What I want to do versus what I need to do

What I want to do is blog. What I need to do is take care of my husband who is home sick today; work on three legal projects that are due tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, respectively; get the house ready for the twice monthly cleaning lady visit; cook dinner; take my daughter to her audition for the school play; do a load of laundry; and spend time on the phone with beloved family members who are going through a hard time right now. I’ve gotten so that I dread the phone ringing, because it’s always more work. (Not you, DQ, of course. I always like it when you call, even if there’s work attached to the phone call!)

So, I’ll leave you with one thought until I can carve out another small window of time in which to opine about something. The top story right now is about Musharraf’s declaration of martial law in Pakistan, a tactic he’s used before to keep himself in power. He’s a nasty bit of work, who is willing to work with Islamist extremists in order to maintain his position. Nevertheless, absent Musharraf, the same Islamists probably get, not only room at the table, but the table itself, turning Pakistan into a pre-nuclearized Iran.

Because the choices in Pakistan seem to be evil and more evil, I keep thinking of many Brits during the 1930s who supported Hitler. Dig a little deeper into their reasoning, and you discover that they didn’t really support Hitler. They just thought that he’d be a bulwark against Communism, and they feared Communism even more than National Socialism (which was, initially, trying to present a clean and pretty face for world consumption). History has revealed that choosing the Nazis to support was an appallingly bad choice, but history has also shown that the Communists weren’t better — although I doubt they would have come up with the ultimate evil of the Holocaust.

Sometimes, in world politics, there are no good choices. There aren’t even least awful choices. All one can do is try to figure out which of two evil systems is least likely to blow up the world in the near future.

UPDATE:  Thank goodness that, curled up in a chair in the living room, I have the cure for a day like this.


10 Responses

  1. If only Jimmy Carter had had your balanced insight when dealing with the Shah of Iran, perhaps we would not have an Iran crisis today. The Liberal/Left today can only think in terms of good and bad – they think like children. Unfortunately, the world demands having to make more grown-up choices, such as between “bad” versus “worse”.

  2. Musharraf currently benefits from the “our son-of-a-bitch” factor, but there’s another factor in play. Without him, as others have pointed out, Pakistan either turns into a super-Afghanistan of civil war, or a nuclear Islamist power. Either way, a whole lot of people both inside and beyond that country’s borders are likely to die. So, while he’s a tyrant, right now the alternative is not just someone worse, but a whole lot of dead people.

  3. The US can essentially go in and prop M’s regime up, and thereby give M a chance to work at democracy without worrying about getting blown up by coup de tat attempts.

    However, that is the normal and necessary price if people don’t like M. You have to replace him with something better or at least get a deal working where he has a reason to do what you want him to do.

    What happens in most cases, however, is that people dislike M and want him gone, but all they are willing to replace him with is chaos. The Left actually claims to want to replace him with democratic elections and what not, but as we saw with the elections in Iraq and with the UN, the Left’s version of “democratic elections” are not the same definitions as ours. Jimmy Carter’s definition is probably in its own league by now.

  4. Jimmy Carter didn’t like the Shah of Iran, so Carter threatened to pull US support out from under him if the Shah didn’t compromise and do things the JImmy Carter way (aka puppet master commands). The Shah loosened his grip on the repression of the Islamic revolutionaries and in the end, the Shah was overthrown while Jimmy Carter danced with joy as Iran burned with the executions of both former Shah loyalists and Leftist revolutionaries, executed by the true and only Islamic Revolution. Those people don’t play, nor do they share. Except perhaps for boys and girls under 12.

    I never trust the Left nor the meida when they report about dictators in foreign countries which are repressing so and so groups of “dissdents”. The media is not on our side, nor do they have our interests or the interests of other civilians at heart. Disinformation was crucial in giving the sign to the South Vietnamese to assassinate Diem, who was actually a very effective bulwark against totalitarianism and communism. Except for the fact that State Department boyos and a couple of reporters thought Diem too autocratic and dictatorial. Puppet masters were in high demand in those Vietnam, bygone, days.

  5. On the other hand, the mnost interesting nugget in the whole post was that you’re one of those people who cleans the house in advance of the cleaning lady’s arrival….

    So was my mother. So is my wife. I am uncertain what – if anything – this proves.

  6. While Musharraf is (in my mind) a bad man, he is better than what would replace him, which would likely be a Taliban-style government, only WITH nuclear weapons.


  7. And, I hope that your hubby feels better soon!


  8. […] Osama bin Laden. We armed and trained them, and now we’re paying the price. [True, but naive. As I noted yesterday, you have to deal with the situation in the present, and often are forced, as the most powerful […]

  9. […] Osama bin Laden. We armed and trained them, and now we’re paying the price. [True, but naive. As I noted yesterday, you have to deal with the situation in the present, and often are forced, as the most powerful […]

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