As recently as two years ago, Pervez Musharraf was the absolute ruler of Pakistan, well except for those pesky tribal areas on the Afghan border that are ruled by who ever has the most guns in the neighborhood at the time, and the intelligence service that either runs or is run by the Taliban. After staging a military coup, Musharraf ruled Pakistan for seven years without any serious opposition outside the various militant groups who opposed his cooperation with the United States, which backed him no matter how many judges he sacked or mosques he blew up. He was a dictator and bastard, but he was their bastard.
Within the last 18 months Pakistan has seen the return of not one, but two exiled opposition leaders, the assasination of the leading opposition candidate and a general election. Musharraf was forced to step down as head of the army. Following an opposition victory at the polls, Musharraf was given an ultimatium this week - quit or face impeachment - and suddenly Pakistan is a democracy once again.
If Pakistan can get rid of a corrupt, human-rights abusing, illegitimate undemocratic leader whose national security apparatus answers to no one, why can't the United States?