Leave it to Jack Rosen, who somehow several years ago wrested control of the American Jewish Congress and destroyed its illustrious history as a liberal Jewish group, to slavishly support Bush foreign policy. But this time, he’s taken it to extremes. For some odd reason, Rosen has adopted Pervez Musharraf as the AJC’s poster Arab leader. He feted him at an award dinner in 2005 and just made a long, strange trip to Pakistan to visit his crony and do—well, we’re not exactly sure what:
A few days before Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte traveled to Islamabad last week to impress upon General Pervez Musharraf the need to restore democratic rule in Pakistan, another American envoy quietly landed in the capital to chat with the Pakistani president and army chief.
With the blessing of Washington, Jack Rosen, chairman of the American Jewish Congress’s Council for World Jewry, traveled halfway across the globe for a face-to-face meeting with Musharraf, who he had hailed two years ago as a courageous leader and driving force in Jewish-Muslim dialogue.
Rosen’s letter to the editor makes clear, despite some murmurings to the contrary, that bolstering Pakistani democracy was not a concern of Rosen’s:
The most compelling idea that should inform our policy toward Pakistan is the urgent need to keep that country’s nuclear arsenal out of the hands of the Islamist extremists. That requires some stability, which rests, inter alia, on cooperation between a strong military and a strong executive branch…
The real choice we face is not between Musharraf and a return to an effective democratic system, but between Musharraf and the possible collapse of Pakistan.
What Rosen’s “analysis” entirely neglects is the glaring fact that the Pakistani military has failed in its fight against the Taliban and Islamic extremists in the time since it took power through a military coup and it continues to fail after Musharraf declared martial law. Musharaf gives no sense whatsoever of how his suspension of the country’s constitution will give him powers he doesn’t already have to battle successfully against those forces Rosen sees as so dangerous to Pakistan and the world.
One wonders if Rosen is so committed to the continued military rule of Pakistan and to the suspension of Pakistani democracy whether he harbors some of those same feelings about Israeli democracy?
Another big fan of Musharraf’s is new Rudy Giuliani Jewish anti-jihadi consultant, Daniel Pipes. Birds of a feather. All of Rosen’s international jet-setting to prop up military dictators makes me hanker for the glory days of Henry Siegman and the progressive AJC of old.
I’m dying to find a picture somewhere of Rosen and Musharraf shaking hands. Dear reader, please find one to feature here.