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After Mugabe... Musharraf in Europe!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-01-22 09:56:44
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It looks to me like this is the time for Europe to put out the red carpet to all the dictators around the world and I am wondering if Kim of North Korea will be next. However, since nobody is sure whether Kim will come, we have managed fine with Mugabe and now with Musharraf.

The man is visiting Europe for eight days, beginning in Brussels followed by the UK, France and finally the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, to promote the democratic changes and financial opportunities of …Pakistan!!! Feel mercy man! What democracy and what financial opportunities? The only ones who can see financial opportunities in Pakistan during Musharraf’s regime are the weapons dealers, perhaps drug dealers who are interested in the Afghan drugs crossing the borders where the Taliban rule.

Except that - and I use exactly the word he used - he aims to clear 'misperceptions' of recent events in Pakistan!!! This is the part you just remain speechless if you want to remain sane. Talking about sanity, Musharraf is definitely not one. I mean the man might have many titles and reading some parts of his newly published book from the international media I found out that he considers himself a superb athlete, super sensitive, a completed strategist, a philanthropist, environmentally-aware and, most of all, a …democrat! And now please …shoot me!

Superb athlete, how does that come? I thought they are called serial killers! Sensitive, right, he said 'bitch' when Bhutto was assassinated, so I suppose that is some kind of emotion. A completed strategist, right, kissing the arse of anybody that is stronger than you is a strategy and being the good guy with the CIA, while sucking up to the Taliban and bin Laden, is one example. Despite whatever he says, Musharraf, in his stupidity, has become bin Laden’s best ally.

Philanthropist and environmentalist, he said, yes he takes care of the over-population in Pakistan by shooting his opponents. After all, they are the majority in this poor country. What did I leave to last? Democrat, I cannot even laugh with the irony. The man dares to call himself a democrat, but then Mugabe also calls himself a democrat and liberator. I’m not sure, but I think in recent history the only dictator ever to admit that he hated democracy has been the Italian Mussolini.

Still, I expect from somebody like Musharraf to come up with things like that, but what about his hosts? Gordon Brown refused to be in the same country as Mugabe just a month ago, so is he going to welcome Musharraf now? What about the democrat Sarkozy? Is he going to invite him stay in the palace just like he did with Kaddafi? And when Musharraf will dare mention the word 'democracy' just how are these two going to react? Isn’t Europe full of hypocrisy? Why would any country follow any of the preaching when the EU itself cannot uphold what it is preaching?

Take a little example, in the name of democracy the EU and the international court rejects any candidacy from Serbia as long as there are members of the former Serbian regime at large, despite all the protests that these two things should never be connected. How do you connect the arrest of a criminal with the future of a proven democratic country? Well, it is done in the very same union where Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy will put out the red carpet to welcome a dictator responsible for hundreds of deaths and thousands of imprisonments. I know that I have asked the very same question before, but is this the Europe, the United Europe of which we all dreamed?

Musharraf is not welcome in Europe; on the contrary, the man should be arrested for crimes against humanity and join Mugabe in the same cell. In one year the Americans will have the chance to leave behind George W. Bush and all his bad choices and mistakes. It doesn’t matter if the next US president will be Democrat or Republican, it will be a change, a new approach and the blame will fall on Bush, his advisors and the new-Republicans gang. However, Europeans don’t have this luxury and whatever they do it stays there as another black mark on the European political history of wrong choices.

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Emanuel Paparella2008-01-22 15:14:23
Food for thought. Indeed, surveying the present larger context of Western Civilization, of which both EU and US are integral part, it would appear that Yeats had it on target: “things fall apart; the center cannot hold…the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” Has democracy become a mere fig leaf for our lack of convictions? Is the emperor strutting about naked albeit with a tail, blissfully unaware that he has lost his soul?

Sand2008-01-22 19:22:55
A piece of tail, at the critical time, can be rather satisfying and, as Adam discovered, might have rather important consequences.

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