Edwards Talks to Musharraf About Bhutto Assassination

Via Radio Iowa, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards spoke with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf today. Here's Edwards talking about the situation (mp3 runs 2 minuates)

Henderson:  "In regards to the situation in Pakistan, if you were president, what would you be doing?"

Edwards: "If I were president I would do some of what I've already done.  I spoke with the Pakistani Ambassador and then a few minutes ago I spoke with President Musharraf, urging him to continue on the path to democratization, to allow international investigators to come in to determine what happened, what the facts were so that there would be transparency and credibility about what actually occurred and also about the upcoming schedule of elections and that the important thing for America to do in this unstable environment is first of all focus on the tragedy that's occurred.  Benazir Bhutto was a strong woman, a courageous woman, someone that I actually spoke at a conference with a few years and she talked about the path to democracy in Pakistan being baptized in blood so she understood the extraordinary risk that she was taking by going back and it's a terrible tragedy for the people of Pakistan, but it's important for America to be a calming influence and provide strength in this environment."


How the call came about:

"I met Musharraf years ago in Islamabad. We talked about many of the problems that his country was faced with including kids being educated in Madrasahs and some of the struggles that he was having within his own country and so when I spoke to the ambassador earlier today I said if Musharraf, if the president had time would you have him give me a call because I'd like to speak with him directly and he called."

< Evan Bayh's Stupid Remarks On Bhutto Assassination | LATimes Iowa Poll: Clinton Leads >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Looks like (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 06:19:54 PM EST
    Edwards is handling this about the best of anyone involved - including Bushie and his "team" of "experts".

    Recognize the tragedy, mourn the losses, determine the issues, and move forward toward resolving them.  Not trying to score partisan points.

    Funny, calling up the relevant world leaders and talking directly with them about issues and how to resolve them was a centerpoint of the foreign policy practice Bush 41 used, something he was highly praised for at the time.  I remember the fawning treatment Bush 41 got at the time of the beginning of the First Iraq War, when his spending days on the phone with scads of world leaders, working out issues, was hailed as one of the more useful things being done.  

    Trial lawyers (particularly plaintiffs' PI lawyers) like Edwards prepare to try all their cases, but they always listen to offers to settle, and are always willing to talk about settling (at least until the point that it's clear the other party is either not serious, or has no intention of settling).  They don't pout, make up their minds, and ignore reason or discussion because it's "unmanly" or something.  

    This ability to talk and settle (but be ready to try the case) is particularly so with PI lawyers because (in contrast to criminal lawyers) the only thing at stake is money.  In the criminal case, settling involves an admission of guilt, which may be unacceptable to the client because the client may be innocent.

    I wish you were right but you are wrong, (none / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 12:11:31 AM EST
    but they always listen to offers to settle

    If you don't know this by now, me telling you this won't do any good, but I'm gonna try anyway.

    They don't want to settle. The terrorists believe they can win and have only demands. Read this interview and see what OBL said to Peter Arnett of CNN when Peter played the "offer card."

    REPORTER: Mr. Bin Ladin, will the end of the United States' presence in Saudi Arabia, their withdrawal, will that end your call for jihad against the United States and against the US ?

    BIN LADIN:.... So, the driving-away jihad against the US does not stop with its withdrawal from the Arabian peninsula, but rather it must desist from aggressive intervention against Muslims in the whole world.


    What we desperately do not need now is some lawyer who thinks every thing can be worked out in "negotiation." The word is not in their dictionary and they judge all who use it as weak.


    Thanks for living down to your reputation (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by scribe on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 08:48:04 AM EST
    for misconstruing, taking-out-of-context and sheer making-it-up in service of continuing the conflict and further bloodshed in the way only a true Rethuglican could.

    Let's look at the phrase you scissored out to provide purchase (slippery though it might be) for your screed:

    but they always listen to offers to settle

    The context being that "trial lawyers prepare all their cases as though they will have to try them, but they always listen to offers to settle, at least until it becomes clear that the other party is either not seriously interested in settling or is just trying to stroke the attorney."  I'd have quoted my earlier by cut-and-paste, but the structure of the site will not allow such.

    The part which I left out, which is both obvious and well-known to anyone who's actually been in a courtroom, is that the lawyer trying the case has to be able to get past the fear of losing the case or, in the words of some past lawyer, "you've got to be willing to wait and listen for the knock on the jury room door".  In short, one cannot be afraid to go to the mat.  But, one must also recognize that 95 or more percent of cases settle - but you cannot know when you begin the case which ones are the 5 percent which will have to be tried, so you have to treat every one as such.

    In other words, you'll fight, but only when it's to your advantage.

    Let's look at these principles, translating them (in the engineering/physics sense, i.e., moving them sideways) into the context of international relations - as much a field of continuous conflict and conflict resolution as any courthouse.  It is often, and accurately said, that a lawsuit is just a little, private war between two (or three, or more) parties.  Every nation has its interests and means of defending them, usually an army.  Every nation which has an army, trains that army to fight wars.  But, by and large, the vast majority of the time the armies do not fight.  That does not mean there are not conflicts - they go on daily.  Always have and always will.  Going to war every time there is a conflict between countries or otherwise does not happen because (a) it's too expensive (in time, money, lives, political capital, etc.) and (b) the outcome is never certain.  You pick your battles, and pick only those you can win.  Resolving conflict (diplomatically) has the same advantages of settling a lawsuit - certainty and knowing one will walk away with something even if they are not entirely satisfied with the result.

