27 December 2007

Does He Have A Mouse In His Pocket?

I have no no strong or learned reaction to the Bhutto assassination. I do have a strong reaction to Mike Huckabee's reaction, though:
With about 150 supporters crowded around a podium set up on the tarmac of Orlando Executive airport (and about 20 Ron Paul supporters waving signs outside) Mike Huckabee strode out to the strains of "Right Now" by Van Halen and immediately addressed the Bhutto situation, expressing "our sincere concern and apologies for what has happened in Pakistan."
I do get that Americans are the new Jews and thus everything bad that happens is our fault, but why exactly are "we" apologizing to Pakistan? Instapundit says that Huckabee is Jimmy Carter, but I don't remember Carter apologizing to Afghanistan because the Russians invaded. I don't remember him apologizing to Egypt because some fundy wackjobs killed Sadat.

Huckabee -- a bigger doormat than Jimmy Carter.


Anonymous said...

Yes, this seems to be the dark obverse of the American impulse to free the enslaved of the world, eschew realism and gound foreign policy in moral imperatives. It may go a long way towards explaining why Americans make better liberators than colonizers or even nation-builders, and why (as Churchill noted) you can go down so many crazy paths before getting it right.

The night before the assassination we went to see "Charlie Wilson's War", which was superbly acted and loads of fun. Not to spoil it, but Congressman Charlie is diverted from his whorein' and boozin' through a Damascene moment that leads him to devote all his waking hours to raising public funds clandestinely to save the Afghans from the Soviets--all without giving up his whorein' and boozin'. A couple of scenes are very telling. The first is when the Pakistani President and senior officers chew Charlie out royally and rudely because the U.S. isn't spending more money to arm the Afghans--and Charlie takes it all with an openly squirming guilt. Interesting strategy for a supplicant. The second is that the whole rationale for the cause is the cruel and mean things the Soviets are doing to "the people". Nothing at all about why communism is a bad thing or should be checked. Finally, after all turns out well and the good guys prevail, we close with a scene reminiscent of when "The Killing Fields" tried to pin Pol Pot on the States. Charlie, who raised a billion to beat the Soviets, can't convince his colleagues to allocate a measly $1 million for Afghan schools. Thus we are told the U.S. blew the peace and was directly responsible for what came after.

Listening to the inexecrable Wolf Blitzer's incessant efforts to pin the assassination on the Pakistani Government (even to the embarassment of his correspondents on site)and also Condi's daily lectures on democracy, I can't help but feel Musharif and his supporters must be the angriest, most betrayed folks on the planet.

It's a little like The Balkans in the 90's when the West's approach to four successive wars was to ignore history or strategic considerations and just simply ask who the underdog-of-the-moment was. Bhutto was vain, corrupt (and possibly much worse) and openly destabilizing, but she was elegant, Western-educated, and a master of the right lingo. That is all that matters, as I found out to my cost yesterday when I tried to inject a little reality into She-Who-Is-Perfect's mourning for a heroine. Bad career move.

David said...

You're a braver man than I.

As for the rest, I see the convergence of two particularly American traits. First, we're omnipowerful, so obviously everything is our fault. If we had given the Afghans $1 million for schools, the nation would have blossomed into a democratic paradise, because you know how warlords quail before education. (There is, of course, a racist component to this: no one could expect the Afghans to take responsibility for themselves.)

Second, "western" is a holistic and indivisible concept in which wearing tee shirts, listening to jazz or training in optometry in London necessarily means that someone is a secret liberal.

Anonymous said...

I think we must add a third---the religion of democracy, before the standard of which tyrants fall faster than Muslims before a Crusader's Cross. We all nod our heads at those reasoned, sage anaylses that show a loyal military, the rule of law and an uncorrupted leadership are pre-conditions to successful democracies, but then with nary a pause we hit the streets demanding our corrupt, lawless allies with disloyal armies be made pariahs if they don't hold open elections within the month. Here is a pretty good take on the madness.

My local bar association has been e-mailing me daily for weeks now trying to get me to do something to "restore" constitutional government in Pakistan. I couldn't decide whether to reply that I'm really not in favour of constitutional government in Pakistan or that I am too busy fighting global warming. But what is the President doing here? The wretched place is five minutes away from a jihadist coup and we want Dan Rather and secret ballots by next month?

I think this is also evidence that we are not at war in any coherent sense of the word, no matter how many times we say we are.

Duck said...

Huckabee's victory in Iowa should make us all fear the impending end of American civilization.

I'm not sure if Bhutto wanted to be president or a martyr. I'm not in a hurry for democracy to come to Pakistan. Lets drain the swamp before we start building condos on it.