Pakistani General-President Pervez Musharraf is shrewd.
He's learned how to play the United States better than most: cough up a monthly shipment of Al-Qaeda members and Washington's your oyster.
Like Bush's other democracy-as-grade-school-science-projects, including Iraqi PM Allawi who recently preened his "300,000 votes won't matter" feathers in front of the UN, Musharraf has set his country to boil before heading off to New York to meet with the President this week.
In his 1999 coup, he had promised Pakistanis that he would step down as army chief on December 31 of this year. Citing the danger of terrorism and the need for "continuity," the General looks to be prepping his country for a reversal of that promise. In an entertaining defense, he asks "How did General de Gaulle continue in uniform all through his period as president of France, and France is a democratic country?"
Ok. So the resumption of democracy can wait...you've got an important role, Pervez, in helping us make combat terror and wmd-proliferation.
You'll remember, that "Making America Safer" George Bush gave Pakistan a pass when it was revealed that its chief nuclear scientist was running the international black market for nuke materials. Within 24 hours, Musharraf went on national television and praised Khan as a hero.
So where's Khan now, and what has the Bush administration learned from him about the international proliferation of wmds since March?
MUSHARRAF: Nobody has asked, number one. Number two, we don't want to make him available because we have good interrogators. I mean, it undermines our own capability. We can do it ourselves. And we have done it. We have shared all the information that we have. So not only is it a lack of confidence in our capability, but it also shows mistrust in us. It doesn't make us so happy.
On World News Tonight, 9/20/04
According to the Pakistani General-President, we haven't asked. And even if we did, we wouldn't be aided. Now shut up and smile.
Originally Posted at American Amnesia