The problems with Pakistan

Re "Pakistan's problems start at the top," Opinion, Nov. 18

Pervez Hoodbhoy's article on Pakistan bears indirectly on U.S. foreign policy during the last 25 years, mainly its shortsighted pragmatism. President Bush's support of Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf's military dictatorship, like Ronald Reagan's and George H.W. Bush's support of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein until his invasion of Kuwait, will end badly for us. While Musharraf and Hussein opposed Islamism and have seemed our allies, their repressive and unpopular regimes created instability and anti-Americanism. Our problems are not just moral but practical. Musharraf's military regime is going to fall. But as with our contradictory actions in Iraq, first supporting and then overthrowing Hussein, we seem to have little regard for the likely future.

David Eggenschwiler

Los Angeles

Maybe Musharraf isn't such a bad guy. He's keeping the nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists. Pakistanis may not be ready for democracy. Democracy is messy. We freely elected our president and, in my opinion, have had seven years of anarchy.

Sandra Canalis

Santa Monica

Re "So George, still good on Pakistan?" Opinion, Nov. 15

Musharraf may be a military dictator, but Rosa Brooks is wrong to accuse him of being responsible for the fact that Pakistan recognized the Taliban in the 1990s. Benazir Bhutto was prime minister when the Taliban marched into Kabul. She thought they would stabilize Afghanistan. Brooks owes Musharraf an apology for accusing him of being the guilty party.

Patricia Schwarz


Jurisdiction over Blackwater

Re "Blackwater's loopholes," Opinion, Nov. 15

Article 12, paragraph 3 of the International Criminal Court's Rome Statute states, "If the acceptance of a state which is not a party to this statute is required . . . that state may, by declaration lodged with the registrar, accept the exercise of jurisdiction by the court with respect to the crime in question. The accepting state shall cooperate with the court without any delay or exception."

If U.S. civilian and military law prohibits prosecution of Blackwater operatives for crimes in Iraq, the next administration should turn the lot of them over to the International Criminal Court and let it take care of the matter. Case closed.

Alan D. Buckley

Newbury Park

Re "Official's brother has Blackwater ties," Nov. 15