Rice Grateful for Musharraf « The Washington Independent
I suppose Condoleezza Rice sort of had to say this –
“President Musharraf made the critical choice to join the fight against al-Qaida, the Taliban, and other extremist groups that threaten the peace and security of Pakistan, its neighbors, and partners throughout the world,” Rice said in a statement. “For this, he has our deep gratitude.”
– but but but. Shouldn’t her emphasis have been more on the boundless energy of the Pakistani people and the promise of a return to civilian democracy and all the other platitudes that foreign ministers issue when a hated leader shuffles off in ignominy? Is it really necessary to praise Musharraf on his way out when Pakistan absolutely hates him, and managed to push him aside without the sort of coup that he used to gain power? Just imagine if Rice and Bush had actually hewed to the blandishments of the hollow "Freedom Agenda" and actually supported the middle-class rebellion that arose after Musharraf deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry? Musharraf, after all, might have assassinated his chief political rival in December, let’s not forget.
I guess it’s good manners. Musharraf was a great ally to Bush, if not to the American people. In 2004, on the very day that John Kerry accepted the Democratic nomination, Pakistan announced the capture of an important al-Qaeda terrorist, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, three weeks after two colleagues and I reported that Bush aides asked Pakistani intelligence officials to do so. So Condoleeza Rice really does have a lot to be grateful for.