Irrelevant

There’s a lot to say about the crisis in Pakistan right now (and particularly about U.S. hypocrisy in dealing with it), but I think Ali really hits it on the head here:

The only way to explain why the US and its allies do not abandon a leader who is less popular with his people than the terrorist whom he is being paid billions to hunt is that the people of Pakistan are considered irrelevant in discussions about Pakistan.

Indeed. This isn’t just about our claimed allegiance to democracy or our various blunders in the “war on terror.” It’s about our selling out of an entire nation of people, and our direct rebuke of the right of self-determination.

And even if we are going to be entirely self-interested, how good is it for our “war on terror” to shore up intense anti-Americanism in yet another country — a country where the people themselves have made it astoundingly clear that they’re hungry for democracy and human rights, but where there are large pockets of intense religious extremism battling for popular support? Supporting Musharraf at the expense of the Pakistani populace — and at the expense of our basic American ideals — is frighteningly short-sighted. And like Ali, I’m afraid that we’re helping to create a much bigger monster here.


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9 comments for “Irrelevant

  1. November 8, 2007 at 9:28 am

    Suddenly, I had this mental image of a squealing piglet half-drowning in a deep pool of mud, with a human hand desperately struggling to pull it to safety. The moment the piglet has all four hooves up the bank, it turns around, sees the pool of mud and gleefully jumps back in.

    Yep, this piglet, short-sighted and can’t pronounce ‘nuclear’ properly either.

  2. November 8, 2007 at 9:38 am

    Considering that Pakistan’s intelligence service basically created, funded and coddled the Taliban, and that their top nuclear scientist sold secrets to several rogue states (for which he got a slap on the wrist), and that they’re a nuclear state themselves….

    …. oh, what the fuck, let’s bomb Iran. As my granpappy used to say while whittlin’ on the back porch, “gotta bomb somethin'”

  3. November 8, 2007 at 9:48 am

    Sorry for two consecutive comments, but Shahin Cole, a Pakistani lawyer now living in America, has a brief post on her home country up at her husband’s website.

  4. Paraponera
    November 8, 2007 at 10:41 am

    Even somewhat authoritarian secular rule beats the living crap out of an openly Islamic ‘democracy’, let alone an Islamic theocracy — which may very well be what happens if & when Musharraf is removed from power. So be careful what you wish for…

  5. Eileen
    November 8, 2007 at 11:32 am

    For who, Paraponera?

    If the rule of law is abandoned in Pakistan to the point where the only recourse of the people is revolution then, yes, Islamic theocracy may very well be the outcome. That’s why we shouldn’t work to undermine the will of the people when it is expressed lawfully and is supported by the laws and stated ideals of their own country and ours.

  6. exholt
    November 9, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    If the rule of law is abandoned in Pakistan to the point where the only recourse of the people is revolution then, yes, Islamic theocracy may very well be the outcome. That’s why we shouldn’t work to undermine the will of the people when it is expressed lawfully and is supported by the laws and stated ideals of their own country and ours.

    One historical precedent: The 1953 coup in Iran and repression from the Shah’s secret police.

  7. Katarina
    November 11, 2007 at 1:52 am

    One historical precedent: The 1953 coup in Iran and repression from the Shah’s secret police.

    Another: The 1970 coup in Cambodia by pro-US Lon Nol, which occurred basically because Norodom Shianouk refused to take sides against the Vietnamese. That ended up with Pol Pot ruling the country.

    If we ordinary folk can learn about this, why can’t our leaders?

  8. denelian
    November 11, 2007 at 2:16 am

    why are we surprised by this?

    its not like the US hasn’t done this before – look at the elections in Vietnam, when they voted in a communist, so of course we didn’t let the election stand..
    or how WE GAVE BIN LADEN most of the weapons he used, and trained him (the CIA trained him, i mean)…

    this country hadn’t had a clean record in foreign policy since AT LEAST the Spanish-American war (1898).

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