    It's pretty clear now (if it wasn't already) that you've never sat in a courtroom waiting the verdict of a case you tried - the uncertain outcome.  I can tell you, from experience, that that's one of the loneliest, quietest waits one can have, and also one of those events which most reveals the character of everyone involved.

    Compare all this to Bush and how he has behaved since day one.  

    Bush, true to his professional training and experience, spent his time in the presidency doing what he did before he became a figurehead owner of a baseball team.  He used the resources of the company at his disposal (then, Arbusto, now, the US Government) to (A) find new lands for oil companies to drill (then, in Texas, now Iraq - remember, invading Iraq was way high on the priority list well before 9/11), and then (B) arrange for those oil companies to get access to those lands (then, make deals with landowners.  Now, invade and take the country and install a puppet government.).  In so doing, he was (C) a spectacular failure (then, in terms of trashing his company, finances and reputation, now, doing the same to the US) and (D) only marginally successful in gaining the drilling rights he was trying to arrange for the oil companies (he had to be bailed out by Daddy's friends then, and now).  And, in so doing, he exercised all the b*tch-slapping discipline one could imagine not for duty's sake, but his personal pleasure (then, as Daddy's enforcer of campaign and party discipline through public humiliation.  Now, through torture and personnel policies intended to rip all decency out of the USG).

    I'd call the oil companies his "partners" (then and now), but they aren't partners in any sense of the word - the oil companies are truly in the dominant position, as much as Cheney is in the dominant position running the administration.  There are any number of hustlers in the oil patch trying to gain drilling rights and then flip them to the oil companies.  These hustlers, like hustlers everywhere, (A) are always on the edge of crashing their businesses (and often do) when their schemes do not come together and (B) do not care (1) what corners they cut, (2) what dirt they do to their competitors, or (3) what laws they violate or graft they participate in - just so they make the deal go through.  The companies know all this, and recognize that these hustlers are both desperate and disposable.  They treat them accordingly - like dirt.  Watch what happens to Bushie when he leaves office - he'll have a sinecure, but no one will ever take him seriously again.

    You say:

    What we desperately do not need now is some lawyer who thinks every thing can be worked out in "negotiation." The word is not in their dictionary and they judge all who use it as weak.

    In saying this, you both belie your own deep feelings of weakness and fear, and you militate for more bloodshed.  Heaven forfend you (or any Rethuglican) should be thought of as weak.  If you had ever tried a case, you would know there are few things requiring more courage than standing before a judge and jury and setting forth a case, demanding that they give a judgment in favor of your client and doing so while standing there alone, with only your words for weapons.  It's not for the faint of heart.  And, in trying cases, you would also have come to the realization that sometimes exposing weakness (both your adversary's and your own) is the most effective means of persuasion and the shortest route to victory.  In watching your multifarous comments stream across this site, it becomes clear that you love bloodshed so long as it's not yours at risk, just like Bushie.  And, it is likewise clear that you, like Bushie, think that beating your adversary's head into the ground is the only effective means of achieving "victory".  Such is both foolish and immature, in the extreme.

    When one says Edwards made his fortune (relatively small though it is in comparison to Romney's quarter Billion) by trying cases, that tells me he is all character, and both smart enough to know which fights to pick, and how to win.  Juries don't give up money easily and they know that "what you are screams so loudly I can hardly hear what you are saying".

    That's what we saw yesterday, and it's also what terrifies both the Establishment and the Rethuglicans about Edwards.


    No one said (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 01:32:08 PM EST
    that trial lawyers don't prepare.

    No one said that trial lawyers won't fight.

    No one said that trial lawyers aren't brave.

    What I said was that lawyers are, as you admit yourself, always prepared to settle. Works fine in a civil or criminal proceeding.

    But, as I pointed out about the terrorists:

    They don't want to settle. The terrorists believe they can win and have only demands. Read this interview and see what OBL said to Peter Arnett of CNN when Peter played the "offer card."

    Note that there isn't a "nation" in there. Your basic mistake, and many on the Left, is this:


    It is often, and accurately said, that a lawsuit is just a little, private war between two (or three, or more) parties.  Every nation has its interests

    And since there is no "nation" involved, then no one can enforce the terms of the settlement short of force of arms.

    My point remains. You can't negotiate with terrorists. Unlike nations they have no political agenda beyond seizing power and enforcing their wacked out religious views.

    Because of this we don't need anyone in power who thinks they can negotiate or settle with the terrorists.

    Scribe, put your ego in your pocket. Consider the possibility that others are smarter than you and review all the broken agreements. And try to understand that a criminal justice system requires that both sides accept it, and that the third party, the "nation" must be able to enforce the terms on the losing side if they don't accept it.

    And finally, read what OBL said. It is totally clear and easy to understand.


    Wise gimmick (none / 0) (#2)
    by koshembos on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 07:05:58 PM EST
    Edwards calls are what a president should make. In our elections, Edwards demonstrates that he has the right instincts, what some in this campaign call intuition, and he is fast on his feet.

    With the eyes concentrated on the Hillary/Obama infighting, I wonder how much good it will do for Edwards. I hope much since I prefer him.  

    Sheer grandstanding. (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 11:49:43 AM EST
    A Dem. primary candidate, pre-initial state primary/caucus, has no business communicating directly with a leader of a foreign county.