BENAZIR BHUTTO

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been killed by a suspected suicide bomber:

Ms Bhutto had just addressed an election rally in Rawalpindi when gunfire and an explosion occurred.

At least 15 other people are reported killed in the attack and several more were injured. Ms Bhutto had twice been the country’s prime minister.

She had been campaigning ahead of elections due in January.

Pakistan’s state of emergency – during which Bhutto had been placed under house arrest – was lifted less than two weeks ago.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/27/2007 at 11:03 AM
    1. This was inevitable. If it wasn’t her political oponents that got her, it would be her ideological oponents. One way or another, I don’t believe she had any chance of survival when she decided to return. It was only a matter of time.

      Posted by SandiM on 2007 12 27 at 11:23 AM • permalink

 

    1. I realize any sort of political event in South Asia takes place amidst a sea of humanity, but after two failed attempts, why would her security detail let anyone near her?

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2007 12 27 at 11:24 AM • permalink

 

    1. Was there any doubt this would occur?

      Regardless what was thought of her, RIP…Dear Lady.

      No one will be safe UNTIL those that claim a ‘prophet’ with a penchent for death, the devil himself, are quelled or gone.

      Posted by El Cid on 2007 12 27 at 11:26 AM • permalink

 

    1. OpPonent. OpPonents. Sheesh! Too late in the evening. One too many nightcaps.

      Posted by SandiM on 2007 12 27 at 11:27 AM • permalink

 

    1. Ah, this is dreadful. I read the first reports a couple of hours ago and my first thought was: does that culture have ANYTHING going for it?

      Not on your nelly, I fear. This is proof that anything goes.

      And how critical will our own various politicians be, beyond a few platitudes?

      Posted by mareeS on 2007 12 27 at 11:27 AM • permalink

 

    1. #3 El Cid: Right on. Absolutely predictable. And inevitable. RIP, Ms Butto.

      Posted by SandiM on 2007 12 27 at 11:30 AM • permalink

 

    1. Fox News has a decent report on the tragedy.

      Posted by Pogria on 2007 12 27 at 11:34 AM • permalink

 

    1. #7 Pogria: Thanks for that link. It’s the most comprehensive of all the reports I could find.

      There were attempts on her life from day 1 of her return. Earlier this week I saw a report that a 15 yo girl with a bomb under her burqa was stopped from approaching Ms Bhutto.

      Reports are now indicating that she was shot twice (neck and chest) before the bomb detonated. How could her security people let anyone get that close? Perhaps someone they trusted?

      Posted by SandiM on 2007 12 27 at 12:08 PM • permalink

 

    1. I expect that she saw this coming and chose her fate.  Which makes her positively heroic.  Now stand by for the rabid denunciations of her being a pawn of George Bush.  Or speculation on the role of the Mossad.  Or claims that had we left Iraq well enough alone she’d still be alive.  Or claims that Christian fundamentalists are a far greater threat.  Or Keith Olbermann suggesting she was offed by Fox News.

      Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2007 12 27 at 12:08 PM • permalink

 

    1. #9 Steve Skubinna: I agree. She knew the risks and was brave enough to face them. True heroism.

      Posted by SandiM on 2007 12 27 at 12:17 PM • permalink

 

    1. Surely, there’s no connection between the assasin, and the Religion of Peace?

      Posted by rinardman on 2007 12 27 at 12:19 PM • permalink

 

    1. #9 Oh no.  It’s Musharraf’s fault and because he’s an “ally” of Bush, by extension, it’s Bush’s fault.

      Posted by murph on 2007 12 27 at 12:22 PM • permalink

 

    1. #9: I’m strongly inclined toward Steve’s view. Her death by assassination was not inevitable, but so highly likely as to be nearly the same thing, so she obviously knew the risks she was taking and was prepared to pay the ultimate price. I hope it will not be for nothing; but the wellsprings of hatred and fanaticism run deep, so I just don’t know.

