The Pakistain army's vaulting mission to remain the most powerful actor in Pak politics has received irreparable setbacks in the last few years. This is due to the onset of several new factors in the country's body politic determining the direction of political change in the future. It is also a poor reflection of the ability and willingness of the army's leadership to understand the far-reaching nature of this change and adapt to it seamlessly. Pakistain's future as a viable nation-state now depends on how the generals read the writing on the wall and how quickly they come to terms with it.
The recent failures of the Mighty Pak Army have downgraded its stock with Paks. (1) The army's policy of nurturing anti-Americanism in Pakistain for leveraging its strategic relationship with the US has backfired and left it stranded in no-man's land. It can't let go of the US privately for purposes of economic rent and military aid extraction but it can't embrace it publicly because of the rampant "ghairat" brigade of krazed killer Islamic nationalists that it has brainwashed and brandished.
(2) The army's policy of nurturing the Afghan Taliban in private while appeasing the Pakistain Taliban in public has also failed. The Afghan Taliban are now negotiating directly with America while the Pakistain Taliban are bent on waging an "existential" war against the Mighty Pak Army and civil society.
(3) The army's relationship with the government, opposition, and media is at an all-time low. The government has meekly folded before the army on every issue; but it deeply resents the army's arrogant, intrusive and relentlessly anti-government propaganda and behaviour. The media is also resentful about its manipulation by the ISI viz drone policy, the Raymond Davis affair and Memogate. Question marks abound over its incompetence or complicity in the OBL affair, especially following recent revelations by former DG-ISI Ziauddin Butt that General Pervez Perv Musharraf ... former dictator of Pakistain, who was less dictatorial and corrupt than any Pak civilian government to date ... "hid" the late Osama bin Laden ... who is currently warming his feet by the fire with Hitler and Himmler... in Abbottabad ... A pleasant city located only 30 convenient miles from Islamabad. The city is noted for its nice weather and good schools. It is the site of Pakistain's military academy, which was within comfortable walking distance of the residence of the late Osama bin Laden.... . The murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad, followed by threats to independent journalists, is laid at the ISI's door. The ease with which forces of Evil have breached military security, as in the attacks on GHQ, ISI offices, military messes, Mehran Naval Base, and army officers etc also rankle. Finally, the media is now speaking up and asking disturbing questions about the role of MI and related non-state actors in the disappearances and torture of Baloch activists. Consequently, the media is loath to blindly follow the army's "line" on any issue any more. The PMLN opposition, meanwhile, has gone the whole hog, openly demanding that the intrusion of the military in politics must be curtailed and the army's overweening power cut to size.
If its ratings are falling, the army's ability to manipulate politics for dubious ends is also diminishing. In the old days, the army chief was the most powerful member of the ruling troika by virtue of an alliance with the president. Now the president's role has changed and there are two new and powerful contenders in the equation. The judiciary under Chief justice Iftikhar Chaudry has unprecedentedly pushed the military on the defensive for being unaccountable (the Mehrangate affair of 1990, disappearances and murder of Baloch and Taliban cut-throats in captivity). And the electronic media is reaching tens of millions of Paks and courageously raising their consciousness. Neither will countenance any direct or indirect military intervention in politics.
Recently, General Asfaq Kayani ... four star general, current Chief of Army Staff of the Mighty Pak Army. Kayani is the former Director General of ISI... made a bid to salvage some maimed pride. He disputed the size of the defense budget and denied involvement in quelling unrest in Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... . But there are few takers for his version. Defense expenditures are in fact closer to 25% than 18% if pensions and salaries and supplementary handouts are considered. And the fact remains that the Rangers and Frontier Corps who are in charge of "law and order" in Balochistan are directly commanded by army officers who report to GHQ even though they are formally under the interior ministry. No less questionable is the military's insistence on hogging key civilian positions in government and bureaucracy.
Many of the army high command's current troubles flow from its aggressive overreach and miscalculation. In the old days, setbacks and losses could be propagated as victories and gains, and coup-making generals billed as national saviours because information was not easily or freely available. But that can't be done now. Confronted by a tsunami of young people demanding "change", government, opposition, media and judiciary all want to appear "anti-establishment" because the establishment is another name for the status quo. The international environment is also anti-military hegemony in the third world following the Arab Spring.
The Pakistain military's 64 year old "national security state paradigm" has collapsed with devastating consequences for Pakistain. It is time it retreated to barracks for good and let the civilians cobble an alternative "social security state paradigm" for stability and prosperity. If it doesn't do that, a terrible alternative is staring us in the face.
Continued on Page 49
It can't let go of the US privately for purposes of economic rent and military aid extraction but it can't embrace it publicly
Such clarity is refreshing after wading through the mush served up by the MSM here in the USA.
For me the most interesting revelation is that Musharaf himself ordered the hiding of OBL in Abbotabad.
Posted by: Frozen Al ||
02/18/2012 9:33 Comments ||
For me the most interesting revelation is that Musharaf himself ordered the hiding of OBL in Abbotabad.
Possibly the accusation is even true, Frozen Al. Certainly somebody did, but Musharref is conveniently both out of power and outside the country. Pakistanis pride themselves on being even twistier than the Byzantines were reputed to be...and paranoid conspiracy mongers to boot. It is quite possible, I suspect, that a committee of inquiry would conclude that it had been a conspiracy by Mossad and RAW, with any Pakistanis involved being mere innocent dupes.
