Contrary to the position I advanced this morning, Gordon Chang, at Contentions, argues that it would be tragic mistake for the U.S. to back Pervez Musharraf who has suspended the Pakistani constitution, imposed a state of emergency, called out the army, and rounded up hundreds of political opponents. According to Chang, the U.S. should not fear that true democracy in Pakistan will result in the election of Islamic militants because, “from all we know, free elections would produce moderate leaders.”
The concern, though, may be less the election of Islamic militants, and more the ability of a government run by moderate leaders to fight these militants, including al Qaeda. This is one of the points that Stanley Kurtz makes in his discussion of the dynamics of Pakistan’s society and, in particular, its army.
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