Stop Meddling in Pakistan!

by JACOB G. HORNBERGER

I’ve got a better idea: the U.S. government should butt out of Pakistani affairs — as well as the affairs of Iraq, Iran, Korea, Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, and all the rest.

My gosh, what does it take for interventionists to finally realize that the solution to the messes that interventionism causes is not more interventionism but rather no more interventionism?

Does anyone need to remind the Times of the messes that U.S. interventionism has produced in the Middle East, especially in Iraq? Or how about U.S. interventionism in Pakistan itself? After all, it’s not as though the U.S. government has not been involving itself heavily in the internal affairs of Pakistan. Don’t forget that ever since 9/11 the Bush administration has been funneling millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer money into the coffers of Pakistan’s unelected dictator, Pervez Musharraf, and his military goons.

Exactly what "badly battered democratic institutions" in Pakistan is the Times referring to? The fact that a brutal military dictator took power in a coup and has been in charge of the government ever since? The fact that this brutal military dictator has instituted martial law in the hope of retaining his grip on power? The fact that this brutal military dictator has dissolved the country’s Supreme Court and jailed justices, judges, and lawyers for refusing to toe his line?

Pardon me, but since when does a military dictatorship constitute a "battered democratic institution"? I always thought that dictatorship constituted the absence of democratic institutions.

What business does the U.S. government have meddling and intervening in the internal political affairs of Pakistan? After all, wouldn’t the feds go ballistic if some foreign regime — say, in Cuba or Venezuela — involved itself with the internal political affairs of the United States?

Oh, and by the way, at the risk of asking a discomforting question of the neo-cons: Do you still maintain that President Bush invaded Iraq to spread democracy (after the WMDs failed to materialize), given his longtime ardent and enthusiastic support of Pervez Musharraf, one of the most brutal unelected military dictators in the world? And just out of curiosity, are you more pleased with the results of U.S. interventionism in Pakistan than you are with the results of U.S. interventionism in Iraq?

One problem with the Times and so many other interventionists is that when it comes to interventionism, hope springs eternal. No matter how big the mess that previous interventions have produced, the eternal hope is that the next intervention will prove to be the magic elixir that finally makes things right.

It will never happen. Interventionism is an inherently defective paradigm. No matter what the Bush administration does to intervene further into Pakistani affairs, the result will only be worse, especially for Americans, than the situation that currently exists.

Yes, bad things happen all over the world. They always have and always will. But U.S. interventionism only makes the United States part of the messes and also makes the messes worse. When will Americans finally wise up and realize that our Founding Fathers, who counseled against foreign entanglements and foreign meddling, were right and that the neo-con interventionists are flat wrong?

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.


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