‘Last but not least, perhaps the main strategic reasons Washington is not prepared to sever its links with Pakistan has to do with the country’s nuclear status. Islamabad wanted the bomb in order to reach parity with India and have a greater say in world politics. It has reached that goal. The United States cannot ignore the risk of Pakistan using weapons of mass destruction against India, distributing them to the United States’ enemies, or even losing control of them to terrorists.’
Addition: As for Egypt…an interesting, not exactly surprising nor reassuring tale from the streets of Cairo. Beneath the foreign aid supported military, and the strongly Western backed educational and military institutions are many people, and many poor people who haven’t shared in the opportunity. There are many tribal, rural conservative areas, many Muslims, many Islamists and many Islamist reactionaries in this ancient culture (especially those who’ve spent time tortured in the notorious prison that helped produce al-Zawahiri).
The military has its own aims, like duty to country, stability and honor, but its members are naturally self-interested and need counterweights (to conserve for many of them means to keep the structure of the old Mubarak regime and its injustices). I think only a fool would observe Egypt as a democracy in waiting, cast in Western design (the universalist, humanist, ‘freedom and democracy’ design this go-around), and not think that a reasonable Egyptian would be suspicious of these Westerners and their plans, least of all if this Egyptian fellow finds himself riding the waves of populist sentiment, competing visions, ancient tribal loyalties, religious obligations, bureaucratic structures, potential moral absolutism, confusion and raw emotion that has been released. What will Egyptians make of this?
As a Western observer, I would humbly point to Locke, the Enlightenment, and the still ongoing Western debate about freedom, reason, God, the church, religious morality, limited government and political order in the public square. Those very people on the streets must be involved, must be trusted to think, and must be given the opportunity to support and better themselves through economic, educational and political means if there is to be the kind of freedom we recognize (for what it’s worth to any Egyptian reading this…as such are my Western assumptions of liberty and individual liberty…dropped upon them).
Related On This Site: From March 27th, 2009 At WhiteHouse.Gov: Remarks By The President On A New Strategy For Afghanistan And Pakistan…A tense relationship: Fareed Zakaria At Newsweek: ‘Terrorism’s Supermarket’…Christopher Hitchens At Vanity Fair: ‘From Abbotabad To Worse’…Repost-’Dexter Filkins In The NY Times: The Long Road To Chaos In Pakistan’
From Slate: ‘In Aleppo, Syria, Mohamed Atta Thought He Could Build The Ideal Islamic City’…From The NY Times: Review Of Christopher Caldwell’s Book “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West”