Posted by: Tony Carson | 7 November, 2007

On US meddling and selfish foreign policy

To what extent is the current situation in Pakistan a carbon copy of Iran under the Shah?

It’s pretty close, says David Ignatius in his Washington Post column In Pakistan, Echoes of Iran and that’s pretty scary.

One of the great similarities, of course, is US intervention: “But changing Pakistan is a job for Pakistanis, and history suggests that the more we meddle, the more likely we are to get things wrong.”

It has never made much sense that  the bastion of democracy would support the dictator Musharraf, just as it never made any sense (but for oil) that the US would enthrone the Shah in Iran. What’s best for the US, isn’t always best for the target country, indeed, the US makes no bones about the fact that its foreign policy is exclusively directed at what’s best for the US, never mind its greater implications.

Just as the Iranians got tired of the Shah and the Pakistanis the dictator, so the world is getting a tad tired of being subjected to US self-interest abroad. Witness South and Central America.

Ignatius has a very good column.



  1. The US’ foreign policy should be based on what’s best for the US. Our government is charged with looking after our interests, not the interests of other nations.

    That being said, an enlightened forward thinking policy would be better. One has to decide whether the short term gains of an act are worth the probable long term detriments.

    Placing the Shah into power in Iran was good in the short term, but we should have taken into account the likely repercussions and our unwillingness to support the Shah by any and all means necessary. It’s a case of start as you would finish.

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