Pakistan to America: Keep Out
I agree with David Ignatius’ conclusion in his latest column that “…changing Pakistan is a job for Pakistanis, and history suggests that the more we meddle, the more likely we are to get things wrong.” In the Muslim world, it is history that shapes people’s perceptions of political situations. Unlike people in the West, who view emerging political scenarios through prisms of economics and of self-interest, Muslims and Arabs turn to history for explanations of western conspiracy in every situation they face.
The West thinks many of these events lie in the dust of history: the crusades, the loss of Andalusia, European colonial rule, the destruction of the Ottoman Caliphate, the debacle of Palestine, and the willy-nilly interference and changing of Muslim leaders. But these wounds are very much open and hurting in the Muslim world.
This is why when America goes east, Muslims go west. Recent U.S. military ventures into Afghanistan, Iraq, and indirectly into Somalia, and the larger war against terror, are all seen by the majority of the Muslim populace as the continuation of a war to dominate and subjugate the Muslim world.
It is therefore not incidental that President Musharraf of Pakistan, Hamid Karazi of Afghanistan, Al Maliki of Iraq and Abdillahi Yusuf of Somalia all remind their people of the disasters of Western-supported regimes of the past: Iraqi King Faisal and Nuri Said, American-groomed Baathist regimes, and the Shah of Iran.
READ MORE in Washington Post/Newsweek