“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pakistani TV, Radio Off the Air. Land Lines and Mobile Phones Down.

Musharraf imposes emergency rule BBC

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has declared emergency rule, state-run TV has said, amid reports that police have surrounded the Supreme Court.
Judges are believed to be inside the building in Islamabad, reports say.

Troops have been deployed inside state-run TV and radio stations, while independent channels have gone off air.

Gen Musharraf is awaiting a Supreme Court ruling on whether he was eligible to run for re-election last month while remaining army chief.

Pakistan has been engulfed in political upheaval in recent months, and the security forces have suffered a series of blows from pro-Taleban militants opposed to Gen Musharraf's support for the US-led "war on terror".

The BBC's Barbara Plett reports from Islamabad that fears have been growing in the government that the Supreme Court ruling could go against Gen Musharraf.

Land and mobile telephone lines are down in Islamabad, reports say.

Private channels Geo News and Dawn News earlier quoted unnamed sources as saying the government had made up its mind to declare emergency rule. Shortly afterwards they came off air.

One TV channel reported that emergency rule may involve the suspension of the constitution.

Parliamentary elections are due in January - it is not clear whether they will go ahead.

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who recently returned to the country after years of self-exile to lead her party in the elections, is currently in Dubai on a personal visit.


  1. The hammer is coming down, on the moderates.

  2. Because the militants are kicking the General President's Army's ass, gettin' swatted in Swat.

    Pak militants capture police station as fighting continues

    SWAT (AP): Islamic militants said on Saturday they had taken control of a police station in the volatile northwest region, hoisting their flag over its roof and bringing further embarrassment to President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's government.

    Fighting between paramilitary security forces and militant supporters of a pro-Taliban cleric has intensified in the scenic Swat valley since last week when militants launched a series of coordinated attacks on troops. A day earlier, militants paraded 48 security forces who surrendered during fighting, saying they did not want to battle against their Muslim brothers.

    Troops backed by helicopter gunships have launched a series of strikes on militant facilities, and the government says it has killed about 180 militants. The militants deny the figures and say they have the upper hand.

    Officers fled the police station in Swat late Friday, said Sirajuddin, a spokesman for the radical cleric who leads the militants.

    ``Our flag is hoisted above Matta police station now,'' said the spokesman, who only goes by one name. Militants released the surrendered personnel on Friday but still hold 100 prisoners.

    No government official was immediately available to comment on Sirajuddin's claim, which comes a day after Adm. William Fallon, chief of the U.S. Central Command, met with Musharraf and other top generals to discuss the situation. Washington backs Musharraf as a bulwark in its war on terrorism.

    A spokesman for Pakistan's army angrily denied newspaper reports that suggested Fallon had offered to provide U.S. troops to help tackle the insurgency in Swat.

    ``Every one is aware of our stance on this issue, and the Americans also know it,'' Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad said. Pakistan's government has long said it would not allow U.S.-led coalition forces to operate on its soil.

    Though it does appear that a US Predator took out a couple, three mud huts in Danday village Friday, killing 10 people and wounding 11, residents and two local security officials said on condition of anonymity, citing policy. The officials described the casualties as local Taliban.

    So then the General Preident locks down the Pakistani Supreme Court, in retaliation?

    Or because it's a target he can see, a mission his troops can accomplish, destroying civil Pakistani institutions. So that when the Taliban take over, they won't have to.

    The destruction of the Pakistani moderate middle, done on the US dime, by a "Secularist".

    It's a sweet double game those Saudi play.

  3. Militants Draw New Front Line Inside Pakistan

    For the first time, heavy fighting has moved beyond Pakistan’s tribal fringe and into more settled areas.
    Times Topics: Pakistan

  4. JURIST] The government of Pakistan (news archive) plans to amend the Pakistan Army Act to include a provision enabling the army to court-martial civilians for certain offenses, Pakistan Attorney General Malik Qayyum said Friday. The offenses that could subject civilians to court-martial trials include abduction, use of arms and terrorism, and will particularly apply to offenses committed by tribal militants. The proposed changes would also permit intelligence agencies to detain civilians without charges indefinitely. Internews has more.

    The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) [advocacy website] immediately objected to the proposed provision, saying the Pakistan intelligence agencies should not have any additional powers. The HRCP added that the provision could lead to the creation of summary military courts, which the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] has already banned.

    Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and their lessons for today

  6. bobalharb said...
    Roth, or is it Rothman, one of the sane ones, at KGO, very bright and knows the mid east, being a Jew, was saying things are bad in Pakistan. Taliban has about half the country. Opinion was Benazir probably won't last long.

    Damn were they all pissed at Feinstein. Condoning torture.

  7. That may be why she left for Bahrain. That and to visit her mother, of course.

    Saw what was coming and got out of Dodge, seems to me

  8. I saw these girls and thought of you, & Sonia, doug.

    ahhh... the Beach beckons ...

  9. Ah, the marvels of modern science. "Sink-Proof Girls."


  10. And Pakistan, home of 170 million overcrowded people, is now a slip away from war.

    Just for comparison, Pakistan today has about as many inhabitants as the whole USSR on the eve of WWII, or more than Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan put together.

    Just Pakistan.

    The potential size of a middle eastern WWIII is unimaginable.

  11. As to the use of the word, rhetoric

    I usually mean it in the following ways, in post-modern communciation.

    Usually in terms of the reality of the outcome not matching the rhetoric of preamble.

