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Benazir Bhutto

Pierre Tristam notes in his about.com article on the assassination that before returning to Pakistan from Dubai, Ms Bhutto said: “I do not believe that any true Muslim will make an attack on me because Islam forbids attacks on women, and Muslims know that if they attack a woman they will burn in hell,” she said. “Secondly, Islam forbids suicide bombing.”

But then, that’s the problem with fundamentalists of all types – they justify themselves by claiming that they are forgiven all manner of crimes because their purpose is to purify the religion. “The ends justify the means” is the universal excuse for all manner of human bestiality.

Juan Cole notes that Condi Rice certainly felt that “no one could have imagined” that Islamic militants would kill Benazir Bhutto when she arranged Ms Bhutto’s return to Pakistan from exile.

The BBC has a brief obituary of Benazir Bhutto who died today of gunshot wounds to the neck and chest. Her assassin then detonated the bomb he was wearing, killing himself and those near him.

Paul Krugman makes the very important point that this is about Pakistan, and the US is irrelevant in the situation. There is nothing the US can do that will make any difference. Pakistan must solve this problem, and any US action can only make things worse.

Pakistani fundamentalists said they would kill her if she returned, and Musharraf is barely able to keep himself alive, having survived multiple attempts on his own life.  It is doubtful that Ms Bhutto would have abided by the restrictions that could have realistically provided her with some security, as they would have amounted to house arrest.


1 Steve Bates { 12.27.07 at 10:16 pm }

The Barack Obama campaign (though not Obama himself) has already attempted to make this an issue against Hillary in the U.S. presidential campaign. To me, this seems utter folly. If Obama chooses advisers who will make such an ill-timed, ill-advised statement, what kind of officials would he appoint as president? And if the statement is truly representative of Obama’s views, what does that say about his judgment?

2 Steve Bates { 12.27.07 at 10:17 pm }

(For the record: I am a Democrat uncommitted in the primaries at the moment. And I am not a particular fan of Hillary.)

3 Bryan { 12.27.07 at 10:33 pm }

While I’m open to any suggestion, I don’t see any solution to the situation in Pakistan and was quite happy when we finally withdrew our people from Peshawar.

It would have been thrilling if Reagan hadn’t gotten us involved with the country to harass the Soviet forces in Afghanistan, because the blow-back has been horrific.

There are too many variables to make reasoned decisions, and too many alliances that aren’t visible on the surface.

The exchange between Axelrod and the reporter demonstrates that Obama shouldn’t let Axelrod respond to foreign policy questions, because he is profoundly ignorant. Pakistan would be a problem, with or without Iraq because the government doesn’t control the tribal territories where the Taliban and al Qaeda operate.

4 Cookie Jill { 12.28.07 at 12:16 am }

I’m so freakin’ tired of this “no one could have imagined” cr*p. Instead of buying shoes and going to Broadway shows, maybe Condi should be actually doing her job. Imagine THAT.

5 andante { 12.28.07 at 6:46 am }

Where is Condi?

All’s right with the world and she’s redeeming gift cards or something?

6 Michael { 12.28.07 at 11:36 am }

I’d rather have her spending all her time shoe-shopping and redeeming gift cards than pretending she knows the first freakin’ thing about diplomacy or world politics. She’s less dangerous at Manolo Blahnik’s store than she is at the U.N. or the State Department.

7 Bryan { 12.28.07 at 12:08 pm }

Condi was ready suited to managing office space at Stanford when she was chancellor. Afghanistan and Pakistan really are part of a very old conflict that should be left to the British as they have been dealing with it centuries and have a much better grasp on the background and players. The results may be global, but much of what takes place is the result of local issues and alliances.

The Secretary of State doesn’t seem interested is saying anything about the issue. That may be an internal policy of the Hedgemony, but it doesn’t make much sense to the rest of the world.

Getting Musharraf out of uniform, yeah, OK, fine, but bringing back the politicians who get keeping thrown out of the country is not exactly a step forward. Ms. Bhutto was always much more popular in the West than in Pakistan. Involvement of members of Pakistan’s intelligence service is very possible, but I don’t see an up side for Musharraf in this. He would have no good reason to want her dead after they had brokered a deal on a new government.