Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pakistan, the War on Terror, and the ever crumbling existentialist nightmare

French philosopher, journalist, and writer, Albert Camus somewhat distinguished himself from existentialists of his time, particularly Sartre, by leaning towards a sense of meaning of global events. Humanity had a choice to act.

His interpretation of the myth of Sisyphus, that Sisyphus's eternal pushing of the stone up the mountain despite being set back by gravity and the will of God, explained that the worth of Sisyphus efforts are that he tried at all.

To try is to be relevant

Having assisted the French resistance in World War II and agonized over the schism between France and Algeria in the 1950s, this perspective perhaps kept Camus going.

But here and now, the utter absurdity of the U.S. War on Terror in light of events in Pakistan, bears little meaning that I can find.

Musharraf has clamped down on all opposition to retain control of the country, Islamists and democratic activists being dispersed.

Opposition leader, former PM Benazir Bhutto's ability to rally democratic reforms has been truncated as she is watched after enduring house arrest.

Pakistani Chief Justice Chaudry has had his power revoked in the fear that the judiciary was considering action against the continued "presidency" of Musharraf.

And almost all U.S. media outlets, including "president" Bush, have reasserted that Musharraf is our big buddy in combating terrorism. But still, White House spokesmodel Dana Perino has chided the anti-democratic movements in Musharraf.

She's said things along the lines of, "The Bush Administration would never advocate clamping down on dissent in the name of combating terror, spreading democracy."

Hmmm. Ari Fleischer, had warned in the aftermath of 9-11 that people had to "watch what they say," when,,,dissenting. The CIA has used more-than-questionable "interrogation tactics" against "enemy combatants." The Administration waged war with a nation that had nothing to do with the attacks. And peaceful war protesters have been detained, ad nauseum... All in the name of freedom, security, and democracy.

...But let's get back to Pakistan...

Musharraf, our "greatest ally in the War on Terror," is only feeding fuel to the terrorism fire by cracking down on people who don't want him in power. Democracy usually means popular support and not cracking down on opposition.

Popular support of Bhutto and Chaudry only show the public desire to challenge Musharraf. But the movement is being given more evidence that popular dissent is being trumped by a despot desperately holding on to power.

Does anyone still think that terrorism can be dissipated through bombs and clampdowns? Seems antithetical, don't you think? Absurd?

Even the Chicago Tribune seems to agree with the fact that Musharraf may not be the best spokesperson for democracy and modernity.

What is the meaning of all this ado? Is action, that stands opposite reason or circumstance, worthwhile?

Camus must be perplexed...

22 comments:

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Camus isn't the only one who is left perplexed. The world doesn't make sense. That's all I can say.

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