Friday, July 20, 2007

Pakistan: Supreme Court Reaffirms Rule Of Law In The Face Of Daily Terror; USA: Um, Well...

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has reinstated Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who was suspended March 9th by President General Pervez Musharraf.

The ruling is a major victory for the country's lawyers, who have been striking and demonstrating in the streets ever since March. Their action has led to a significant strengthening of a pro-democracy movement which hopes to free the nation from military dictatorship. General Musharraf took power in a military coup in 1999.

Chief Justice Chaudry has stood against military abuse of power -- holding hearings into the "disappearances" of hundreds of Pakistani men into the hands of the military and intelligence services, for instance.

He was expected to rule in favor of the Pakistani constitution and against the President General on the question of whether an army chief of staff can legitimately stand for the Presidency.

And that's not all. As Mike Nizza of the New York Times remarks, Chief Justice Chaudhry
was expected to hear several cases that could significantly inhibit General Musharraf’s claim to the posts of president and army chief of staff.
At least four people have been killed in another suicide attack today, bringing to at least 300 the number who have died in terror-related incidents in the last two and a half weeks. The total includes at least 100 fatalities in the army's storming of the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) complex -- from which 150 children are reportedly still missing! -- as well as the victims of another 25 attacks, mostly by suicide bombers -- including one on a pro-Chaudry demonstration Tuesday evening, which has been blamed on the government!

Meanwhile, in the Homeland, the president is preparing to make a breathtaking claim of executive privilege which would put him and his far above the law, and well beyond any possibility of oversight. It's the latest of a long line of breathtaking moves, clearly aimed at dismantling the very structure of American government, including attacks on civil liberties, separation of powers, and rule of law. All this has allegedly been done because the United States is supposedly under dire threat of terrorism.

The threat consists mostly of government officials and their supporters chattering on endlessly about how we may need another catastrophic and catalyzing event -- one even bigger than 9/11 -- a Newer Pearl Harbor, so to speak, and one in which Administration complicity could hardly be more obvious.

But even without all these sinister dimensions -- even if the attacks of 9/11 were the genuine article, even if the government's official stories of 9/11 and the GWOT could somehow possibly be true, even if we weren't constantly being bombarded by vague yet urgent terror scares -- the irony would still be astonishing.

In Pakistan the Savage, despite the pressure of multiple daily suicide bombings, the Supreme Court moves in favor of democracy and rule of law and against a military dictator president.

Meanwhile, in America the Good, where the threat of domestic terrorism is an increasingly flimsy political tool and not much else, the Supreme Court sits quietly and nods while the executive moves ever farther from democracy and closer to a military dictatorship presidency -- a Commander-Guy Decidership, if you will.

And America supports Pakistan generally, and President General Pervez Musharraf personally -- as its so-called prime front-line ally in the "Global War On Terror".

This simple twist -- which shows at a glance what a sham this so-called GWOT really is -- couldn't be more remarkable ... or less widely remarked.


[ slected links ]

Dawn: Supreme Court reinstates suspended Pakistan chief justice

Reuters : Court reinstates Pakistan judge in blow to Musharraf

WaPo: Pakistan Supreme Court Reinstates Judge

NYT: Musharraf Rebuked as Pakistan Court Reinstates Judge (or here)

Dawn: Suicide blast kills four in Pakistan tribal area

NYT: Suicide Bomber Kills 14 at Rally in Pakistan (or here)

The News: Lawyers blame govt for Islamabad blast

NDTV: Lal Masjid: Search on for the missing

NYT: Pakistani Wife Embodies Cause of ‘Disappeared’ (or here)

WaPo: Broader Privilege Claimed In Firings

Larisa Alexandrovna: Bush declarares Congress, courts, and, rule of law null and void...

Chris Floyd: The Legal Pervert's Parade: Executive Privilege Über Alles