraphs I had a quibble with.
The Americans should be able to recognise the fact. Afghans have never had a representative government and if the 9/11 attack was planned and organised by the controlling group in Afghanistan, the civilian population was decidedly not responsible. Yet it is largely the civilian population which is being killed in he ‘war on terror’. In some parts of the world such killing is called genocide.
The fact of the matter is, Afghanistan did have a government, of sorts, which was controlled by the Taliban, and was recognized by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and U.A.E. Yes, it was a dictatorship, but it was a government, nonetheless. As for the killing of civilians, they are, in all honesty, unintentional and unfortunate circumstances of war. The death of civilians in Afghanistan is not genocide as the author contends. It does not even fit the legal definition. Genocide is the systemic annihilation of a people. This is not the case in Afghanistan, not even by a long shot. If blame is to be laid at anybody’s feet, it should be those militants who use civilians as human shields and cannon fodder.
America is displaying the same hyperbolic curve of social and material development which reaches a peak and then declines. It has made big advancement in many respects but has lost its way in many others. Its way of dealing with 9/11 has belied its own lofty principles of integrity, law and justice. It has reverted to its Wild West dictum, shoot first, ask questions later.
This is a typical stereotypical view of American foreign policy, replete with the standard cowboy reference. Setting aside the foolishness of invading Iraq, for the moment, the decision to go into Afghanistan and hunt down Al-Qaeda was not done on a whim. There was credible intelligence the Taliban was not only giving sanctuary and support to Al-Qaeda, but much of the 9/11 planning was conducted there. Attacking these Al-Qaeda bases was not only logical, but the right thing to do. Even Democrats and Republicans agree on this view.
American voters have realised that all is not well at the top, they have already voted for the change, but, their democracy is not the best of role models at this point, funding rules the roost and the reverse gear is missing.
There is nothing wrong with the system, as I see it. I think it works perfectly fine. The Democrats won control of both houses of Congress on the promise they will end the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and bring the troops home. That they have not done so is a political failure on their part, not a flaw in the system. Regardless, President Bush and Republicans have gotten the signal, loudly and clearly, that they better shape up, or suffer further consequences.
I would invite the attention of all Pakistanis to see how important it is to have the ability to stop and change direction, once it is established that we are on the wrong track. The people who made America the greatest power are helpless in their efforts to change course, so Pakistanis must learn from it and if ever given the opportunity, they must devise a constitution and system which creates checks and balances to re-direct the government’s course of action if it strays, it has strayed in the past and no doubt it will in future.
What Mr. Mahmood is advocating is mob rule—in another word, anarchy! The American system is designed to thwart an expansionist executive, while a parliamentary system often suborns it. Whatever it flaws, the American system of government is the best, in my opinion.

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