Friday, April 24, 2009

When elections are lost

I don't see any connection here between the Pakistani Taliban and American conservatives, do you?

Meanwhile, with Taliban fighters occupying more and more areas in the northwest and vowing to bring Islamic justice to the region, political and professional leaders have fled. Few officials from the ANP (the democratic, secular party--Bulworth) and Zardari's Pakistan People's Party dare visit the constituencies that voted for them in the February 2008 elections. Mohammed Khan, a lawyer from Swat who fled the region last month with his family, recounted how pressure from the insurgents prevented secular candidates from holding rallies or campaigning before the elections. But their two parties swept the polls, while religious ones fared poorly.

"One [Islamist] party used the symbol of a book, telling people it was the Koran, but Swatis voted for the lantern of the ANP," Khan said, referring to the symbols used on ballots to indicate a candidate's party. "Now the ANP has had to swallow the bitter pill of sharia rule, but how can anyone say the people wanted that? They have been pushed into a corner, and now no one is there to defend them."


I really don't see any connection here between Pakistani Taliban, which lost out in that country's elections but are now trying to obtain through the gun what they couldn't earn at the ballot box--and the various reichwing American militia movements threatening to conduct an armed "demonstration" march on Washington. No connection at all. Nor do I see any similarity between these Pakistani Taliban and various reichwing leaders who want their states to secede in the aftermath of their party's losing two straight elections at the ballot box; I also don't see anything similar between the Pakistani Taliban's violent behavior and rhetoric after losing an election and Faux news hosts who after their party has lost two straight elections, simultaneously broadcast from a "bunker" while trying to incite their listening audience to claim that they have the nation's capitol "surrounded". I don't really see any comparisons here at all. Nor should anyone draw any conclusions as to the like-mindedness of those Pakistani Taliban who want to enshrine Islamic-biblical law and conservative American reichwingers who want to enshrine Judeo-Christian-biblical law in place of the U.S. Constitution. The fact that religious parties lost in both countries and that both are reacting largely along the same, militaristic lines, should not imply that the American reichwing is just like the Pakistani Taliban.