The NYT can solve all world problems

Why are the people at The New York Times convinced they can advise Musharraf how to achieve stability and progress in Pakistan? I would think the man’s situation demands more than blandly self-assured comments about promoting democratic institutions and making people aware that violence causes problems. Apparently not, though—we live in a global age, and you can’t have One World unless one size really does fit all.

Meanwhile, Thomas Friedman demands that we “roll up our sleeves and help the Arabs address all the problems out back” by teaming up with “liberal Arab partners for change”—apparently, the authors of a U.N. report on why Arab countries have problems. The solutions the report suggests have a somewhat statist tinge, emphasizing as they do “political will”—in this case, the will “to invest in Arab capabilities and knowledge, particularly those of Arab women, in good governance, and in strong cooperation between Arab nations.” I’m not sure what “the political will to invest in good governance” would be, but if it includes property rights and the ability to engage freely in ordinary commercial life without burdensome impositions it would no doubt promote development. The other points seem quite subsidiary.

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