December 29, 2007

In Which Chris Dodd Channels CapQ

On Thursday, progressive commenters here at CapQ erupted in outrage when I quoted Bill Richardson demanding that the US "force" Musharraf out of power in favor of a national government. Originally, the Richardson apologists insisted that the word "force" came from the journalist reporting the story; when I produced the quote from Richardson's website, they claimed he didn't mean "force" when he said ... "force".

Count Chris Dodd among those who scoff at that explanation (via CapQ commenter NoDonkey):

Though Richardson often touts his foreign policy experience — he was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Bill Clinton — Dodd dismissed Richardson’s proposals in strong terms.

“I think that is a dangerous idea, and I am sort of surprised Bill Richardson would make that recommendation,” Dodd said. “Can you tell me who is going to then be controlling the keys to the nuclear weapons in Pakistan when Musharraf is not there? And if you can’t answer that question, then be careful what you wish for.”

Dodd went on: “The idea of dumping Musharraf and cutting off aid, which I think Bill Richardson also suggested, is the worst possible thing we could be doing right now. That is the height of danger.”

Not to mention who gets represented in a national unity government in Pakistan. The radical Islamists have a significant amount of political support in Pakistan, some of it through "democratic" political parties. Does this American-imposed government reserve a place at the table for the Taliban and their al-Qaeda allies? If they're excluded, then how is this an improvement, in democratic terms, than a government headed by Musharraf with elections including the parties of Bhutto and Sharif? Why would we want to eject the one man who has conducted a war against the radical Islamists for an opportunity to let our enemies into the government?

Chris Dodd has enough sense to recognize this for the insanity it is. It's Iran in 1979 all over again, even ignoring the imperialistic overtones of America "forcing" Pakistan to change leadership.


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