Pakistanis Growing Frustrated With U.S.
The headline “Pakistanis Growing Frustrated With U.S.” is, on the one hand, a superb case of the pot calling the kettle black. Still, there’s not much doubt about the underlying sentiment:
Inside call centers and in high school social studies classes, at vegetable markets and in book bazaars, Pakistanis from different walks of life here say that ever since President Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule two weeks ago, he’s been the most unpopular figure in the country. But running a close second, many say, is his ally: President Bush.
“We used to love America. Give me Tom Cruise and a vacation in Florida any day,” said Parveen Aslam, 30, who like many Pakistanis has relatives in the United States. “But why isn’t the U.S. standing up for Pakistan when we need it most? Is America even listening to us? We are calling them Busharraf now. They are the same man.”
While many Pakistanis lament that the Bush administration is involved in their country’s politics, they also see the United States as the only force strong enough to do what they say is necessary to temper the crisis: pressure the military-led government to restore the constitution, release thousands of political prisoners and lift restrictions on the news media.
This is a classic dilemma in international politics but one that is particularly problematic for the United States. Perhaps more than any other great power in history, we have couched our foreign policy in the language of democracy and human rights. Yet, when rubber meets road, we’ve almost always carried out a Realist agenda, putting our security interests ahead of our human rights agenda. That dichotomy, quite naturally, creates frustration abroad.
via OTB News
Photo credit: Tina Hager (White House).