The Pakistani newspaper guys at Bulls Head were holding a printout of the BBC report about body parts and shredded clothes. They had tears in their eyes and not much to say. You couldn't call it unexpected.
Benazir Bhutto was shot in the neck and chest before the suicide bomb attached to the shooter exploded, taking him to his just rewards. Simply Left Behind cuts to the quick with an inbox notice asking "why are we allied with a terrorist?;" echoed over blogtopia (tm skippy,) this news rolls over us; a capper on a pretty horrific year.
International affairs are messy, you know? messy enough for Herr Bush to interrupt his holiday at the ranch in Crawford to make a statement. That's all we need....why cant he just shut the fuck up? Considering that Bushco is expected to stay aligned with Musharraf....oh well....Any idea that we had put forth about our middle east policy being about democracy has fallen by the wayside. Elections will be suspended and the country will, no doubt, be held under martial law. Bush, thankfully, hasn't got that much to say at this point, which may be the smartest thing that has come out of the White House in a while.
Bhutto represented hope for the region, and some sort of idealistic leadership for the world. She was imperfect, and held up to scrutiny for what might have been her mistakes, but she was selfless and courageous in the face of her desire for a progressive Pakistan.
This calls into question the safety of all leaders who represent change in this world. How many more visionary leaders are there left in the world willing to put themselves on the line? Who else wants to face down an army or look sideways at the crowd waiting for someone to pull a gun? The ones who stand up and march towards danger in the interest of greater ideals for humanity deserve the protection of all of us. Why is it that we tend to end up supporting the bad side of these things? How much longer can we continue to label our aims in the Middle East as democratic or humanitarian in any way?
Regardless of the amount of aid that we have pumped into his administration, Musharraf did not set up the necessary democratic infrastructure for any idea that has been put forth to be successful in the region. No matter how much "support" we throw his way he is not going to use it in a way that will allow the country to go forward. This guy is a dictator and Pakistan is a force to be reckoned with; they do have a nuclear weapon and they do represent a threat to the world. I say that as someone who strongly believes that these issues must be policed by the United Nations. We have proved beyond a doubt that any one country acting on its own in world matters such as this cannot succeed.
Zbignew Brezinsky called in to his daughter Mika on MSNBC this morning, and simply, clearly stated that we can't possibly expect to meddle in the complex affairs of countries that are so far away physically and from the realm of understanding of an administration with such a narrow world view, and not have these sorts of things happen. The situation is so much more complex than we have treated it, and the days of throwing money and weapons at one side or another are long gone...long gone, with the radical ideals of an insecure country that offers little in the way of a life, and the promise of a better reward in heaven....almost like the rapture, huh?
Ann Curry, who recently interviewed Bhutto for MSNBC, said that Bhutto had wanted to restore power to politicians in regions of Pakistan that had been suppressed. She was anti-extremist and wanted to give rights to the people; she wanted to save Pakistan by saving democracy there. Bhutto publicly named extremist leaders who were working against the better interest of an inclusive and progressive Pakistan society. When asked why she would give up her comfortable life to jump back into the dangerous political fray, Bhutto said that it was just that she loved Pakistan and wanted to make it a better place. She looked into the eyes of the people and that was the answer for her. The joy and hope of the people who greeted her upon her return was enough proof for her that the struggle that she was driven to was the right thing to do; anything beyond that was unimportant.
RIP Benazir Bhutto. The world will sorely miss you .
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