Saturday, September 27, 2008

Does John McCain support the overthrow of "failed" democracies?

OBAMA: And the problem, John, with the strategy that's been pursued was that, for 10 years, we coddled Musharraf, we alienated the Pakistani population, because we were anti-democratic. We had a 20th-century mindset that basically said, "Well, you know, he may be a dictator, but he's our dictator."

And as a consequence, we lost legitimacy in Pakistan. We spent $10 billion. And in the meantime, they weren't going after Al Qaida, and they are more powerful now than at any time since we began the war in Afghanistan.

That's going to change when I'm president of the United States.

MCCAIN: I -- I don't think that Senator Obama understands that there was a failed state in Pakistan when Musharraf came to power. Everybody who was around then, and had been there, and knew about it knew that it was a failed state.

Musharraf didn't "come to power". He overthrew the Prime Minister in a coup, suspended the constitution, imprisoned Supreme Court justices when they ruled against his wishes and spent as much effort jailing the opposition as targeting al Qaeda (while receiving the open support of the U.S. government).

And while Pakistan is often dysfunctional, it's biggest problem is that the military isn't subject to the civilian government and constantly threatens the elected leadership when it doesn't get it's way.

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