Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"But he was attractive to us in the same way that all monarchs appear useful in the West. He was educated, pro-Western, pro-democracy (up to a point) and, though a Pashtun, a supposedly popular figure across all Afghanistan's tribes. He was not. But we like to promote these people because we feel they are "safe". We understand monarchies, and Zahir, though he was closer to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in his desire to " secularise" his country (why must we always expect Muslim countries to be "secularised"?), was a king and we are familiar with kings and queens. We liked King Idris of Libya and King Farouk of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan, just as – after we were forced to dispense with Idris and Farouk and replace them with supposedly pro-Western colonels and generals – we continue to love King Abdullah of Jordan and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and all the other princes and emirs of the Gulf. "

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