November 15, 2007 ☼ Foreign Affairs ☼ Security
This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.
Arun Shourie rounds off a brilliant series on Pakistan with a conclusion that most realists will find it difficult to disagree with:
Till then, let us be clear, the best possible outcome for us, one for which we can do little, is that a discredited and besieged Musharraf continues in office — so that the fount of decisions remains preoccupied with his own problems. And that the Pakistan army remains encoiled in protracted and bloody hostilities with the extremists that it and ISI, and so on, have reared — so that the trust and working alliance between them is ruptured. If prayers are to be the only policy we are capable of, pray for these, not for democracy! [IE]
In the first part of the series Shourie essentially summarises The Acorn’s position:
When he has been facing difficulties, the same concessions have been urged on the ground, “he is our best bet.” Such specious reasoning has almost prevailed when we have had, as we have now, a weak and delusional government, a government that does not have the grit to stay the course; when we have a government over which suggestions from abroad have sway of the kind they have today; when we have a government the higher reaches of which are as bereft of experience in national security affairs as in the government today. We must never sacrifice a national interest in the delusion that someone is the ‘best bet’ — he will soon be gone, and our interest would have been sacrificed in perpetuity. Nor should we ever sacrifice an interest in the delusion that doing so will assuage that ruler, country or ‘movement’. [IE]
Almost all of this is exactly on the ball. But even Arun Shourie should not get away with calling the current government “a government that does not have the grit to stay the course” without being reminded of the NDA government’s craven submission to the hijackers of IC-814. That too contributed to India’s projection of weakness. No, we must never sacrifice an interest in the delusion that doing so will assuage that ruler, country, or ‘movement’. Or, for that matter, the surrender monkeys among our own countrymen. As Albus Dumbledore said after awarding the decisive points to Neville Longbottom “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies. But a great deal more, to stand up to your friends”.
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