Monday, August 18, 2008

The Dictator Leaves

As Franklin Roosevelt once said about a dictator: "Yes, but he's our bastard."

Well the US's bastard, Pervez Musharraf, has left Pakistan. Washington is now all in a tizzy about what will come next. Will the current civilian government in Pakistan continue the policies of Musharraf toward terrorism? But what exactly is Musharraf record against terror. This from a story in USA Today:

Critics such as journalist Ahmed Rashid, author of Descent Into Chaos, maintained that Musharraf was playing a double game all along. They said Pakistan's intelligence agencies secretly supported the Taliban or at least looked the other way while Taliban fighters launched attacks from safe havens in Pakistan against U.S. and NATO troops across the border in Afghanistan. And on Musharraf's watch, militants have seized power in tribal lands along the Afghan border and terrorized the nation with suicide attacks, including the one that killed former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in December.

So our great big wonderful strongman in Pakistan who we supported with billions upon billions of dollars really wasn't that much of an ally after all.

One wonders when the US will learn from history. Learn that no matter what the short term gains we achieve by supporting a dictator in the long run we come up on the short end of the stick. Seems the Bush administration didn't learn that lesson.

Here's hoping the next administration will.

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