Pakistan's usually fractious coalition government moved decisively for the first time on Thursday to impeach President Pervez Musharraf, who has been an important American ally in the campaign against terror but who has largely been pushed to the sidelines since his party lost elections in February.Of course Musharraf still has considerable power, he can legally dissolve Parliament to avoid impeachment as long as he gets an agreement from the army. Boy, that ought to be hard for the former leader of the military to get.
The leaders of the two main parties in the coalition - who have barely been on speaking terms in recent weeks - announced their impeachment strategy at a news conference in Islamabad.
In the joint statement, they said that Musharraf would be required to face a vote of confidence in the national assembly, with the implication that if that vote did not pass then impeachment would immediately proceed.
According to politicians who have seen Musharraf recently, the president has declared he would not go easily. Zardari warned the president against dismissing parliament as a way of clinging to power. "If he does it, it will be his last verdict against the people, against the people's mandate and against Pakistan."Yeah, I'm sure that's of real ethical concern to a military strongman who took power by coup. But, dear reader, I'm sure you're wondering what exactly has brought about this series of events in Pakistan. Well according to the news: "the coalition says that Musharraf acted unconstitutionally by declaring a state of emergency last November and dismissing nearly 60 judges, including the chief justice of the Supreme Court."
That barely rates on the list of things Bush has done. Yeah, Pakistan takes it Constitution more seriously than we do. By the way, that cry you heard? It was the furious anguish of Dennis Kucinich as he trained angrily in his basement dojo. Don't bring it up to him or you'll quickly fall to his sword as he parrys and thrusts and twirls all around you like a Congressional Yoda.
The fact is this could very well end with Parliament dissolved and the military hunting for the traitors as Musharraf consolidates power even more. The men who moved to start impeachment know this and they still went ahead with it. Meanwhile in our country you can recklessly violate thousands of laws, pardon cronies who committed illegal acts on your behalf, spy on your citizens, out CIA agents, violate several Constitutional Amendments, and completely politicize the Justice Department to protect yourself from prosecution, combine it with the lowest approval rating for a President ever, and only a tiny man from Ohio seems to view it seriously enough to move for impeachment. Pakistan has a better functioning Democracy than we do.