One problem with being the biggest kid in the playground is that it’s tempting to behave like the biggest kid in the playground – regardless of the resentments you unleash.

Pakistan’s President, General Pervez Musharraf, has revealed to the CBS network the method used by US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage to secure his cooperation in unseating the Taliban in 2001.

It’s not too hard to see why he might feel a little put out by the tactics. The Independent reports:

“The intelligence director told me that [Armitage] said, ‘Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age’,” General Musharraf said, according to excerpts of the interview released by CBS last night.

…Shortly after 9/11, Pakistan indeed ended its support of the Taliban and became a frontline ally of America in the “war on terror”. However, General Musharraf makes no secret of his distaste for the strong-arm tactics he faced from Mr Armitage. “I think it was a very rude remark,” he says in the interview. “One has to think and take actions in the interests of the nation, and that’s what I did.”

Armitage might well argue he got a tricky job done. But there’s not much point being the biggest kid in the schoolyard when all the other kids hate your guts.

Peter Fray

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