      Posted by paco on 2007 12 27 at 12:25 PM • permalink

 

    1. Hot Air links to a report quoting her telling TIME mag last month, ‘I am not afraid. I am ready to die for my country.’ As Paco said, I hope it won’t be for nothing.

      Posted by Retread on 2007 12 27 at 12:36 PM • permalink

 

    1. Vale, Ms. Bhutto.  Alas, the barbarians are already within the gates.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 12 27 at 12:41 PM • permalink

 

    1. paco,

      I’ve been reading some of the early comment on various places, especially in england, and there’s a fair amount of anger at her murder and threats/fear about the consequences in Pakistan and elsewhere. Who knows what this will provoke?

      Posted by mareeS on 2007 12 27 at 12:46 PM • permalink

 

    1. Here’s a link to a lengthy obit (pinched from Ace) that gives details of her time as PM.

      link

      She got the economy going and was popular in the West. If she’d been able to hold on to power, or regain it, she’d probably have done alot of good for Pakistan. It’s a shame she was killed by someone who thinks the 7th century is a better place to live than the 21st.

      Posted by Retread on 2007 12 27 at 12:47 PM • permalink

 

    1. This all could have been avoided if Pakistan had simply adopted Sharia and elected the fundamentalists as leaders.  Then songs, dance, and the showering of flowers would have reighed supreme.

      Posted by wronwright on 2007 12 27 at 01:00 PM • permalink

 

    1. What matters now is the reaction amongst her supporters.  If they blame it on al-Qaeda, good…that will open the door for Musharraf to finally do what he must to suppress the lunatics in the hinterlands, possibly with US assistance.  If they blame it on Musharraf, bad…only God knows what will come of that, and it’s not likely to be healthy.

      Posted by Jeffersonian on 2007 12 27 at 01:04 PM • permalink

 

    1. Meanwhile, back in Britain (yet again).

      Posted by paco on 2007 12 27 at 01:12 PM • permalink

 

    1. #19, jeffersonian,

      Pakistan has been an Afghanistan in waiting since the partition of India in 1949. All efforts have been made to prevent this, but it’s one of the various ‘stans, and what happens next is inevitable.

      The US should be talking to China and Russia right now.

      Posted by mareeS on 2007 12 27 at 01:12 PM • permalink

 

    1. Mark Steyn’s take on the assassination.

      Posted by paco on 2007 12 27 at 01:38 PM • permalink

 

    1. As usual Steyn speaks volumes with a few words:

      As I said, she was everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be. We should be modest enough to acknowledge when reality conflicts with our illusions.

      Posted by Retread on 2007 12 27 at 01:43 PM • permalink

 

    1. I wish I knew how Rove and Cheney pulled this off, and exactly what their obscure bottom line might be.

      Genius, pure genius.

      Posted by Harry Bergeron on 2007 12 27 at 01:51 PM • permalink

 

    1. ‘I am not afraid. I am ready to die for my country.’

      Gee, thanks.

      Somewhere in ‘Catcher in the Rye’ is a line that goes something like: the true hero is not the one who is willing to die for his principles but to work quietly for them.

      If she actually thought that getting herself offed would be ‘good for Pakistan,’ she was nuts.

      Posted by Harry Eagar on 2007 12 27 at 02:04 PM • permalink

 

    1. #25 Harry,

      I don’t think that she meant she was embracing becoming a martyr for Pakistan, rather that the possibility of assassination didn’t frighten her so much that she’d choose silence and security over speaking out.

      It’s one of those quotes that benefits quite alot from context.

      Posted by Retread on 2007 12 27 at 02:33 PM • permalink

 

    1. Have to agree with Retread on that one.  You simply must push ahead in the face of danger.  If not then the forces of darkness have won.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 12 27 at 02:38 PM • permalink

 

    1. Was it the Presbyterians or the Lutherans this time?

      Posted by Andy Freeman on 2007 12 27 at 02:39 PM • permalink

 

    1. Another set of words and certainly not nearly as eloquent as A Steyn’s…but.

      Tizona

      Posted by El Cid on 2007 12 27 at 02:51 PM • permalink

 

    1. An interesting piece by Hitchens on the Bhutto legacy – which, if nothing else, underscores the strange irony surrounding her death (if, in fact, she was assassinated by Al-Quaeda).

