Dec 1, 2008

Bush Democracy In Pakistan Shows Less Than Peaceful Results

By Bill Wilson

Once again the world is in turmoil. The Islamic terrorist killings in India have sent reminders around the world that a violent Islam is alive and well and will strike the innocent without notice, and especially without conscience or remorse. Now India and Pakistan, two nations who have fought some three wars since 1947, are once again struggling with their tenuous relations. The terrorist attacks that left some 200 dead in Mumbai are evidence that Pakistan is a breeding ground for radical Islamists despite American efforts to keep the country's leadership in alliance with not only the concept but the actual prosecution of the war on terror in conjunction with the United States.

But here again, democracy enters the equation. President George W. Bush had done well to create a relationship, fragile as it was, with Pakistani strong man Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf was able to rule with an iron hand and keep the Islamists at bay while giving the US opportunity to fight terrorists in the Pakistani-Afghanistan-Iraqi region. Then Bush got bit by the democracy bug and tried to introduce Pakistan, a still unstable Islamic hotbed, to the free vote. This ended up ousting Musharraf, getting a moderate US ally in Benazir Bhutto blown to bits by terrorists, and establishing a democratically elected government that was weak against the terrorists.

The new Pakistani government has been less cooperative in US efforts to rid the country of Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists that base on Pakistani soil and serve as a steady source of arms and manpower against US positions in Afghanistan. The new Pakistani government has advocated talks and negotiations with the terrorists, has turned a blind eye toward terrorist activity and training, and has complained profusely against US efforts to rid Pakistani border areas of terrorists through surgical missile strikes and other military exercises. All in all, the terrorists have experienced a lessening of pressure on them since democracy determined the Pakistani leadership.

Fast forward to today, when international tensions are explosive because of the terrorist attacks in India. India has been a stable democracy, somehow striking a secular balance between the Hindus and Muslims in governing its people. Pakistan, however, which was created by carving the Islamic North out of India and making a new country, has been an unstable breeding ground for terrorists in the region. The Bush doctrine of democracy leading to peace only works when people are determined to have a strong and peaceful government, not when terrorists are legitimized by the vote. Jeremiah 8:15 describes a similar situation, "We looked for peace, but no good came." There can be no peace when evil is legitimized.