Pakistan's State of Emergency

Pervez Musharraf infuriates his people — and embarrasses Washington — by cracking down on democracy. Will that help him fight the war on terrorism? Probably not

Arif Ali / AFP / Getty

A Pakistani lawyer throws back a teargas shell towards the police during a protest in Lahore on November 5, 2007.

American support for president Pervez Musharraf has always come with a cover story to gloss over the awkward fact that one of the U.S.'s most important allies happens to be a military dictator. General Musharraf may have seized power in a coup, say his defenders in Washington, but he's our sort of guy, the kind of man we need in the fight against terrorism--and, by the way, he has always said he will return his country to democracy. In other words, the Pakistani strongman is crucial to both of the U.S.'s key goals in the Muslim world: fighting terrorism and spreading...

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