What an utterly corrpupting phrase, as it allows the 'friend' to cast aside good preatice, fairness and even democracy to ensure the mythical baddy to be avoided.
So it is in Pakistan, where 'in order to stop the Taliban' President General Musharaff has declared himself the official candidate in the forthcoming elections with the connivance of the judiciary.
Not that he has actually done much to stop the Taliban other than slightly cracking down on the tribal areas of North Waristan (which have been an unresolved problem since partition in 1947) in an unconvincing and unsuccessful attempt to be seen to do something to maintain the support of the US.
Now perhaps the US will take action against the junta in Pakistan by banning travel and freezing their bank accounts which have been padded with the proceeds of corruption. Or will they wait until it the regime against the interests of the US, such as in Burma and Panama?