As lots of smart people have already noted (Krugman, Marshall, Atrios, Benen, Greenwald), we don’t own Pakistan. We haven’t even rented it, notwithstanding our shipping wheelbarrows full of poorly accounted for money in that direction.
And whatever the neoconservative worldview may dictate to the contrary, we don’t get to tell Pakistan what to do — which may be just as well, given that whenever we do try to force other countries to run themselves the way we like (a/k/a Iraq), we tend to fu*k things up.
As Krugman notes, one particularly disquieting aspect of all this is the lunacy of the current crop of presidential candidates (on both sides) arguing over who among them would be better able to deal with the crisis surrounding Bhutto’s assassination.
Earth to would be rulers of the world: it ain’t ours to fix.
To all the presidential campaigns trying to claim that the atrocity in Pakistan somehow proves that they have the right candidate — please stop.
This isn’t about you; in fact, as far as I can tell, it isn’t about America. It’s about the fact that Pakistan is a very messed-up place. This has very bad consequences for us, but it’s hard to see what, if anything, it says about US policy.
You know, after suffering through seven miserable years of George W. Bush’s presidency, I’ve about decided that the one attribute I care about above all others in a would be Commander in Chief is the ability to learn from history. And given our consistently disastrous experience over the last 50 years in trying to micromanage other nations, one might think that a little learning on this topic in particular would be in order.
Alas, there is little in the words of our current bunch of Caesar wannabes to show they’ve even begun to learn this lesson.