Within hours of returning to her native Pakistan last October, former 2 time Prime minister Benazir Bhutto narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when a 1 year old child laden with explosives was detonated next to her motorcade. Scarcely 2 months later a second attempt was successful in ending her political comeback as well as her life. The apparent ease with which the operation was executed would seem to call into question the current Bush Administration policy of supporting the so called democratization of nations containing Muslim majorities.
In his statement today from Crawford Texas Mr. Bush failed to even mention the fact that credit for the assassination had been claimed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an al-Qaida-linked Sunni Muslim militant group . In other words, the Islamist group that claims religious motivations for its jihad against Western civilization cannot even be named by the supposed leader of the "Free World". Does Mr Bush expect to gin up support for a heretofore unprecedented expenditure of US blood and treasure for this "war on terror" when he dares not allow the name of the enemy to cross his lips?
For many months now enormous U.S. pressure has been applied to the Pakistani President to "democratize" his nation and relinquish direct command of its military. Experience has demonstrated that pursuing such policies can as often as not lead to the opposite of what would be considered U.S. national interests.
In Pakistan a recent CNN poll revealed that 46 percent of Pakistanis approve of Osama bin Laden while Bush's approval throughout the "Islamic" world registers at NINE percent. It would appear that some serious work needs to be accomplished before the present US policy can be evaluated as being beneficial to our national interests.
There is the Pakistan of our fantasy. The burgeoning democracy in whose vanguard are judges and lawyers and human rights activists using the “rule of law” as a cudgel to bring down a military junta. In the fantasy, Bhutto, an attractive, American-educated socialist whose prominent family made common cause with Soviets and whose tenures were rife with corruption, was somehow the second coming of James Madison.
Then there is the real Pakistan: an enemy of the United States and the West.
The real Pakistan is a breeding ground of Islamic holy war where, for about half the population, the only thing more intolerable than Western democracy is the prospect of a faux democracy led by a woman — indeed, a product of feudal Pakistani privilege and secular Western breeding whose father, President Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, had been branded as an enemy of Islam by influential Muslim clerics in the early 1970s....
Popular elections have not reformed Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon. Neither will they reform a place where Osama bin Laden wins popular opinion polls and where the would-be reformers are bombed and shot at until they die.
At the behest of entrenched State Department bureaucratic careerists, the foreign policy of the United States is held hostage by insane political correctness and the counsels of those who advocate wise policies in pursuit of the national interest; such as John Bolton, are driven from the arena.
cross posted at: Eternity Road