typing is not activism….

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Benazir Bhutto assassinated: another US foreign policy triumph.

with 2 comments

My blood runs cold at the news that Benazir Bhutto has just been murdered in Pakistan. The first (only?) female leader of an Islamic nation, Prime Minister for the first time at just age 35. Bhutto, Chernobyl, the Challenger disaster, and Ethiopian famine are cornerstones of childhood memory, looking out and becoming curious about the world. Like the death of Indira Ghandi, Bhutto will now loom larger than life. But unlike Indira Ghandi, there is a feeling nearing certainty that Bhutto’s best years were still ahead of her.

Just today, I had read this astonishing piece by Ahmad Faruqui – a journalist in Pakistan. Writing that President Pervez Musharraf should be declared Comedian of the Year, his piece was banned by the Daily Times, supposedly one of Pakistan’s freer papers. So he leaked it. Can you even leak your own work?

Maybe he felt the police would pick up him up because he was openly expressing his opinions on TV, which was contrary to his own diktats.

But wait. Maybe the suffering was moral. As he went to bed every night, he lay awake thinking of the people that he had put in jail that were lying awake in rotten surroundings. To relieve his suffering, all he had to do was release them.

But did he? Of course not! He had declared an emergency precisely to make them suffer. How dare they rise against him on the streets, agitate against military rule and file petitions in the Supreme Court. He was going to fix them once and for all.

New York Times has the story here, with a more insightful look at her struggle here. Reuters has a three-page report seemingly gathered from the scene here. There are two conflicting reports – in one, she was shot in the neck and chest by a killer who then detonated a device next to her vehicle thereby causing close to 20 more deaths. In the other version, she was killed by the blast without any shots first being fired into her body.

The UK’s Guardian has a brief timeline of some of the significant moments in her life cut short here. Reuters has a similarly useful timeline of significant political developments in Pakistan here.

Interestingly, the Jerusalem Post has already responded – not to proclaim the tragedy of her passing but to point out the strategic imperatives of the moment:

The first issue is Pakistan’s nuclear potential; although this is the most pressing issue, it is probably the least worrying as the military is in control of Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities. The second issue is the strength of the radical Islamists, and finally the question of elections and democratisation in Pakistan.

Ironic that nuclear-armed fundamentalists and extremists are worried by nuclear states and radical fundamentalists, proclaiming as much before the final blasts of shrapnel have even hit the ground. Fuck you, murderous thieving right-wing Israeli hypocrites.

Conversely, India- a country all too familiar with the brutal slaying of compassionate leaders – has already voiced empathy and support. Writing at Times Online, Zahad Hussain reports that

moments before Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today, she poignantly spoke of how her father was executed, and of the deaths of other members of her family. Now she too has become a victim.

No doubt those final words shall be reprinted shortly, surely magnifying the significant timing of Bhutto’s death, and surely adding to a near-incendiary situation in Pakistan. The BBC has posted a highly fitting, though very British, look at her life in pictures.

Once again, globally, all bets are off.

Written by typingisnotactivism

December 28, 2007 at 2:33 am

2 Responses

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  1. One thing we can be sure of is that what we’re being told is highly unlikely to be what happened.

    Blind Freddie would ask “who benefits?” and would conclude “Musharraf and his regime”.

    Then ‘who has the power to arrange a false flag (al Qaeda) execution and disrupt events at the hospital (no post mortem) without being reported?” One rational answer is “Musharraf’s intelligence agencies.”

    This most obvious of explanations appears nowhere. Why not? Why is it undiscussable?

    Mike Bolan

    December 30, 2007 at 10:44 am

  2. Apparently her husband blocked the autopsy. There is a post mortem but it’s a non-invasive procedure. He suggests that there is something very wrong with the way that autopsies are done in Pakistan. I don’t know whether that just means they’re unreliable or actually malicious. He and the PPP have also asked for a UN investigation, but at the pace they move (see Lebanon/Syria assassination investigation) I don’t know what good that would do at all.

    Al Qaida has denied responsibility, which seems an unlikely thing for them to do unless it’s the truth. Bhutto has a male cousin currently based in England who has also directly attributed her murder to Musharraf. One way or another, either through direct plotting or lack of necessary safeguards and failing to respond to Bhutto’s intel and requests for additional security, blame falls at his feet – definitely for the latter reason, but for the former… who knows when we’ll know. The US must also take a fair share of the blame. They have continued their 40-year tradition of pouring billions of dollars into a nation, supporting their dictator of choice, only to act surprised when it all goes wobbly. Musharraf has received over $USD5 billion in the last 6 years, and it doesn’t seem to have been used to crush the Taliban or any other fundamentally regressive groups of extremism in and around Pakistan. Sound familiar?


    December 31, 2007 at 10:26 am

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