Jul 21, 2007

Pakistan: Not Safe For Democracy

On the 4th of July, just two days before being officially sworn in as the 23rd U.S. Ambassador To The Islamic Republic Of Pakistan, a diminutive Anne W. Patterson gave a speech at an independence day reception held inside the US embassy compound in Islamabad. In this Kafkaesque setting amidst the reports from gunfire and explosions nearby, Mrs. Patterson while heralding democracy as the path to peace and prosperity would speak glowingly and eloquently of President Bush's deep admiration and respect for Islam. As Mrs. Patterson spoke, thousands of Pakistani troops less than three kilometers away laid siege to the Lal Masjid.

ّNeedless to say, there would be no disapprobation from the members of General Musharraf's government in attendance on the brazen hypocrisy of of a people who spoke of democracy and yet have continued to lend their unwavering support for a dictatorial tyrant who's legitimacy is only mitigated by his alleged commitment to the American-led "War on Terror". The niceties of diplomacy would temper the instinctive reaction of the others in attendance from giggling under their breath. Incessantly going on with her speech, Mrs. Anne Patterson would conveniently ignore the one subject that was on everyone's mind, and that was, what was transpiring outside.

By turning a blind eye to the ideological battle that raged outside the embassy compound and oblivious to the fact that Musharraf's regime is content to express only a feigned interest in the principles of democracy merely as a tactic to bolster their own political power, it is hard to imagine that Mrs. Patterson's speech was anything other than self-serving.

Often in our self-perceived vocation as the torch-bearers of freedom and democracy, we tend to lose sight not only of the limited power of politically engineered change in an Islamic country such as Pakistan, but of that simple truism that no society can ever live outside the parameters of its basic ideology. One of the drawbacks of freedom is that free choices are regularly made for the worst and in ignorance and equality the people of Pakistan might well decide to cast their vote for submission rather than for freedom.

For the West, the focus remains almost exclusively on the aspect of ignorance. Citing Pakistan's low literacy rate, we've led ourselves to believe that a lack of education is the primary factor contributing to democracy's inability to take root in Pakistan often ignoring or dismissing out of hand the real reason. The foremost condition required for democracy to ever take root in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan or any Islamic country for that matter is the acceptance by all of the sovereignty of the people, a concept that runs contrary to the basic ideology of Islam and effectively denies the fundamental Islamic affirmation of the sovereignty of God. While education might one day contribute to the democracy's ability to flourish in Pakistan, it will never provide the foundation needed for it to take root.

Our policies both abroad and at home continue to reflect nothing more than a total lack of conviction on our part. By simultaneously punishing and placating the adherents of this regressive political and social ideology instead of embracing our manifest destiny and mustering the courage to take on the ideology itself both at home and around the world we've only fueled the fires of fascism.


  1. This is inutterably sad. It is like reading something from the Apocalypse.

  2. Totally creepy how she could go on like that and not even mention what was happening right outside - its like our politicians don't seem live in the real world - (well actually they don't)

  3. 'He might be a sonofabitch, but he's Our sonofabitch.'

    I would have liked to say: 'Twenty years from now, the Left will be pointing to him, like they enjoy pointing to the South American dictators we have supported in the past.'

    I would Like to say that. However in twenty years much of the Left will be Living in South America, having fled there to escape the islamization of the US that their thinking is currently bringing on.


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