September 29, 2007
Lawyers who will bleed for a cause
There is not only unrest in Myanmar, but in Pakistan as well. The US-approved Musharraf government is cracking down on protesters from the country's legal rank and file, according to this report by Time.com. The protests come after a high court ruling that said Pervez Musharraf, who took power in a military coup and later had himself installed as a constitutional executive, can run for a second term in office.
While I recognize that the United States is somewhat dependent on a stable, strong Pakistani government in its (postulated) pursuit of al-Qaeda, I cannot help but find these events unfortunately inverted. I agree with those who say we should avoid too many international entanglements, but the more interventionist among us tend to take up the democratic cause, don't they? (Ahem, that is, except for in Latin America.) What repercussions are due from our praising (and giving billions to) this barely legitimate (if that) potentate?
The contrast of this diplomatic precariousness with our treatment of the Saddam Hussein regime — which was also militaristic, and, by the way, kept extremists like al-Qaeda under control — cannot be more stark. (Readers will not in any way take this as an endorsement of Saddam's butchery.)
Lastly, when was the last time, in this country, that lawyers would actually stand up and fight; not merely argue in a courtroom or legislative chamber, but throw rocks, get tear-gassed, and bleed for a cause? I'm thinking that all stopped sometime around the end of the American Revolution. The upside is that we do have more civil ways of airing our differences. I'm just saying.
International | By joe lance | 09:16 PM