      Posted by paco on 2007 12 27 at 03:25 PM • permalink

 

    1. Or “Al-Qaeda”, rather.

      Posted by paco on 2007 12 27 at 03:26 PM • permalink

 

    1. The US should be talking to China and Russia right now.
      Along the lines of “Don’t get too excited if we have to do some nut-cutting, boys.”

      Posted by mojo on 2007 12 27 at 03:32 PM • permalink

 

    1. Relax people.

      As I understand it, the UN Security Council has voted to condemn the Bhutto assassination.

      /The yojimbo can’t quite get that sarcasm key back in the “off” position”.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 12 27 at 03:35 PM • permalink

 

    1. As I understand it, the UN Security Council has voted to condemn the Bhutto assassination.

      Any word on whether it will be “in the strongest possible terms”?

      Posted by Dave S. on 2007 12 27 at 03:39 PM • permalink

 

    1. Here to me is the key in Steyn’s piece

      She was beautiful and charming and sophisticated and smart and modern, and everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be – though in practice, as Pakistan’s Prime Minister, she was just another grubby wardheeler from one of the world’s most corrupt political classes.

      Exactly right. Let’s not puff her up to be some virgin paragon Queen of Democratic Purity; she was every bit ‘one of the boys’, a ruthless politician who was implicated in the deaths of both of her brothers and had massive amounts of corruption attached to her rule…and that’s what truly scared/infuriated the hardline islamists, as she showed a woman could be equal to a man in every way that mattered to them.

      Posted by Mr. Bingley on 2007 12 27 at 03:58 PM • permalink

 

    1. #35: and that’s what truly scared/infuriated the hardline islamists, as she showed a woman could be equal to a man in every way that mattered to them.

      Oooo, Bingley! Fine turn of phrase!

      Hitchens makes some similar points.

      Posted by paco on 2007 12 27 at 04:11 PM • permalink

 

    1. #34 Dave: Maybe even more ominous; I hear that they’re toying with the phrase, “without qualification”.

      Increasingly the wilder parts of the globe, where Islamic fanaticism thrives, strike me as bearing a closer resemblance to the alien worlds featured in some of the old Twilight Zone episodes than to actual political subdivisions of Planet Earth.

      Posted by paco on 2007 12 27 at 04:17 PM • permalink

 

    1. “without qualification”

      Ha!

      I see there is a “double entendre” special at PACO Industries’ huge after Christmas sale.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 12 27 at 04:33 PM • permalink

 

    1. #38: Actually, Yojimbo, I think that might have been plucked out of the rhyming bin.

      Posted by paco on 2007 12 27 at 04:41 PM • permalink

 

    1. An interesting piece by Hitchens on the Bhutto legacy

      A very interesting piece, Paco, as is the John Burns NYT article linked in it.  The Bhuttos are no saints, plaster or otherwise.

      Posted by Jeffersonian on 2007 12 27 at 04:55 PM • permalink

 

    1. “rhyming bin”

      Don’t think Leanne would take too kindly to that, especially since you forgot the “e”….:)

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 12 27 at 04:55 PM • permalink

 

    1. Mr Bingley may have hit on the real reason -she was a strong dynamic woman.  How long now before Pakistan formally disintegrates…..2 years?…2 weeks?

      Posted by Rod C on 2007 12 27 at 05:09 PM • permalink

 

    1. I studied Pakistan back in the 60s, and it doesn’t really look like much has changed except possession of nukes.  I expect those to be used in the next 5-10 years, if not sooner.  Pakistan has been a militarized country and culture since it’s founding.  It’s main goal (as a country) all that time has been the seizing of various chunks of territory via military violence.

