Being played for suckers

Monday, November 12, 2007

Just using the right rhetoric seems to be all that is required to receive billions of dollars in U.S. aid.

Certainly, we don't require countries such as Pakistan to adhere to democratic principles.

Police and soldiers in that Islamic republic, emboldened by state of emergency powers, swept up hundreds of activists and opposition members on Sunday, dragged away protesters shouting "Shame on you!" and turned government buildings into barbed-wire compounds.

Gen. Pervez Musharraf's government reported that parliamentary elections could be delayed up to a year as it tries to stamp out a growing Islamic militant threat.

Well, Pakistan is not the only country in the third world that has a hard time getting this democracy thing to work. Defenders of our policy toward Pakistan may think that the only important measure of the effectiveness of our support is the extent to which Pakistan opposes global terrorism.

Well, how much does Pakistan really oppose global terrorism? It is widely assumed that Osama bin Laden is now living in sanctuary in Pakistan. We supposedly cannot go into the region to incarcerate our nation's most wanted enemy, even at the invitation of the Pakistani government, for fear of destabilizing that country.

Yes, things could be worse. Pakistan could be actively supportive of terrorists.

It just doesn't seem that we're getting a lot for the billions of dollars we give to Pakistan but then billions of dollars don't buy as much as they used to.