Revolution is in the air, again. Veterans of the 60s protest movement in the West and the democratic uprisings which fractured the Soviet Union are toasting the amazing scenes in the Middle East, where protests against dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia ignited a fuse which promises to spread through the Arab world.
Reactionary forces – ranging from brutal repression in Gaddafi’s Libya to US-sanctioned Saudi troops in Bahrain – may stamp out dissent for now but, if the groundswell is genuine, for how long?
“It’s not over yet,” says Tariq Ali, the 60s militant-socialist turned writer, historian, film-maker and political commentator.
“The first round has gone to the people but who knows how many other rounds there are to go?”
Qadri is on his way to becoming a national hero. On his first appearance in court, he was showered with flowers by admiring Islamabad lawyers who have offered to defend him free of charge. On his way back to prison, the police allowed him to address his supporters and wave to the TV cameras. The funeral of his victim was sparsely attended: a couple of thousand mourners at most. A frightened President Zardari and numerous other politicians didn’t show up. A group of mullahs had declared that anyone attending the funeral would be regarded as guilty of blasphemy. No mullah (that includes those on the state payroll) was prepared to lead the funeral prayers. The federal minister for the interior, Rehman Malik, a creature of Zardari’s, …
‘Where Were They When Musharraf Sacked the Judges?’ by Tariq Ali for Counterpunch, February 1, 2008
“And when a leading Pakistani journalist at a London news conference asked a reasonable question about the security services, Mr. Musharraf implied that he was an enemy of the state. Such intimidation is especially chilling coming from a leader whose chief political rival, Benazir Bhutto, was recently assassinated. In a nation with democratic aspirations, journalists have every right to question leaders. He still doesn’t seem to get that.”
Editorial in New York Times, February 1, 2008
You have to hand it to the New York Times. With so much to write about they can still find time to kick General Musharraf where it doesn’t really hurt. It’s not that the sentiments expressed in the editorial are wrong. Obviously journalists should and must …