      Fortunately or not, their military tends (at the top) to be both corrupt and inept.  Think the Red Army of the past few decades without *any* reliable generals or colonels.

      The various individuals in the elites have been incredibly corrupt, even by the standards of the area.  Unfortunately, possibly, for them, their attempt to ride the tiger by not cracking down on mullah-led violence will probably lead to a largish number of them being killed.

      Once the mullahs attain power, I think it’s only a matter of time before they use their nukes.  Probably on India, but who knows?  Maybe they’ll attack US forces in Afghanistan.

      I just worry about how big the nuclear exchange will be.  Can it be contained to the Indian sub-continent, or will it spread?  Will Iraq adopt a use ‘em or lose ‘em attitude and nuke Israel?

      Things are probably going to get very, very ugly in the near future.

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2007 12 27 at 05:22 PM • permalink

 

    1. Oops, that’s “will IRAN adopt a use ‘em or lose ‘em” strategy.

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2007 12 27 at 05:23 PM • permalink

 

    1. #5 MarieeS, the answer appears to be “no.”

      My first thought: Only took 3 attempts?

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2007 12 27 at 05:24 PM • permalink

 

    1. Excellent links.  Thanks to those who have done the work.

      There are many things to say about this assassination, and the consequences.  Limiting myself to Ms. Bhutto, however, I have wondered whether she had some concept of martyrdom for herself.  She could not have been unaware of her chances, or the dangers involved in returning to Pakistan.  She either deliberately put herself in a situation where her death was almost a foregone conclusion, or she had not kept up with the vast changes in Pakistan.  I cannot imagine a woman with her political credentials could mistake the situation, so I must conclude that she knew she was going to die at the hands of one or the other faction of hate bred from the combination of influences from the Taliban and Saudi Wahhabist infiltration of the culture.

      In sum, I wonder what possible calculations led her to believe that she could return and survive–if she did indeed believe it.

      Posted by saltydog on 2007 12 27 at 05:46 PM • permalink

 

    1. I was in Pakistan for several months in 1989, when Benazir Bhutto was still in charge.

      Several Pakistani friends living abroad had shortchanged her as part of a “ruling elite” and still greatly resented her father, but personally I was so impressed with the way most of the “ordinary” Pakistanis I met – most likely for the first time in their lives – felt as if they had some genuine input into government.

      I will never forget our driver, a poor man from the hills, pointing to Parliament House in Islamabad and thumping his heart, saying “My Parliament, my Parliament”.  There were many others like him.

      Benazir Bhutto’s death is another devastating blow to people like him, who never did have much of a voice in how things are run.  At times it seems they will never have one.

      The forces of evil and of the radicalized minority sometimes seem everywhere. I am in great despair.

      Posted by ann j on 2007 12 27 at 05:47 PM • permalink

 

    1. The Canadian “National Post” has some interesting comment.  Regrettably, my world renowned computer skills don’t run to the link thingy.

      #43 Any idea on how many deliverable packages the Paks have?  And is there any reaction from India yet -increased alert etc?

      Posted by Rod C on 2007 12 27 at 05:48 PM • permalink

 

    1. #5
      The platitudes have started already.I note that riot and pillage has started already in Pakistan. That’s a logical reaction, isn’t it.

      Posted by kae on 2007 12 27 at 05:52 PM • permalink

 

    1. #32
      Sadly, it appears the islamists are the only ones with the stones for close work.
      I doubt Musharraf has the necessary courage to risk pulling a Samson act and clean house with or without the assistance of the U.S.

      Posted by lotocoti on 2007 12 27 at 05:59 PM • permalink

 

    1. #46 saltydog;

      I don’t think it was as much a desire for martydom as basic fatalistic Insh’allah. The western veneer that she displayed was just that, covering her core experience and beliefs.

      Posted by steveH on 2007 12 27 at 05:59 PM • permalink

 

    1. Dave S:

      Any word on whether it will be “in the strongest possible terms”?

      paco:

      Maybe even more ominous; I hear that they’re toying with the phrase, “without qualification”.

