Monday, August 18, 2008

Does He Get To Keep The Bag Man?

Boy, I'd like to know what the Vegas odds were on this ... Or, of the various office pools, who had the square with August 18th (only 10 days after the 34th anniversary of Nixon's escape to avoid impeachment).

The Little Dictator Who Couldn't is stepping off his precariously-built stage.

Perhaps, even, with a Nixonian homage;

President Musharraf of Pakistan Resigns

Facing imminent impeachment charges, President Pervez Musharraf announced his resignation on Monday, after months of belated recognition by American officials that he had become a waning asset in the campaign against terrorism.

Mr. Musharraf said the governing coalition, which has pushed for impeachment, had tried to “turn lies into truths,” and finished his speech by raising his clenched fists chest high and declaring, “Long live Pakistan!”
Not exactly "I am not a crook", but, I suppose, he didn't want to be laughed out of the country.

Now, I'm sure it must of crossed his mind to fight the impeachment, stand strong, blah, blah, blah, but they wanted him gone, and, after this fight, and all the heavy lifting he's been doing rounding up the terrorists, Musharraf, likely, didn't have the energy to launch a second coup.

Perhaps the more pressing question to ask, is, does he get to keep the Bag Man?

While The Commander Guy played around in Afghanistan, and Iraq, they knew that they also had to do something about Pakistan.

So, rather then open up a third front, they took an "option", putting down, more-or-less, a marker, and, instead, opened up the coffers to the tune of millions-upon-millions - in cash, directly to Musharraf and his military thugs.

Spencer Ackerman had the scoop on this last Fall;

U.S. Aid to Musharraf is Largely Untraceable Cash Transfers
In fact, however, a considerable amount of the money the U.S. gives to Pakistan is administered not through U.S. agencies or joint U.S.-Pakistani programs. Instead, the U.S. gives Musharraf's government about $200 million annually and his military $100 million monthly in the form of direct cash transfers. Once that money leaves the U.S. Treasury, Musharraf can do with it whatever he wants. He needs only promise in a secret annual meeting that he'll use it to invest in the Pakistani people. And whatever happens as the result of Rice's review, few Pakistan watchers expect the cash transfers to end.
What a difference millions of dollars make, on the big global billboard.

Rather than just be some chaotic, banana republic, Musharraf got to hang out the shingle that had the words "Democracy" scratched on it, and "Partners in the Global War Against Terrorism", even, if, from behind the shingle, Musharraf was just giving it a nod-and-a-wink.

Speculation is high on where he lands, with some of it on that Saudi Arabia is going provide the Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Memorial Exile Suite.

Cernig, over on Crooks and Liars, noted that;
The other interesting question is “what will Mushie do next?” Exile seems likeliest and there have been rumors that the US, which has long backed the former dictator, would offer him asylum. But it appears that the Saudis have stepped in, as major mediators of the resignation deal, and so Musharraf will probably retire there. Which is ironic, in that it will put the man who was ultimately in charge of the intelligence agency that was pulling Al Qaeda’s strings prior to (and post) 9/11 in the country that furnished most of the hijackers - and both Musharraf and the Saudi rulers are staunch Bush allies.
If it is Saudi Arabia, Musharraf is going to need a gated community, with impeccable security, and, at least, a two-bedroom crib - one for himself, the other for all his baggage and bad karma.

The Condoleezza Rice Ballroom Dancing & Charm School currently is running its' classes for a bunch of frisky Russians and Georgians, so the Neocon Nitwits, perhaps, only gives this a cursory glance.

But not Larisa Alexandrovna.

Pakistan has been a Looney Tunes powder keg for quite some time

In her post, "Serious crisis in Pakistan (crickets in DC)", Alexandrovna warns;
Forget the Russian-Georgian conflict for a moment. Forget Iraq for a moment. Forget everything for one moment and understand, that if Pakistan explodes into a power struggle, that struggle/conflict will be the match that lights a world war of epic proportions. A war that we are not equipped to deal with anymore. So while our entire nation is drunk on election scandal after scandal, and while our entire nation is being bled dry of finances and human treasure, no one - NO ONE - is watching this crisis as it unfolds. They are all too busy playing at politics to care and they have already long ago removed any qualified intelligence expert on Pakistan from their post. We know very well that this administration replaced qualified people with political sock-puppets who are now in positions to fuck things up even more, but certainly not to understand the brewing world crisis.

To be clear, I loathe Musharraf and want him removed from office. But right now, any change, big or small in the region is going to be a catastrophe. A change of ISI-backed Musharraf is going to be an epic catastrophe.
Another "gift" the Bush Grindhouse leaves the next (Obama) administration.

Bonus Bon Voyage Links

The Independent: Now Saudis offer dignified solution for Musharraf; Beleaguered President is given a lifeline to avoid impeachment

Brilliant at Breakfast: Because in Pakistan, their Constitution still matters

emptywheel: Dick Blows Pakistan

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