Washington needs the terrorists. Bush needs strong Islamic and Islamist parties which he can call "IslamoFascists"; the term itself is another Orwellian aspect to this war of spin and terror. "The IslamoFascists want to create a global caliphate", says the twice unelected president, and all the bobbleheads nod along in unison.
But Islam and Fascism are utterly incompatible, so there cannot be any real IslamoFascists, although there are some seriously corrupt "Islamic" business-government combinations. Two of America's "firmest" Asian allies in the supposed Global War on Terror are Saudi Arabia, where the royal family does most of the business, makes most of the money, and runs one of the most repressive governments on the planet; and Pakistan, where the military is entwined in the "civilian" economy to an extent companies like SAIC, Halliburton and Blackwater can only dream of (at this point). The army produces and sells all manner of everyday "civilian" consumer items, from breakfast cereal on through the day.
These are the IslamoFascists, if such there are on Earth. Pseudo-Islamic fascists, to be accurate, and allies of our government.
But yesterday's vote is, as WP says, a "confirmation that the radicals in Pakistan have virtually no support from the electorate." Juan Cole, who also gives a detailed breakdown of the results, concurs:
Bottom line, the Pakistani public has demonstrated a dislike of extremism, including religious extremism, awarding a plurality of seats in the national legislature to secular parties and the rest to right-of-center parties, but roundly rejecting the fundamentalists.
Yes, the Pakistanis flocked to the polls -- braving bombs, arrests, repression, beatings, and all manner of vote-suppressing chicanery -- and not only rejected religious extremism but also, most emphatically, the authoritarian "unitary executive" regime of a deeply unpopular leader desperately evoking "national security" as a justification for his crimes and follies.
In other words, the Pakistanis rejected both sides of the so-called "War on Terror," that sinister symbiosis of easily manipulated, thoroughly penetrated religious cranks and the vast might of an imperial state addicted to war and domination. As I once put it years ago, each gang draws meaning and justification from the other, each cloaks its own criminality and murder in the guise of a crusade against the other's evil. And both draw their power and profit from the same unrenewable natural resource -- the blood of innocent people.
The Pakistanis have obviously had enough of this murderous farce. The question now is: when will the American people rise up against it? And here comes the answer, blowing in the wind: not any time soon, given the three staunch Terror Warriors now topping the presidential polls.
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This story was published on February 20, 2008.