      And even more devastating:  the UN will send a strongly worded letter.  Once they can figure out whom to address it to.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 12 27 at 06:16 PM • permalink

 

    1. OT and on a lighter note:

      Look what Tim’s BSF host is up to: Iowahawk

      Posted by Retread on 2007 12 27 at 06:20 PM • permalink

 

    1. Maybe the UN can add the line ‘this proves that it is dangerous to force democracy onto developing countries’ as a by line to its predictable condemnation of this assassination.

      But the UN will have its hands full if this situation deteriorates and the US leads an intervention to halt the rise of loony Islamic factions.

      Which the UN will also condemn. So what does it stand for?

      Posted by mehaul on 2007 12 27 at 06:21 PM • permalink

 

    1. ’You simply must push ahead in the face of danger.’

      Yeah, but you don’t have to hang out in bad neighborhoods. Even the medievalizing nutcase Khomeini realized you don’t campaign personally amidst the splodeydopes, you use cassettes etc.

      Posted by Harry Eagar on 2007 12 27 at 06:32 PM • permalink

 

    1. Life in Pictures: Benazir Bhutto

      Fury At Bhutto’s killing…in Pictures

      As mentioned earlier…Shame on you Pervez, but you won’t be long for this world.

      You’ve made a deal with the devil cult, now live AND die, with it.

      Posted by El Cid on 2007 12 27 at 06:33 PM • permalink

 

    1. As has been noted above, she garnered massive wealth from her term in power.

      But that’s the thing – she could have retired on her massive spread in the south of England, secure and in luxury, but instead decided to return to the fray.  That shows some true feeling for her country.

      Posted by Brett_McS on 2007 12 27 at 07:30 PM • permalink

 

    1. Disraeli’s words to the effect that “Assassination has never changed the history of the world” will, in a few short weeks or months, be stricken from the lists of “quotables”.

      Whether Bhutto rests in peace or not, I, for one, shall sleep less soundly.

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2007 12 27 at 08:02 PM • permalink

 

    1. It has become painfully clear that Musharraf has become yet another Islamic dictator who has managed to use our fear of the Islamic nuclear bomb to have us extend implicit support for his regime.

      Sorry to disagree with some above, but Bhutto was the political wing of Al Qaeda and will be no loss. Its just a pity that once again we have to play the lesser of two evils game.

      Posted by captain on 2007 12 27 at 08:05 PM • permalink

 

    1. Disraeli’s words to the effect that “Assassination has never changed the history of the world” will, in a few short weeks or months, be stricken from the lists of “quotables”.

      Eh, that line lost its luster nearly a century ago.

      Posted by Rob Crawford on 2007 12 27 at 08:44 PM • permalink

 

    1. Coming from the cultural context she did, Bhutto was a marked woman the moment she opened her mouth.

      Posted by Apple77 on 2007 12 27 at 08:58 PM • permalink

 

    1. #9 & #12 Steve Skubinna & murph. Our ABC has already got a bit closer to the bone.Stephanie Kennedy on the AM program this morning proclaimed that “they (al-Qaeda etc)hated Ms Bhutto for her close ties to the Americans and support for the war on terror”. Obviously the official ABC line is to be that the killing would not have occurred had it not been for the Americans and their well known dislike for “freedom fighters”.

      Posted by Lew on 2007 12 27 at 08:59 PM • permalink

 

    1. #60, Rob…I agree in principle, but the quote was in my mind as I heard the news and, without intending to skew the thread, since “nearly a century ago” I mark no assassanation that altered the course of history in any direct, historiographically supportable way.

      Still, that’s just my opinion. (I do not, for example, consider the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand to have caused the Great War—Sarajevo was simply a slowmatch touched to an already primed and loaded cannon).

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2007 12 27 at 10:41 PM • permalink

 

    1. #62. Sad if it wasn’t so predictable.

