The Dilemma of Backing Militaristic Regimes in Tribal Muslim Countries
By Con George-Kotzabasis—A short reply to:
The subterranean world of Pakistan’s Byzantine politics
By Bruce Haigh Online Opinion Australia
It’s completely unpalatable to the hors d’oeuvres tastes of the left-leaning intelligentsia in this country and elsewhere, who are disgusted with U.S. foreign policy, to realize and acknowledge that America is involved in a long war with an invisible determined, malicious and lethal enemy fighting him on many shifting-fronts in a war without borders. Nor does it acknowledge that only America, with all its fault lines, can defeat ultimately this fanatic Islamic threat that has placed a “gestating” nuclear ticking bomb under the foundations of Western civilization. Nor does it perceive that many Western governments and their peoples do not see the holy warriors of Islam as a great threat and consider this to be America’s war–just another page of its imperialistic interests and goals—which makes it hard for the U.S. to find solid allies in this war. Moreover, this dearth of solid allies is more prominent in Muslim countries which, although they might feel threatened by al Qaeda and its multiple affiliates in the Muslim world, for religious and political reasons cannot commit themselves fully behind America. Hence, it follows that in Muslim countries there are no many horses for courses. As the diplomatic-political course is limited and only one or two horses have a chance to ‘win the race’. That is why the U.S. cannot find and back another more politically favorable horse that could win the race since no such steed presently exists and perforce is compelled to chose one from those available.
Bruce Haigh’s argument clearly implies the latter, although he loathes admitting it openly, otherwise he would have named the winning horses in contrast to the “losing” ones, according to him, of President Musharraf and the deceased Bhutto. But was the American initiative of backing Musharraf and Bhutto a losing policy? The policymakers of the Bush administration were aware–Bruce is not—that in a country such as Pakistanthe ‘military horse’ is the only force of stability. And it often has to rule the country by decree and the suspension of democratic liberties as a safety measure, otherwise the country could fall in the anarchy of tribal warfare and ultimately in the lap of the Islamic fundamentalists.