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Musharraf's Political Theater

Reader comment on item: Musharraf's Historic Speech

Submitted by Aidan Maconachy (Canada), Sep 20, 2005 at 21:06

Hmmm ... I'm not a Musharraf fan. He is still hanging in despite promises to step down; a bit like the military leader of a coup d' etat who thinks nice Italian will give him the appearance of a democrat (while lacking substance and credentials). Of course it's entirely possible that there is nobody in the up-and-coming leader mould, so perhaps Pervez is the best we can hope for.

He has not been addressing the Taliban issue in his frontier provinces, and Osama could well be camped out there as we type, enjoying barbecued goat and The Best of Jihad Revival Tunes. The Pakistani effort to root out extremists seems more like theater than a serious comprehensive effort. Musharraf appear to only act when he needs to convince the U.S. that he is capable of being assertive in these matters. He seems to know that he can only push so far against the extremists without risking repercussions ... maybe more assassination attempts. Or maybe his reasons for not acting or even more murky and machiavellian than this - but going there would be pure speculation.

This new "Jewish initiative" strikes me as more of the same. It's opportunistic and provides him with a means for shoring up critical interests.

If I had the sense that Musharraf was a man of integrity with a personal vision that transcended the push and pull of global politics, I would be at least open to being convinced. But the man strikes me as a consummate game player who will adopt whatever strategies of the moment appear to pay the highest dividends, at the lowest risk.
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