A Realistic Model for New Democracies: The Most Corrupt American City Ever?

Discerning zingers from the eminently quotable Husain Haqqani
More
Haqqani-Banner.jpg
David Ignatius, Husain Haqqani, Jeffrey Goldberg (The Aspen Institute)

Husain Haqqani, the former ambassador to Washington from Pakistan, knows how to get your attention -- sometimes taking on the considerable challenge in the process of having then to explain what he really means by an arresting turn of phrase ... such as, e.g., his claim here at the Aspen Ideas Festival the other day that Pakistan has "a lot of psychoses, more than it has actual threats and challenges." That's a line that requires context. But some of his others do just as well on their own ...

"Of course I know that the American relationship with history is very unusual. It's the only country in the world where, when somebody says 'That's history,' he means that's irrelevant."

"I have to rise to the defense of President Karzai. Part of the problem is the expectation of American liberals, in particular, that our kind of democracy should be like Scandinavian democracy, instead of accepting the fact that it's probably going to be more like ... Chicago under Mayor Daley."

"My quick one liner is: Don't give the impression that you're too desperate to get out -- even if you are. Because if you do that, then you are encouraging the enemy. The Taliban always said, 'We have the time and the Americans have the watches.'"

Jump to comments
Presented by

J.J. Gould is the editor of TheAtlantic.com. More

He has written for The Washington MonthlyThe American ProspectThe Moscow Times, The Chronicle Herald, and The European Journal of Political Theory. Gould was previously an editor at the Journal of Democracy, co-published by the Johns Hopkins University Press and the National Endowment for Democracy, and a lecturer in history and politics at Yale University. He has also worked with McKinsey & Company's New York-based Knowledge Group on global public- and social-sector development and on the economics of carbon-emissions reduction. Gould has a B.A. in history from McGill University in Montreal, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in politics from Yale. He is from Nova Scotia.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

'Cattoo': The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

"Feline art is really popular right now," says a tattoo artist in Brooklyn.


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Global

Just In