    Kenneth Burke: A Rhetoric of Motives

    The most characteristic concern of rhetoric [is] the manipulation of men's beliefs for political ends....the basic function of rhetoric [is] the use of words by human agents to form attitudes or to induce actions in other human agents

    Gerard A. Hauser: Introduction to Rhetorical Theory (1986)

    Rhetoric is an instrumental use of language…. One person engages another person in an exchange of symbols to accomplish some goal. It is not communication for communication's sake. Rhetoric is communication that attempts to coordinate social action. For this reason, rhetorical communication is explicitly pragmatic. Its goal is to influence human choices on specific matters that require immediate attention.

    John Locke: Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690)

    [Rhetoric,] that powerful instrument of error and deceit.

    In the age of focus groups and instant polling, combined with mass communication. A needed skill, the command of language.
    All the more important to recall the words of January 2002, when judging the current situation and the rhetoric applied, now.

  12. "Pretty Snake"

    Reminds me a lot of a gal I once knew.

    They say Death by Cobra Venom is about the most "painless" way to go there is. She was similar in that regard, also.

  13. Ms Bhutto has just arrived in Karachi, Pakistan.

    Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

  14. ISLAMABAD, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Pakistan military President Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule on Saturday, citing mounting militant attacks and interference by members of the judiciary. Key excerpts of the text follow:

    ... there is visible ascendancy in the activities of extremists and incidents of terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, IED explosions, rocket firing and bomb explosions and the banding together of some militant groups, have taken such activities to an unprecedented level of violent intensity posing a grave threat to the life and property of the citizens of Pakistan.

    ... some members of the judiciary are working at cross purposes with the executive and legislature in the fight against terrorism and extremism, thereby weakening the government and the nation's resolve and diluting the efficacy of its actions to control this menace.

    ... there has been increasing interference by some members of the judiciary in government policy, adversely affecting economic growth in particular.

    ... constant interference in executive functions, including but not limited to the control of terrorist activity, economic policy, price controls, downsizing of corporations and urban planning, has weakened the writ of the government.

    ... some hard core militants, extremists, terrorists and suicide bombers, who were arrested and being investigated were ordered to be released. The persons so released have subsequently been involved in heinous terrorist activities, resulting in loss of human life and property. Militants across the country have, thus, been encouraged while law enforcement agencies subdued.

    ... some judges by overstepping the limits of judicial authority have taken over the executive and legislative functions;

    ... the government is committed to the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law and holds the superior judiciary in high esteem. It is nonetheless of paramount importance that the honourable judges confine the scope of their activity to the judicial function and not assume charge of administration.

    ... an important constitutional institution, the Supreme Judicial Council, has been made entirely irrelevant and non est by a recent order and judges have, thus, made themselves immune from inquiry into their conduct and put themselves beyond accountability.

    ... the humiliating treatement meted to government officials by some members of the judiciary on a routine basis during court proceedings has demoralized the civil bureaucracy, and senior government functionaries, to avoid being harassed, prefer inaction.

  15. I guess we'll just have to send Nancy Pelosi over there.

    Okabamayama can accompany her. Then, when they get back we can send the B-2's in after the Missile Silos.

  16. It worked in Syria.

    We'll blame the "Jooos," again. They always fall for that one.

  17. Poison India for generations, with the fallout.

    Who'll answer the phones for Citibank, if we do that?

  18. Shows how an authoritative government handles militants.

    It arrests the moderates, Judges, Lawyers and Reporters. While the Army troops surrender to their Muslim brothers in Swat.

    Destroy the moderate middle, the Army infiltrated by extremists.
    Leaders of the militants, like retired General Gul also leaders of the Army.

  19. Did Trish give you permission to use her photo, Deuce?

  20. Here we arrest Border Agents while our Outlaw President gives the country away.

  21. Troubles in Paradise

    The EU Referendum blog has been covering an interesting story out of Italy .. Apparently surrounding Rome are some pretty bad squatter type of slums. These settlements are grim and consist of trailers and some cardboard/plywood makeshift hovels. There are a lot of Romanian immigrants, legal since Romania is part of the EU as is Italy, living in these slums. Crime is a problem. Quoting the EU Referendum, "The mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, says that 75 percent of arrests for murder, rape and robbery in his city this year can be attributed to Romanians."

    Emotions finally boiled over after the killing of an Italian woman, who was raped, beaten to death and tossed into a ditch. Under public pressure the Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, ironically a former EU president, has passed a decree allowing the deportation of any immigrant who poses a threat. This apparently runs afoul of EU Mandates, which forbid such expulsions for anything other than extraordinary cases.

    The Italian government, as EU countries seem to do when the urge strikes them, are ignoring the EU's laws and have began to bulldoze the settlements. Many of the Romanian immigrants are reported to be packing up and leaving prior to the crackdown.

  22. Rufus,
    The Painful thing is if you don't die!
    But then, I don't know much more than that about either species.

  23. DAWN newspaper also reported that Benazir Bhutto will not be returning to Pakistan from Dubai due to the state of emergency.


  24. How'd my wife, daughter, and sister get on this thread?

  25. Never trust a man with a mustache, I always say, and generally get a laugh, face to face, as I have one;)

  26. Here Just bite the head off the snake on her shoulder, you're home free, boys, and be the stronger for it. Works every time, though the biting can be tough.

  27. Catch and Release There is an old Indian saying, "Never criticise a brave until you've walked a mile in his moccasins."

    And I think it's best not to 'Leave The Driving To Us'.

    Best to take the 2000 Nissan.

  28. Pakistanconsiders throwing in with Sharia law to appease the militants in the northwest of the country.