Other articles on Pakistan
Excerpt from an interview with President Bush by ABC News Nov 2007.
What’s his name has agreed to hold elections in January, and he’s agreed to take his uniform off. Frankly, I think he should do that in the privacy of his own home, but hey, everyone wants the man to take off his own uniform, so lets let him do it anyway he wants. Make sure you cover it live Charlie.
Do you mean Musharraf?
Yeah him. Have trouble remembering his name. General. General something. Hey, he knows how to call me, I don’t need to remember his name. And our judgment is, is that the sooner he can suspend his emergency decree, the faster Pakistan gets back on the road to democracy. I think they are making progress. See, with all the judges in the jail there won’t be any messy recounts as there was in my case. The best election is one where the outcome is predetermined. Uncertainty is not good. You need to know who is going to win. Otherwise why risk an election?
And it’s an ever-changing situation. And if you follow the news, as I know you do, it’s changing all the time. That is the odd thing about news. It keeps changing. I mean, everyday its like you have to listen to the news all over again. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could write the news ourselves, so we know what is going to happen tomorrow? We paid some guy Armstrong to do that but somehow he screwed up. Mushie is doing a much better job. Dana should be doing your job. A lot cuter too is she. Appeal to that youth market you know… Did you know she works out everyday?
Is there a line he cannot cross, that he cannot cross, something that would go too far, where you might say to yourself, ‘OK, that’s enough?’
Well, he hasn’t crossed the line. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that, uh, he will cross any lines. May be if we had a drawn any lines he might have crossed them. But we don’t draw lines. Too risky. Lines are messy.
But he says he believes in democracy but this state of emergency, which he says he needs to do to fight terrorism, all he’s done is arrest political opponents, he’s arrested lawyers, he’s arrested human rights people. It looks more about saving his own political skin?
Well, as I say, he has done more for Democracy in Pakistan than, than any modern leader has..
(Sound of Charlie Gibson falling out of his chair.)
You OK Charlie?
One of the reasons you’re seeing the blowback that you’re getting in Pakistan is because of the reforms that, that President Musharraf has put in place. Are we happy with the emergency rule? No, we’re not. Do we, do I understand how important he is in fighting extremists and radicals? I do. And do I believe that he’s going to end up getting Pakistan back on the road to democracy? I certainly hope so.
(Sound of chewing)
And our purpose, of course, is to promote a democracy in Pakistan, and at the same time as a valuable ally in fighting the extremists, who have tried to kill President Musharraf three or four times. Yeah, just the fact they tried to kill him shows he is a good guy. Think about it. The evildoers are trying to kill this guy. So he must be good. It is so simple.
He understands the stakes of the war, and I do believe he understands the importance of democracy. That is why he is taking no chances. I think we have a lot to learn from Mushie. Imagine if we could do away with all this misunderestimation of me and install me and Dick as co-presidents for life? We could have made the decision in Bush v Gore unanimous! Just put the annoying judges in jail. Why didn’t I think of that?
Mushie, you are doing a helluva job. If there is a hell on Earth it is Pakistan and you have created it. Hell of a job indeed. See, Mushie is a man of his word. We can trust him. I know because I looked into those sweet brown eyes and I saw his soul. Same as Putin. Only Brownier eyes.
Tom Malinowski, Washington director of Human Rights Watch, said that “it’s hard to imagine how the administration will be able to achieve anything in Pakistan if the president is so disconnected from reality.”
Now you see what is wrong with reality. It goes against your gut. You got to with your gut. Musharraf has made a mistake and took a detour — we are hopeful that he will restore the constitution and get the country back to that path to democracy. See, anyone can get lost. Especially if he don’t ask for directions.
Mrs. Bush, you were very outspoken when the Myanmar situation occurred, and the monks were protesting, and very outspoken about the call for sanctions when they would not tolerate protest. Why is Myanmar and different than Pakistan?
Well, that isn’t my … I can’t answer that. I can talk to you about Burma, because that’s what I know the most about, and what I’ve studied the most, and know most about what’s going on in those countries. I haven’t looked up what Pakistan is yet. Is it a kind of cookie? I should ask someone for a recipe. Let me just sit here looking adoringly at my man, supporting him. I like Burma actually. We are thinking of getting a Burmese python as a family pet. I hear they are very loving and reliable.
One of the interesting stories, if I might, not to be Mister Interrupter here, but uh, was after my speech at the United Nations where it was pretty clear about Burma, and she got an email from a human rights activist on the Thai border. I am so proud of Laura. She actually can read emails! The girl has come a long way. She has learned so much on this job. So it’s a, she’s, her role has been very impressive and very important.
Husain Haqqani, a longtime adviser to former prime minister Benazir Bhutto who now teaches at Boston University, said Bush’s comments yesterday suggest that “the president of the United States does not grasp the situation in Pakistan correctly,” adding: “Musharraf’s support and significance to the United States is overestimated by a White House that is bogged down by other concerns.”
This fella Huqqani, how many divisions has he? What’s his name, the General, has been a loyal ally in fighting terrorists. He’s also advanced democracy in Pakistan. He has said he’s going to take off his uniform. He’s said there will be elections. Today he released prisoners, and so far I’ve found him to be a man of his word.
“Man of his word? What planet is the President living in?” wondered one his aides out aloud. He was transfered forcibly to the embassy in Baghdad.