Monday, June 22, 2009

News Flash: Zardari Blames Others; Asks for (More) Money

It is hard to know what to mock first in Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari's op-ed in the Washington Post:
  • The Taliban and al-Qaeda are a threat to the entire world and indeed civilization itself! -- a threat it took Pakistan years to take seriously and even now has not fully committed to fighting (and expects someone else to pay for, while financing the build-up of equipment aimed at fighting India as well).
  • Benazir Bhutto (his wife) is by far the best leader Pakistan has ever had, perhaps one of the best the world has ever known -- one who was removed from power twice for corruption.
  • Democracy MUST succeed in Paksitan -- as long as "Mr. 10%" is re-elected.
  • The United States committed $1.5 billion per year to Pakistan for at least five years (on top of significant aid to the military) -- and Pakistan is holding out its other hand and saying "where's the rest?"
I don't envy Zardari's position. Pakistan is clearly not an easy place to govern, especially not now. But he continues the far-too-frequent Pakistani mindset of blaming others, refusing to take any responsibility, and expecting a physical and monetary bail-out.
If Zardari had written an op-ed with the message of "we are in a tough spot and could use some help" I think the "West" would be a lot more receptive. Instead his attitude is "you broke it, we did nothing wrong, give us money and come in and fix it yourselves." Not very constructive Mr. Zardari.

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