Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pervez-ive criticism and Pakistan's future

From the "at least he's our SOB" file, Mark Steyn seems to liken Pervez Musharraf to Auguste Pinochet. And there is some good reason -- although Benazir Bhutto is Western-educated and can play the US media like a violin, her two stints as Pakistan's leader were characterized by deep corruption and misrule, which led to her getting tossed aside each time. Steyn refers to her thus: "the charming and glamorous Benazir Bhutto, who plays note-perfect in the salons of the west but degenerates into just another third-rate ward-heeler from one of the world's most corrupt political classes once she's back greasing the wheel in Pakistan itself."

Democracy for its own sake is not an admirable goal; it's value-neutral. Electing Hamas (Gaza), the Islamic Brotherhood (Algeria), the Nazis (Germany 1933), or the Communists (Czechoslovakia 1947) does not mean democracy "worked" in the proper conceptual sense that it increased freedom, security and good government; instead, in a diseased polity or with corrupt parties, democracy can seve as the means to the end of entrenching a totalitarian movement.

Thus, the corrupt Bhutto-istas may be easy targets for the growing Islamic movement in Pakistan to set up a figurehead and obtain an entry into mainstream politics that brings a virulent Islamofascist political system to Pakistan.

At this point, Musharraf is the least worst option for Pakistan -- the Pinochet of the kush. His time to step aside will come, but it probably is not now.

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