A Republican Dictatorship?
Republicans have gone out of their way to express their disdain for engaging in a partnership with Pakistan. America is, obviously, in trouble if the Republicans gain control.
Every Presidential campaign in the US needs a whipping horse. Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican, campaigned in 1952 by attacking “Korea, Communism and Corruption.” In 1960, Democratic candidate, John F. Kennedy flogged the Cold War. In 1968, Republican candidate, Richard Nixon took advantage of the thrashing America was getting in Vietnam. The ball went back to Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter when he won by a narrow margin while the Republicans still licked their wounds in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal. In 1980, Ayatullah Khomeini and the Iran hostage crisis was the target for the American nation and brought Ronald Reagan to the White House.
While Bill Clinton rode to power in 1992 over the bad economy that Reagan had left behind, his liaison with Monica Lewinsky allowed the Republicans to bounce back in the person of George W. Bush in 2000. The occurrence of 9/ 11 and America’s fixation, first with Saddam Hussein and later with Osama Bin Laden, spilled over into Barack Obama’s term, this time sucking in Pakistan in the after- burn. Today, this is what the relatively little known Republican presidential candidates are exploiting to ride back into the White House. From their utterances it seems though that America, the self- proclaimed mother of all democracies, is now heading towards a dictatorship.
Some time back, when a pack of these Republican presidential hopefuls took part in a TV debate, they vexed eloquent over US foreign policy. A key target of their diatribe was Pakistan, a country that has been a US ally almost from inception and has gone beyond its capabilities and resources to assist America on various fronts. It is now receiving the fruit of its labors and loyalties and is described by Republican politicians such as Michele Bachmann, as a nation “that lies, that does everything that you could imagine wrong.” In Jon Huntsman’s opinion, Pakistan is “a nation- state that is a candidate for failure,” while Rick Perry‘ s views about Pakistan are that “they’ve showed us time after time that they can’t be trusted.”
Says Newt Gingrich, addressing Pakistan, “Help us, or get out of the way … but don’t complain if we kill people you’re not willing to go after on your territory.” He is obviously referring to Pakistan’s refusal to attack North Waziristan despite America’s insistence that it hides terrorists. Another of the same ilk, Mitt Romney has declared that, “we need to bring Pakistan into the 21st century – or the 20th century, for that matter.”
It is interesting to note that the same Republican Party was always known to harbor slightly more sympathy for Pakistan than the Democrats. Dwight Eisenhower and later Nixon bolstered Ayub Khan, Ronald Reagan supported Zia- ul- Haq and George W. Bush backed Pervez Musharraf. Was this because all these Pakistani rulers were military men and Asif Zardari has no military background except having attended the Petaro Cadet College? By this yardstick, perhaps an army general would have to stage another coup and take over the government in Pakistan to garner support of the