The US claims to be the world's 'last best hope' for spreading democracy around the world, a claim that can be made only by sanitising its own, and medicalising others' history.  Its own understanding of and support for democracy is idiosyncratic and hedged around with caveats and qualifications. In fact US history has been constitutive of death, destruction, terror and other cruelties at home, and by the propagation of the same things and in addition support for dictatorships abroad. This history needs to be taken a good note of by the policy-strategy makers in Pakistan, in order to formulate appropriate policies and strategies for the independence and welfare of the country - a huge if not impossible task for the political manikins of Pakistan. The claim that the US is 'the world's last best hope for democracy' was first made by Abraham Lincoln in the 1860s and repeated by every US president from Thomas Jefferson in 1826 to George Bush. Ironically, every US president in the last sixty years has terrorised and attacked another country, most recently Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. But terrorism began at home, when the US all but obliterated its native-Americans and terrorised African Americans. This needs to be elaborated: For a hundred years after the ending of slavery in the US, African American (particularly in the South) lived in extreme fear. The main instrument of this terror was the lynching by the whites of alleged black murders and rapists. Lynching was often carried out in public and involved ritualised torture. Crowds of spectators assembled to witness the mutilation, pain and death of the victims, often under the vigilance of local law officers. The entire lynching ritual was structured as a spectacle to give warning to all black inhabitants that the iron-tight system of white racial supremacy was not to be challenged by deed, word or even thought. This was terrorism and cruelty within a liberal democratic state whereby a racially privileged part of the population systematically terrorised its own racially stagmatised fellow citizens while the state stands apart. Although lynching has ceased, the social and other ramifications of this terrorist violence are deeply embedded in the pattern of US race (and international?) relations today. It is important that we must note in passing that the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was not the only one to make a spectacle out of death-dealing, there are precedents set by liberal democracies such as US, Britain and France. Overseas the US has forced regime change in countries and governments not to its liking by toppling popularly elected democratic governments as in Dr Mossadegh's Iran in the 1950s and Allende's Chile in the 1970s, and many more besides these; amongst others it has attempted many times to assassinate Castro of Cuba, and actually killed Patrice Lumumba of the Congo in the 1960s. It has invaded dozens of countries including Lebanon and Cuba to serve its own or its allies' interests. The US does occasionally intervene militarily in other countries for 'humanitarian assistance', as in the Balkans in the 1990s, but this often happens because the intervention coincides with its strategic interests. US invasion and occupation of someone else's territory under the pretext of spreading liberty, freedom and democracy has an old genealogy. The US has coveted other colonialists' territories: The US took control over the Philippines after defeating the Spanish colonialists in 1898 (choran noo pai mor). While this war was proclaimed to be directed at liberating the Filipinos from the Spanish, it eventually and peculiarly metamorphosed into a war waged against the Filipino nationalists who had initially welcomed the arrival of the US. This war resulted in about 200,000 deaths, the vast majority of them Filipino civilians. The US promotes (or sometimes imposes) an imperial democracy, meaning a democracy that meets its specifications for serving US interests, and this often means puppet regimes in power that toe the US line and are its trustees. But one also needs to understand the items that underpin the meaning of democracy as articulated by the US, for some of these might be damaging to countries like Pakistan if adopted en toto. There are of course several variants of the meaning and practice of democracy, though all liberal democracies share certain characteristics: they grant equal distribution of political power through voting for representative rather than direct participation in politics, and mediated through mass political parties and heavily reliant on an institutional infrastructure and political culture. Of particular importance is that there is no equivalent mechanism to secure an equal distribution of assets and goods. The US discourse on democracy identifies it with 'freedom' and the latter is identified with economic freedom, which in turn is identified with 'free market economy'. Democracy then becomes the political form of capitalism. Particularly in the US there has been an unquestioning twinning of democracy with global market capitalism, which is beneficial for its economy, but might not be so for Pakistan and similarly placed countries. The US' model of spreading imperial democracy in the Muslim world is more intrusive than colonialism was. The latter model was of 'indirect rule' that attempted to integrate existing indigenous political and social institutions into the system of colonial governance. Imperialism's model aspires to transform all the institutions of Muslim countries by promoting its version of 'moderate' and 'modern' Islam in place of 'fundamentalist' Islam because the latter is intricately connected with resistance to the imperial project, of which the War On Terror is the centrepiece. The US is unlikely to succeed in this project even though it has been delegated to some Pakistanis to carry it out. The task is too difficult for the manikins (of both sexes) that constitute the ruling political factions of Pakistan most of whom spend too much time circumventing the issues they need to confront head on. This form of behaviour has now been confirmed by a delegation which Mr Zardari recently led to US. They could aim for higher quality political behaviour and leisure time activity. Learn from president Ahmadinejad. He does not wear a tie (a vulgar item of clothing) and aims for quality - he listens to western classical music, but conducts his country's political orchestra himself, and tells the imperialists to go conduct their orchestras in their own part of the world. Contrast this with the Pakistani political bandmasters who conduct US tunes in Pakistani politics: disharmonious, cacophonous, contrapuntal. Thousands of innocent Pakistanis killed by and at the behest of a cruel and callous imperial power that set in train a spiralling violence; but the government is still somnambulistic; and when not in this state the leading lights of the political factions (of both sexes) in Pakistan are busily wired into Bollywood kitsch: watching Indian films and drooling over Indian actresses and actors. The only thing they ought to be allowed as entertainment is the sound of a dirge.