Human rights and political alliances

It is a common policy by US administrations to seek allies in the third world it can do business with. Latin America used to be ruled by bloody military dictatorships. One of the bloodiest dictators was Pinochet who was seen by the USA as its ally against the spread of communism in this part of the world led by Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

So it’s no wonder if the US is finding in Musharraf an excellent ally in its fight against Al Qaeda which still has strongholds in many of the inaccessible parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. An interesting remark is that many of US allies in the third world have a poor record on human rights according to Human rights Watch. Saudi Arabia is an example of the countries enjoying full American support despite its lack of democratic practices as it was envisaged by Pt Bush in his plan for Middle East democracy. As long as might in politics is considered as right, wrongs will be overlooked as putting them right can results in adverse wrongs to the parties seeking to make things right.

Pakistan has always been known for its lack of democratic transitions in power as power shifts from one leader to another through military coups, making democratic elections bringing to power the likes of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif an exception rather than the rule. The US seems to be dealing with Pakistan as it is and adapting to its political reality as long as it isn’t standing in its way to fight its enemies.

The other point is that currently the US can only trust the military now that Pakistan has become a nuclear power. Letting this country get out of hand will make it a big ally of countries opponent to the US like Iran. As long as trouble is limited in Pakistan through sporadic demonstrations, repressions and bomb attacks without shaking the position of the military, Pakistan will look for the US as the best political deal it can get. It can’t force Musharraf to reduce his powers for the benefit of parties that can turn against the USA. It’s a deal. Musharraf needs the US for his survival. The US needs Musharraf “to protect America and protect American lives by continuing to fight against terrorists”. It’s a battle of survival at whatever cost. That‘s what politics is about.


  1. Hisham said,

    November 8, 2007 at 7:52 am

    America’s only mantra is (as you rightly put it): Might is Right. We can also add the additional idiotic motto: My enemy’s enemy is my friend which helped created many mounsters throught the years and served to theorize American foreign policy terror. Don’t get me wrong my friend; this isn’t meant to be or sound “anti-American,” we’re here talking about the mad system created by the oligarchy ruling the USofA often to the detriment of their own people’s REAL interests; and forget about the so-called “national interest” justification which only means Texas oil businessmen interest as Chomsky put it in his most recent article.
    By the way Abdelilah, I wholeheartedly invite you to read this article here which really puts the whole picture in the right order:

    Good Reading!

  2. Abdelilah Boukili said,

    November 8, 2007 at 10:43 am

    Hi Hisham,
    You are right that some politicians are driven by blind assumptions which make matters worse for them and the rest of the world.
    Thanks a lot for the suggested article by Chomsky.

  3. Looney said,

    November 8, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    Hisham, after reading that article by Chomsky, I concluded he would be better off sticking to linguistics.

    The US hopes for peace and stability in Pakistan – and preferably everywhere else in the vicinity. The problem is how to guarantee people rights without also guaranteeing them the right to walk into a market with a bomb and blow up 100 people. A side problem is to respect the sovereignty of nations while restraining a nation’s sovereign right to smuggle a nuclear bomb into New York harbor. Some problems are difficult to solve and reasonable, altruistically motivated people frequently have conflicting opinions.

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