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.