Monday, January 7, 2008

The New Hamshire Debates Part 3...

I learned a new word from Gov. Bill Richardson.. I also thought his solution for Pakistan was very polite.

Technocracy ("techno" from the Greek tekhne for skill, "cracy" from the Greek kratos for "power") is a governmental or organizational system where decision makers are selected based upon how highly skilled and qualified they are, rather than how much political capital they hold.
Technocrats are individuals with technical training and occupations who perceive many important societal problems as being solvable, often while proposing technology-focused solutions.

MR. GIBSON: Well, you led me right up to the point of what you'd do if the Islamic radicals actually took control of the Pakistani government and therefore were in control of nuclear weapons, and then you went away from there. But I'll come back to that in a moment.
Governor Richardson.

Me: Really, diplomacy first. Islamic radicals take control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons and we are going to use diplomacy first. That doesn't sound right to me.

GOV. RICHARDSON: In any foreign policy decision, I would use diplomacy first, in response to your question. And that basically means that the last thing we need in the Muslim world is another action like Iraq which is going to enflame the Muslim world in a horrendous way.
Now, here's what I would do. First, with Pakistan, here's an example of a country, a potentially failed nation-state with nuclear weapons. What a president must do is have a foreign policy of principles and realism. And the Bush foreign policy, with Musharraf, we get the worst of all worlds. We have a situation where he has not gone after al Qaeda in his own country, despite the fact that we've given him $11 billion. And he's also severely damaged the constitution. He's basically said that he is the supreme dictator. So we have the worst of all worlds.
What I would specifically do as president is I would ask Musharraf to step aside. There is a provision in the Pakistani constitution --

Me: While you are asking supreme dictators to step aside. Would you please ask Hugo Chavez to step aside as well and Kim Jong-il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? That would be lovely!

MR. GIBSON: Ask him to step aside?

GOV. RICHARDSON: Yes, for a caretaker --

MR. GIBSON: And what -- (inaudible)?

GOV. RICHARDSON: Because we have the leverage to do that.

MR. GIBSON: Hasn't worked so far.

GOV. RICHARDSON: We have the leverage to do that, and I -- I would send a high-level envoy to ask him to step aside. There's a provision in the Pakistani constitution for a caretaker government of technocrats. This happened when a previous prime minister died. And I would make it unmistakably clear that he had to have elections.
Now, elections are scheduled tentatively for February. A broadly based government, it's what's best for the United States.

Me: I didn't know that dictators with nuclear weapons would just "step aside" if you ask nicely. Please.

MR. GIBSON: I understand your point about diplomacy. But Senator Obama's postulate was, we have actionable intelligence, the Musharraf government won't move; do we, should we, go in to western Pakistan and essentially try to take him out?

GOV. RICHARDSON: If we have actionable intelligence that is real, and if Musharraf is incapable -- which he is, because here's a man who has not stood up for his democracy, he is virtually in a situation where he's losing control -- then you do take that action. However, Charlie, first you use diplomacy. And diplomacy is to try to get what is best for the United States. And that is, a democratic Pakistan with free and fair elections and a concerted effort on the part of Musharraf or whoever is in the leadership in Pakistan to go after terrorists in those safe havens, which they have not done.

Me: WHeeeew! And, I thought it was going to be much more difficult than that. I bet President Bush hasn't thought of just asking Mr. Musharraf to "step aside". (this is me being hugely sarcastic)


Shauna said...

Tif what a great Election year forum you have created! This will be fun!

Blue House Mom said...

Looking forward to reading more on this blog. So glad you started it.

Rach said...

I do believe Pres. Bush did and that is why he gave over control of the army. He is in sort of a difficult position in Pakastan. I don't think that he is as bad as we all think.

Blake said...

with ya rach. this is the first thing I have really heard from Richardson, but honestly no diplomacy? Lets rule the world with the iron fits of war then huh?