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The Zardari Show, Cont'd

Like Isaac, I don't find Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari very impressive or reassuring. I did think this was a snappy comeback to his questioning yesterday by David Gregory:

MR. GREGORY:  Is there a view, however, in Pakistan that the Taliban should be kept around for a rainy day, as it's been said, as a bulwark against Indian influence in neighboring Afghanistan?

MR. ZARDARI:  I don't think so.  I don't think so.

MR. GREGORY:  You don't think that was part of the past at all?

MR. ZARDARI:  I think in--it was part of your past and our past, and the ISI and the CIA created them together.  And I can find you 10 books and 10 philosophers and 10 write-ups on that, of what all you didn't do.

MR. GREGORY:  Fair argument, certainly, a lot of people would agree with you. But did the game change after 9/11 to a point where the U.S. decided to root out this threat and Pakistan was straddling both sides?

MR. ZARDARI:  You tell me.  I was imprisoned by the same dictator you were supporting.  You were supporting a dictator who...

MR. GREGORY:  You're speaking of General Musharraf.

MR. ZARDARI:  I'm speaking of General Musharraf.  In fact, I lost my wife on his watch and I has--I spent five years in his prison.

Touche! I was actually a little surprised at how combativeand testy Zardari was throughout. But that may be in part because he's tired of being constantly lectured about a terrible situation for which the U.S. arguably deserves a good chunk of the blame. (Which is different from saying he is blameless, of course.)

P.S. Note the cameo made by Dexter Filkins' excellent new TNR piece during Gregory's Karzai interview.

--Michael Crowley