Pakistan seems to be on the minds of a lot of our bloggers here at AID.  Here’s my two cents to this issue:

On Sunday, as Pakistan’s General Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan, which will enable him to severely limit democratic freedoms in that country, the Bush Administration made it clear that this will have no effect on the billions of dollars we are pouring into Pakistan as our ally in the war on terror.

Exactly how many times does the United States need to get burned by propping up unpopular leaders who attempt to keep domestic power through dictatorship-like governance? Isn’t this similar to a Shah-run Iran over a generation ago or a Taliban-run Afghanistan two decades ago? We simply had to pour our money and support into those despotic regimes because if we didn’t the Soviet Union would have jumped on that weakness and communism and evil would have won in the end.

Sure…

Too bad back then we made problems worse for ourselves now, with a war in one of those countries, and harsh anti-US sentiment in the other. This is also a terrible move for an administration that built their foreign policy strategy on promoting democracy in the Middle East. “If your agenda is to save attacks in the U.S. and eliminate Al Qaeda, only the
Pakistani Army can do that,” said the close aide to General Musharraf. “For that, you will have to forget about elections in Pakistan for maybe two to three years.” (Source:  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/05/washington/05diplo.html?ex=1352005200&en=bf4c7e3f9b8bbbbc&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink )

The Bush Administration has made it clear that their efforts are not to spread democracy, but first to “squash out terrorism”.  However, as Ben Franklin noted during the birth of our nation, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Advertisements