      Using ABC logic, Musharraf must be an even bigger target. Then the Australian Ambassador to Pakistan and so on ….

      Posted by mehaul on 2007 12 27 at 10:42 PM • permalink

 

    1. #63, mentalFloss:

      I agree with you on the Great War-Sarajevo thing. That part of the world, from Atlantic shore to the Mediterranean and over to the Black Sea was a nasty concatenation of old failed empire, slightly newer but failing empire, anti-aristocracy anarchy and standard issue European terror/police state all wrapped around various race hatred and cultural clash axles.

      There’s no way in hell that the wheels could have stayed on that flimsy cart much longer than they did, regardless of what Black Hander pulled which stunt.

      We’re pretty much in the same position now but just distributed wider across the globe.

      Posted by Grimmy on 2007 12 27 at 10:53 PM • permalink

 

    1. #48:RodC

      I heard that the Paks have 60 nukes.  Via some news coverage today-God knows which one.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 12 27 at 11:06 PM • permalink

 

    1. 65. Just so.

      And to add to the excitement, we have instantaneous global communication to flog any rumour or theory or point any finger in any direction—with the “followers” of the world waiting to cling to any crackpot who most tickles their fancy.

      For example, I’m not so sure it was Musharraf behind the man behind the man behind the man who was behind the bullets/bomb.

      Bhutto was the “foil” for his relatively (historically speaking) rapid modification of his government’s structure.

      I’m not so great a judge of character that I can truly assign motives to Musharraf’s actions, but the first clue I had that he wanted (at worst) to escape the presidency with his life was his relinquishment of his role as CinC of Pakistan’s army.

      This is not the action of a man seeking to consolidate and even accrue more power.

      Wadda ya reckon?

      (I posted this on El Cid’s site a few moments ago)

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2007 12 27 at 11:09 PM • permalink

 

    1. #67:

      Wadda I reckon?

      A weak or feeble man, nor a man given over much to being kind for the sake of being nice, doesn’t survive long in such a political culture as is Pakistan.

      I suspect Musharraf can be as hard as is required in the deciding of who dies, when and by how. So, maybe he did pull the strings or start the ball rolling. But what would his angle be? What is there for him to gain by it? Bhurro was defiantly no saint. She had her own enemies fully developed and long time awaiting a chance to reach her.

      Al Q and the Talib hated her with hatred beyond words to describe. She was an abomination of a woman, western decadent, not in her place, completely bad example, according to their inbred view.

      The strangest, lamest and funniest explaination, in my view, is that anyone in a position of public power is/was required to be in charge of such a mechination. The Pak military/police structure is as corrupt as any that has ever existed on this planet at any point in history. No telling who was playing to who or why or for how much pay.

      Just on a guess, I really don’t see Musharraf as being behind this. There’s way too much to lose and nearly nothing to gain to make it worth the risk by the rubric most common in that area.

      I would guess it more likely to be Talib loyal ISI commander(s). ISI is a power unto itself in nearly every possible measure.

      Posted by Grimmy on 2007 12 27 at 11:26 PM • permalink

 

    1. Bhurro was, of course, intended to be Bhutto. Sloppy spell checking. Sorry.

      Posted by Grimmy on 2007 12 27 at 11:27 PM • permalink

 

    1. Good lord. Derbyshire unmasks himself as a Ron Paul supporter. He’s at least the second person over there at NRO who’s set himself up as an apologist for that kook.

      Posted by paco on 2007 12 27 at 11:50 PM • permalink

 

    1. Hard to believe anyone would blow himself up for Pervez Musharref.

      Posted by Harry Eagar on 2007 12 27 at 11:54 PM • permalink

 

    1. Good point, #71, but many young men have sought food and a future for their families accepting money from far less “charismatic” people.

      Don’t forget, this guy shot her twice before blowing himself (and others) to pieces.

      This is NOT your run of the mill suicide bomber.

