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But what of the street?

Reader comment on item: Musharraf's Historic Speech

Submitted by Peter Herz (United States), Sep 21, 2005 at 17:18

In his essay "Shooting an Elephant", George Orwell observed that governments (in his case the British colonial regime in pre-war Burma) were carried along on the expectations of the governed. This is why I cannot be overly optimistic about Musharaf's and Abdullah's speaking well of the Jews or other non-Muslims.

It may be the case that hidden in the silent majorities of Pakistan and Jordan, there are people who are sick of the jihad. Perhaps there are people who think Jordan's better off at peace with people who can give their goods an outlet on the Mediterranean, while Pakistan has people who would like to trade for Israeli technical goods or whatever. Yet most of what I have seen seems to indicate that the populaces of both P's remain pathological in their attitudes towards Jews, with the Pakistani street throwing in a visceral hatred of Hindus and Pakistan's small, impoverished Christian minority for good measure.

Hence, I suspect we'll see Musharaf and the Hashemites overthrown in their respective countries before too long; and we'll have to either send flowers or prepare for new neighbors who are used to being addressed as "excellency" or "majesty". I hope I'm wrong, but...
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