My column is out in Salon.com:
“The fall of Bush’s man in Pakistan:” (Despite Pervez Musharraf’s despotism and double-dealing with U.S. enemies, George W. Bush, John McCain and the GOP embraced him to the bitter end.)
‘ It is a measure of the Bush administration’s broken foreign policy that the departure of Pervez Musharraf, the corrupt, longtime military dictator of Pakistan, is provoking fears in Washington of “instability.” Despite Bush’s warm embrace, Musharraf gutted the rule of law in Pakistan over the previous year and a half, including sacking its Supreme Court. He attempted to do away with press freedom, failed to provide security for campaigning politicians and strove to postpone elections indefinitely.
The Bush administration has made a regular practice of undermining democracy in places where local politics don’t play out to its liking, and in that, at least, Musharraf was a true partner. But stability derives not from a tyrannical brake on popular aspirations; it derives from the free play of the political process. Musharraf’s resignation from office, in fact, marks Pakistan’s first chance for a decent political future since 1977. ‘
(People in Washington are so funny. Musharraf has been like a one man hurricane in Pakistan for the last year and a half; he was the source of most of its instability.)
I am a little surprised to discover that Bush was the last holdout, not Cheney. If the man really does have no common sense and is the ultimate decision-maker, that would clarify what has gone wrong for the last 7 years!