In the face of impeachment, Pervez Musharraf is resigning as president of Pakistan, sounding eerily like Richard Nixon almost 34 years ago to the day.
"I don't want the people of Pakistan to slide deeper and deeper into uncertainty," Musharraf said today. "For the interest of the nation, I have decided to resign as president,"
"I have always tried to do what was best for the nation," Nixon said in August 1974, avowing that "the interest of the nation must always come before any personal considerations."
Nixon left office with the claim, "In the Middle East, 100 million people in the Arab countries, many of whom have considered us their enemy for nearly 20 years, now look on us as their friends. We must continue to build on that friendship so that peace can settle at last over the Middle East and so that the cradle of civilization will not become its grave."
Musharraf departs with the Middle East in turmoil after his milking the US of billions of dollars ostensibly to fight terrorists in Pakistan's border areas but leaving behind a crisis in which more Americans are being killed there now than in Iraq.
He exits with a beleaguered government holding nuclear weapons that are controlled who-knows-how by who-knows-whom, with no assurances that "peace can settle at last over the Middle East" and that "the cradle of civilization will not become its grave."