I can only imagine 30 years from now Pakistan is broken up into smaller states, unless another Superpower pumps in billions to keeping the military afloat again like we did in the 80s and like we did in the WOT. I won't weep.
Forgotten is our peculiar urban folklore, yesteryear's spontaneous fun of small Israeli kids rapidly rolling off their tongues the names of assorted Syrian tyrants. This singsong accompanied sidewalk games and was a staple of silly summertime tongue-twister contests.
Rather than be wowed, we laughed. Incomparable satirist Shai K.(Shaikeh) Ophir popularized a sidesplitting routine consisting of a rollcall of Syrian tyrants going back to 1948. He recited them with what in hindsight appears like a forerunner of fast-paced rapper-style chants.
Nobody then remotely believed that riots and havoc in neighboring autocracies could betoken the rise of democracy in the Arab-speaking sphere.
But for too long we've lost touch with our not-so-distant past, a time when recurrent "Arab Springs" were once announced with dizzying frequency. In Syria especially they followed in furious succession until, in 1970, one Hafez Assad proclaimed the longest-lasting self-styled spring and actually managed to pass on control of the abundant Damascene sunshine and blossoms to his son, Bashar.
Continued on Page 49
Part III: Restructuring the Regime and Abolishing the Presidency
[MEMRI] By A. Savyon and Y. Mansharof*
The present article, the last in the series on the schism within the Iranian leadership, focuses on the move by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei ...the successor to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the actual dictator of Iran... to abolish the presidential regime in Iran and replace it with a parliamentary regime, as an institutional means of eliminating his rivals, Mahmoud Short Round Ahmadinejad and Hashemi Rafsanjani. ... the fourth President of Iran. He was a member of the Assembly of Experts until he was eased out in 2011 He continues, for the moment, as Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council. In 2005 he ran for a third term as president, ultimately losing to rival Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was in Khamenei's graces back then. In 1980 Rafsanjani survived an assassination attempt, during which he was maimed. He has been described as a centrist and a pragmatic conservative without all that much reason. He is currently being eased out of any position of actual influence or power and may be dead by the end of 2012... The lead-up to the upcoming Majlis elections, scheduled for early March 2012, saw an intense public debate Not as intense as last time but still intense. Only without so many dead guys except for IRGC officers in their 50s who pop off one a day for a week...
over the issue of changing the political system. The debate was sparked by a speech Khamenei gave in Kermanshah on October 16, 2011, in which he hinted at the possibility of eliminating the post of president and instating a parliamentary system in which the head of the executive branch of government is elected by the Majlis. Khamenei noted that this idea will only be implemented in the distant future, and only if necessary, yet his speech was perceived as ground breaking and as heralding a significant, and perhaps imminent, change in the structure of the regime. Some even assessed that the next presidential elections, slated for 2013, would be canceled. If they are, we'll know Holy Fearless Leader is on top. I suspect they will be...
As part of the initiative, some also suggested to abolish the Expediency Council, headed by Rafsanjani, and to transform it into a second house of parliament.
However, in the course of the ensuing public debate, many pointed out that the shift to parliamentary rule might be difficult, because Iran lacks a tradition of party politics.
It seems that the initiative to replace the directly elected president with a Majlis-elected prime minister (or president) is meant to help Khamenei achieve two goals; first, the goal of removing the ideological, political and personal threat that Ahmadinejad and his associates pose to his rule and to the current character of the Iranian regime; second, the goal of politically eliminating his rival and former ally Hashemi Rafsanjani, who has already been removed from the centers of power and today serves only as the head of the Expediency Council. Even if there is no intention to implement the change in the near future, merely raising the possibility of abolishing the presidency and instating a parliamentary regime, especially so soon before the Majlis elections, is a clear signal to Ahmadinejad and Rafsanjani that their place in the Iranian leadership is shaky.
It should be mentioned that, until 1989, Iran had both a dual system, with a president and a prime minister whom were both subordinate to then-supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini. From 1981, the role of president was discharged by Khamenei himself (who, following Khomeini's death was elevated to the status of Ayatollah and appointed Supreme Leader), and the prime minister was Mir Hossein Mousavi. After Khomeini's death, the role of prime minister was abolished, and Iran adopted the present system, in which the Supreme Leader, the jurisprudent ruler, is appointed by the Assembly of Experts (since 1989, this role has been discharged by Khamenei), whereas the president, subordinate to the Supreme Leader, is elected by the people and can serve a maximum of two consecutive four-year terms. It should be mentioned that changes to the character of the presidency have been suggested from time to time: for instance in 1997, just before the end of Rafsanjani's presidency, with an eye to allowing him a third term in office, and also during the presidency of Khatami, who wished to expand his presidential powers (the status of the presidency has always been fluid in Iran, and considerably influenced by the president's relationship with Supreme Leader Khamenei).
Posted by: Fred ||
02/18/2012 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Iran
IRGC break-off, seperation of Kahmeni from admonkeyjacket. Stress in Jundollah and Azeri influence. Loss of confidence in governing Parliment.
Anger from Hezbollah, failing economy, currency dispute with all nations. Internal stress will break it into some obama wanting sin whore hole or a breakout from the 7 dwarfs.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.