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 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 3-Nov-07
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf declares martial law and a state of emergency.

Web Log - November, 2007

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf declares martial law and a state of emergency.

In a highly dramatic televised speech to the nation and the world, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf defended his decision to assume essentially dictatorial powers in Pakistan. His declaration suspends the constitution, and curtails freedom of the press and the power of courts in Pakistan.

In his speech, he referred to the numerous terrorist bombings throughout Pakistan, killing several hundred people in just the last couple of months. He described how embarrassing it has been to explain to foreign leaders why these attacks have been occurring. He particularly mentioned his embarrassment at having to explain to Chinese leaders why a convoy of Chinese workers were attacked by suicide bombers.

He blamed the press for encouraging such terrorist acts, and he blamed the courts for preventing him from taking the necessary steps to stop the terrorist acts. He used these reasons as justification for suspending the constitution.

Musharraf's actions are provoking bitter condemnations within Pakistan itself, and harsh criticism from Westerners, most of whom are interpreting his actions purely politically. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking from Istanbul in a meeting with Turkish leaders about the situation in Iraq, criticized the move because it diverted Pakistan from democracy.

There will be a lot more discussion of this in the days to come, but I wanted to post this right away in order to quote some of Musharraf's highly dramatic and emotional speech.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, speaking to the nation and the world on Saturday <font face=Arial size=-2>(Source: CNN)</font>
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, speaking to the nation and the world on Saturday (Source: CNN)

Most of the speech was in Urdu, but he broke into English at one point. The following is my own transcript, and may contain errors. (I'll update this page if a better transcript becomes available.) (Corrections made on 4-Nov)

"I would like to direct this to our friends in the United States and India and the Commonwealth...

I would ask you to finally understand the criticality of the environment inside Pakistan. Pakistan is on the verge of destabilization, if not arrested in time. Now, without moving any further, time or delaying the issue. The saddest part of everything, that saddens me the most, that after all we have achieved in the past seven years I see in front of my eyes, Pakistan's upsurge taking a downward trend. I personally, with all my conviction, and with all the facts available to me, consider that inaction at this moment is suicide for Pakistan, and I cannot allow this country to commit suicide.

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Therefore I had to take this action, in order to preserve the democratic transaction which I initiated a few years back. I would like to repeat that... I started with a 3 stage transition:

  • From 1999 to 2002, [a dictatorship] where I remained in control.
  • 2002 to 2007 - five years of democratic rule, with all assemblies, and local governments fully functioning.
  • [This year] I launched the third phase, to be completed in only a few months -- return to full democracy, myself being only a civilizan president, if elected.

It's this third stage that is being subverted today, and I want to complete it with all my conviction. If we don't take action. I don't know what chaos may follow.

So therefore, I request you all to bear with us. To the critics and idealists, against this action, I would like to say, please do not expect or demand your level of democracy which you learnt over a number of centuries. We're also trying to learn, and we're doing well. Please give us time.

Please also do not demand and expect your level of civil rights, human rights and civil liberties, that you've learned over the centuries. We're trying to learn, and we're doing well. Please give us time.

I would at this time venture to read out an excerpt of president Abraham Lincoln, especially to all my listeners in the U.S.

As an idealist, Abe Lincoln had one consuming passion during that time of supreme passion - and this was to preserve the Union because the Union was in danger. Toward the end, he broke laws, he violated the Constitution, he usurped arbitrary power, and he trampled individual liberties, but his justification was that this was a necessity to preserve the Union. In explaining this, he wrote in a letter in 1864. Quote.

"[M]y oath to preserve the constitution to the best of my ability, imposed upon me the duty of preserving, by every indispensible means, that government -- that nation -- of which that constitution was the organic law. Was it possible to lose the nation, and yet preserve the constitution? By general law life and limb must be protected; yet often a limb must be amputated to save a life; but a life is never wisely given to save a limb. I felt that measures, otherwise unconstitutional, might become lawful, by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the constitution, through the preservation of the nation. Right or wrong, I assumed this ground, and now avow it."


