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.