Musharraf vs. Chavez

Glenn Reynolds wonders, “WHY IS THE WORLD MORE CONCERNED with Musharraf’s coup than with Hugo Chavez’s emerging dicatatorship? Because enemies of the United States, like Chavez, get a pass.”

Tom Maguire responds, reasonably enough, “because Pakistan has nuclear weapons and harbors (willingly or otherwise) the remnants of Al Qaeda and the Taliban. What’s that compared to a spot of Venezuelan oil?” Quite right.

A constitutional crisis in Pakistan has the potential to further inflame the whole region. India could get involved. There could be spillover effects into Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and elsewhere. Venezuela’s misery, by contrast, is mostly confined to its own population.

Moreover, it’s hardly unfair to hold leaders that our president embraces as exemplars of democracy to a higher standard than tinpot dictators.

FILED UNDER: Latin America, World Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. M1EK says:

    A more important question is why Glenn Reynolds thinks his question is one worth asking. That’s dumb even for a partisan hack like him.

  2. jpe says:

    Wow, dumb question from Reynolds. On the topic of Venezuela, though, there was a great article in the NYTimes Magazine yesterday re: state oil enterprises & efficiency. Strongly recommended.

  3. Ugh says:

    More evidence that Glenn Reynolds lives in an imaginary world of his own creation. Really, that could be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read by him, by far.

  4. Anderson says:

    “Why does the Liberal Media pay attention to [apples] while ignoring [oranges]?” is one of the five or so standard Instapundit templates, IIRC from back when I bothered to read him.

  5. Andy says:

    More evidence that Glenn Reynolds lives in an imaginary world of his own creation. Really, that could be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read by him, by far.

    Heh.

  6. Bandit says:

    One place lefty tyrants can always count on support, no matter how many die in their totalitarian gulags, is with the US left because they just go for that kinda stuff.

  7. Steve Plunk says:

    Jeesh, can’t anyone ask a question? Reynolds has something of a point. JJ was the only person to actual make a reasonable response. Just calling someone’s question dumb is not a response.

    The nuclear argument is well taken but wouldn’t we rather see Musharref maintain control over those weapons even if it means a reduction of civil liberties? The country is a mess by anyone’s standards and stability should be first and foremost. The question I haven’t heard asked or answered is where is Bhutto and what is her reaction?

    Part of the reason for this emergency declaration is to rid the country of Al Qaeda and Taliban so I don’t agree with Maguire’s point of view.

    Musharref said earlier he would not let his country commit suicide. That suicide would be the installation of an Islamic regime bent on giving those weapons to terrorists.

    Before anyone calls my post “dumb” take some time to make a real argument.

  8. Tano says:

    “Part of the reason for this emergency declaration is to rid the country of Al Qaeda and Taliban ”

    That is just not true Steve. That is the line he gives out to mollify critics in the West. The reason for the emergency was simple – he was in danger of losing power. He is a dictator, remember?

    The situation in Pakistan is NOT one where it is Musharraf or the Islamists. Support for Bhutto and for Sharif is huge relative to the support for any kind of extremist. If Musharraf had lost power, it would have passed most likely to Bhutto – a western-friendly regime – with secular militarists (not unlike Musharraf) holding substantial power in the background.

    This has nothing to do with the terrorists.