And that’s even before asking the French
Charles de Gaulle was never simultaneously army chief and president, writes Ayaz Amir. Moreover, while de Gaulle distinct contribution to France was its refusal to toe the American line, Musharraf is just the latest in the line of military dictators who depend on the United States for their political survival.
Indeed, instead of using de Gaulle as a decoy, he should serve as an inspiration for other reasons. As president of France he followed an independent foreign policy, often to the great annoyance of the US.
He opposed the Vietnam War and took France out of Nato’s integrated military command. French honour and dignity were things he was very prickly about.
If we are to take a leaf out of de Gaulle’s book, it would pay our leaders to look at this aspect of his life instead of seeking justification for their conduct where none exists.
The example of de Gaulle indeed, we who find ourselves bracketed with Hamid Karzai and Iyyad Alawi, America’s sub- consuls in Afghanistan and Iraq. [Dawn]
Fasih Ahmed runs through the similarities and differences between Musharraf and de Gaulle before concluding that the example of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a former general who won the recently concluded Indonesian presidential elections, is a better model.
Perhaps Gen Musharraf will one day be able to compare himself with de Gaulle. In the meanwhile, he would do well to look at Gen Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, newly elected president of Indonesia, which only returned to democratic rule six years ago. Gen Yudhoyono was architect of the New Paradigm, an effort to demilitarise the workings of the Indonesian state and give civilians the lead role in civilian affairs. He won the recent run-off election in a landslide. If Gen Musharraf has the overwhelming popular support that he claims, he has nothing to fear being a mere civilian president.[DT]
Hussain Haqqani writes that Musharraf’s propensity to compare himself with de Gaulle or Ataturk comes from insufficient knowledge of history.