We're also learning democracy - we're going through a difficult time. It's the nation that's important. For me and for every Pakistani, Pakistan comes first, and everyone else's considerations come after that. I look at it from this point of view. Whatever I do, it's for Pakistan, and whatever anyone else thinks, comes secondary. What I do with full conviction, and heart and soul, and mind in it."

The letter that Musharraf quoted from was written in 1864 by Abraham Lincoln, at the height of the Civil War, to defend his actions in violating his oath to obey the Constitution.

It was a letter to a southerner, Albert G. Hodges, defending his views. I recommend to all readers of this web site to take the time to read the entire letter.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Musharraf's actions are quite understandable. The actions that he's taking are to preserve the nation.

As we've said many times on this web site, when a nation, any nation, enters a generational Crisis era, then individual rights are always sacrificed in order to preserve the nation and its way of life. However, such moves are always politically controversial, as Musharraf's are.

The easiest way to understand the political conflict in Pakistan is that it's a much more virulent form of the controversies going on in America today. On the one hand, we have President Bush advocating policies to prevent terrorist attacks such as occurred on 9/11, and on the other hand we have political opposition that objects to loss of civil rights in the form of potential wiretapping and torture of terrorism suspects. As bad as the animosity is in the U.S., it's a thousand times worse in Pakistan.

The situation in Pakistan is exceedingly dangerous and explosive right now, and we'll be following it closely.

I'd like to close this posting by quoting the final paragraph of Lincoln's letter Albert G. Hodges, that Musharraf excerpted:

"In telling this tale I attempt no compliment to my own sagacity. I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me. Now, at the end of three years struggle the nation's condition is not what either party, or any man devised, or expected. God alone can claim it. Whither it is tending seems plain. If God now wills the removal of a great wrong [[referring to slavery]], and wills also that we of the North as well as you of the South, shall pay fairly for our complicity in that wrong, impartial history will find therein new cause to attest and revere the justice and goodness of God."

This is exactly what Generational Dynamics tells us, and what I've been saying over and over. Those who continue either to credit or blame President Bush for being the cause of some good things or bad things should understand that President Bush is NOT controlling events. Whether it's Iraq or Pakistan or Iran, events are now flowing far beyond the control of any politicians. The events are being controlled by huge waves of generational changes that were put into effect decades ago, and those huge waves cannot be stopped any more than a tsunami can.

Musharraf has imposed emergency control and martial law. He has no choice, as his country is becoming increasingly unstable, as younger generations assume leadership. Young people in these generations have no personal memory of the huge genocidal bloodbath that occurred in 1947 with Partition and the independence of India and Pakistan from British rule. People in these younger generations have NO IDEA that this massive bloodbath is coming again, and possibly quite soon.

There's one thing of which I'm fairly certain: Musharraf's 3-stage transition to democracy has been permanently derailed, and stage 3 will never be completed. I don't know what scenario will be followed, but I'm pretty certain that it won't be the one that Musharraf and many Pakistanis hope for.

Conflict risk level for next 6-12 months as of: 9-Feb-2006
W. Europe 1 Arab Israeli 3
Russia Caucasus 2 Kashmir 2
China 2 North Korea 2
Financial 3 Bird flu 3
Key: 1=green 1=Low risk 2=yellow 2=Med 3=red 3=High 4=black 4=Active

In my little "conflict risk" graphic, I've put the Kashmir problem (the epicenter of the coming war between Pakistan and India) at Level 2 (medium risk of regional war in the next six months). As I've explained, I have great admiration for both Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf and his Indian counterpart, India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Both Pakistan and India are nuclear powers, but these two leaders have engineered a remarkable détente that has prevented a conflict, and they've pulled back from the continuing seething dispute over Kashmir and Jammu.

Musharraf is being challenged both inside Pakistan and outside by new generations of leaders with no fear of the coming bloodbath genocide. Within a day or two, it should be possible to judge whether it's time to raise the conflict risk level for Kashmir to 3 -- high risk of war. (3-Nov-07) Permanent Link
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