No takers for the de Gaulle comparison

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.

8 thoughts on “No takers for the de Gaulle comparison”

  1. Musharraf like all dictators is simply delusional so his comments about de gaulle are par for the course. while in nyc, he made the absurd claim that as AQK was only a mettalurgist (we only know that he really is a thief) and therefore could not really have aided Iran, Libya etc in making the bomb! Ultimately, what will wake up the west to India’s existential problem of a terrorist state next door is when something awful like a nuke sold by the military thugs in Pakistan finds it way into the hands of a terrorist. Nicholas Kristof has an article from Islamabad in the New York Times on that.

  2. Nitin, I would like ur opinion on Pak journos (anti-Mush). Even with that dictator around aren’t they more hard hitting than Indian journos?

  3. De Gaulle comparison, is it now?

    Mushie baby should write a book on unintended humour – should be a bestseller (or the good general can always force the impotent paki parliament to pass a bill mandating every govt dept and govt servant buy copies!).

  4. RS,

    Pakistan’s English press is miniscule, and the number of people who read Ayaz Amir and others is extremely tiny. So the impact is quite shallow.And these commentators are just the exceptions.

    I think the Indian press is more vibrant and displays greater maturity. It can be quite critical, and often is, but with a full fledged opposition in parliament, it does not need to excoriate the government at every turn.

  5. Maybe the way BJP-led NDA virtually trampled upon the press during its rule might have given this impression of our press not having enough spine. Tehelka and Gujarat riots are prime examples.
    As for the current oppostion (again NDA)they are more interested in entertaining us with their daily “nautankis”. One just concluded in Jallianwala Bagh.

  6. Whats it going to be next, Mushie baby?
    Ataturk, DeGaulle are taken…
    Can someone predict what its going to be next… Here’s a first cut…
    Gen. Patton, Napoleon, Gen. Niazi, Jinnah, Mir Jafar, Custer, Wellington

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