(by Brent Budowsky)
The leader says the nation must crack down on liberties to fight the war against terrorism.
The leader is surrounded by profiteers who make huge sums of money corrupting military budgets and political power.
The leader believes he is specially ordained from above to pursue his policies, which he believes are endorsed by higher authorities that exempt him from the rules of law and conduct that define democratic nations and democratic values.
This is the logic of the George W. Bushes and the Pervez Musharrafs of the world, who fail to respect democratic values, in the name of democratic values, with results that only help the enemy.
Let’s be clear: A Pakistani election conducted during a state of emergency is a fraud and a sham against freedom and democracy. An election during which media is closed, lawyers are imprisoned, dissidents are jailed, opposition leaders are put under house arrest, protesters are beaten up, voices are silenced and the people are held in contempt is not an election but a dictatorship without even a disguise.
Musharraf believes that Bush either supports what he is doing, or enables it.
Bush believes that a war can be won while losing the battle of ideas, while the truth is, it is the battle of ideas that is the true weapon to win the war that matters.
The U.S. should unconditionally oppose any state of emergency election and should make it clear that military assistance to those who promote this dictatorship will be halted until this martial law is lifted.
We should stand with the people of Pakistan, not the dictator, and unless we do, we will neither stand for freedom and democracy nor defeat the real enemy that lurks in Pakistan today: those responsible for Sept. 11, 2001, who remain under the protection of the government we support.