Friday, April 01, 2005
VDH: Don't Stop Now
VDH argues that we must keep pushing in our efforts to democratize the Middle East and that this must include the neutral or "friendly" dictatorships there. He criticizes Bush's recent sale of F16s to Pakistan.
Finally, the United States must somehow forge a policy of consistency. True, a Gen. Musharraf is a neutral of sorts, and on occasion a convenient ally in hunting down terrorists. But for all his charm and the need to work with Pakistan, he is still a dictator, and a bullet away from a nuclear theocracy. Selling him high-priced F-16s is perhaps good policy in the short-term, but inconsistent with spending American blood and treasure for elections in Iraq and Afghanistan. It ultimately will send a terrible message to both Pakistani democratic reformers and to the world's largest democracy in India, which not long ago itself was on the verge of war on its border.I know Bush takes VDH seriously. I wonder what he thinks.