We get it. The enemy of my enemy is my friend when it comes to Pakistan. In fighting al Qaeda blind adherence to this principle is perilous enough. But when your enemy of your enemy is also the enemy of bedrock principles of democracy, and a despot to boot, you really have to wonder why Bush embraces Pervez Musharraf. Could it be uniform envy?
Bush, who is president is also commander in chief of the world’s largest and most formidable military only gets to don a flight suit or military style jacket for silly publicity stunts.
Our power-lovin leader has to be content with an expensive custom suit for occasions of state and other public appearances except when he’s wearing is Marlboro Man outfit in Crawford.
The suits are hardly a status symbol when his base of multimillionaires all wear thousand-plus dollar suits.
Bush knows that when his eight years of imperial rule end he will be nothing but a former president. As such he’ll be guaranteed an invite to A-list Republican business gatherings and a courtesy seat at the main table at banquets.
He won’t believe the historians who will be judging his presidency.
But he has to know that in the business world he was a minor player, and unlike Vice, a mediocre one. At events, he’ll have to know he’s poorest man in the room.
Bush doesn’t have much time left to bask in the glory of being president. He’s even had his first VETO overridden.
He might be getting the message from the military and the leaders of his own party that military attacks on Iran are off the table. Alas, unless there’s a terror attack here, Bush may not get a chance to strut his stuff in the Situation Room.
Poor Bush must feel a diminution of macho in the waning days of his imperial power.
Then there’s Pervez Musharraf, make that General Pervez Musharraf, who as Army Chief of Staff and President of Pakistan, has two titles and two positions. He seems to choose to wear his general’s uniform most of the time he appears in public.
At least he doesn’t wave firearms around like Saddam Hussein did, but give him time. Like Saddam, despite White House spokeswoman Dana Perino saying it was premature to call him a dictator he doesn’t mind exercising dictatorial authority. Apparently you need a huge body count for the Bush administration to call an ally a dictator.
Suspend the Pakistani Constitution? Fire his Supreme Court when it’s about to rule against him? Arrest pesky lawyers and opposition leaders?
As an imperial president who is fast losing his mojo, Bush has many reasons to envy Musharraf.
But that fearsome uniform, now that got the balls.