Don't forget Bangladesh
In the understandable welter of news about the backwash of Al-Qaeda jihadists in Pakistan, the news about Mrs Bhutto and the excitement of the American presidential elections, don't forget Bangladesh. Thankfully, they survived the worst of the recent floods with bad but historically low casualties and their organisation, by all accounts, worked.
This small nation is under threat from mudslides, rising tides, and the Jammat franchise of Al-Qaeda in the South Seas. I have a sentimental attachment to the country and I wanted to direct people to this post on the Bangladeshi military's latest dilemma; what to do about the democrats it holds captive?
At the same time, understand the basics of the game. The Americans backed and pushed Bhutto. She needed them to get back to Pakistan, and to challenge the Military as a force that could hold that country together. Large elements of the Pakistan intelligence community are in league with their former proteges, the murderous and barbaric Taliban alliance which shelters Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda and Jamaat are the excuse for slapping down the democrats across south asia; and the Bangladeshi military government follows the Pakistani one.
In such a mad situation, the only people with whom the military can govern and hold off barbarism are the lawyers, because many democratic leaders are corrupt, feudal or weak. And the Pakistani government has been undermining the Judges and the rule of law whilst cutting the lawyers off from the bulk of the people with whatever western-liberal totem the Americans choose to force on them in any given week. This tempts the military to follow General Zia, the 80s Pak dictator, and introduce Islamic laws. One of the few good things about Musharraf is how he refuses to do this and how he has been diverging from this agenda, by, for instance, signing the recent womens' bill.
Let's hope the Bangladesh government wasn't watching that stupid court-packing Musharraf commenced on because of Sharif being pushed back by the Saudis as the Americans were pushing Bhutto. Keep an eye on Bangladesh Watchdog.