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2007 12 28 at 12:24 AM • permalink

 

    1. (btw—he was close enought to hit her twice with a handgun…)

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2007 12 28 at 12:28 AM • permalink

 

    1. Better living through fusion-heated borosilicates: Pyrexistan

      -QBFimi (comment on a thread on this subject at FreeRepublic)

      Andrew C. McCarthy: Bhutto (killed by the real Pakistan)

      Posted by Grimmy on 2007 12 28 at 12:40 AM • permalink

 

    1. Whoever shot her was a fair marksman. One in the head (in this case, a bit low, into the neck), one in the chest is a make-certain procedure. It will be interesting to know the type of weapon and projectile. This wasn’t an amateur job, and maybe not from close range.

      Posted by mareeS on 2007 12 28 at 12:51 AM • permalink

 

    1. This is crazy. By all reports she wasn’t even a cartoonist.

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 12 28 at 12:51 AM • permalink

 

    1. Though not my first (or fifth) source of new CNN runs with AQ claiming responsibility…

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2007 12 28 at 01:00 AM • permalink

 

    1. Infidel Tiger, you slay me—you really do…

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2007 12 28 at 01:01 AM • permalink

 

    1. I wonder what Islamic Rage Boy is doing at present?

      Posted by Rod C on 2007 12 28 at 02:16 AM • permalink

 

    1. Lucky Pakistan doesn’t have nukes….

      Ahem.

      Islamic terrorists have been trying to kill Bhutto for years, for speaking out against…. Islamic terror.

      Finally, they got her.

      Unfortunately, for the Marilyn Shepherds and aforementioned chorus of dickheads referred to in #9 above, when Muslims murder Muslims, it’s pretty hard to invoke the usual “root causes” argument and try to blame America or Israel. Not that it won’t stop some people from trying before her body is even cold.

      However this is another stark lesson that almost all of the Muslim world’s problems are entirely of its own making.

      It would help a great deal if the media stopped treating Islamic backwardness as a taboo subject, constantly seeking ‘Western’ causes for the utter disaster that is the entire Muslim world.

      It is time to start consistently identifying the true “root cause” of Islamic terror – Islam.

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2007 12 28 at 03:20 AM • permalink

 

    1. Relax people.

      As I understand it, the UN Security Council has voted to condemn the Bhutto assassination.

      Great stuff, Yojimbo.  I laughed until I stopped.

      Posted by kcom on 2007 12 28 at 03:32 AM • permalink

 

    1. #76 IT. Top notch zinger!

      Posted by Penguin on 2007 12 28 at 03:45 AM • permalink

 

    1. This is a very sad day indeed for Pakistan.

      Posted by gin&tonic on 2007 12 28 at 04:06 AM • permalink

 

    1. Interesting contrast between the responses of Rudd and Brendan Nelson to the murder. Rudd’s effort was heavy with the repetition that was the hallmark of his election speeches. His scriptwriter hasn’t quite mastered “statesmanlike”.

      Example 1:

      This is an attack on the stability of Pakistan; this is an attack on the forces for moderation in Pakistan

      Example 2:

      We’re looking at a period ahead where democratic processes in Pakistan will be under further challenge. We’re looking ahead to a period where the international community will be watching very closely what now transpires in Pakistan.

      Nelson’s response, in contrast, was thoughtful:

      Every Australian should be very concerned that this woman of remarkable courage and who had gone back to Pakistan to stand in the democratic elections, which we hope will still proceed (at) some time early next year, that this woman has been assassinated. Every Australian looking for inspiration in 2008 need look no further than this woman’s life. She knew that her life was at risk but she believed very much in democracy in Pakistan.

      Posted by Contrail on 2007 12 28 at 04:06 AM • permalink

 

    1. #80 Spot-on Dan Lewis.

      When it comes to Islamic extremists – whether they are suicide bombers, assasins or the puppeteers who set them up, they are all muslim lunatics – pure and simple.

      Just like the aborigines that killed the farmer near Geraldton, Islamic murderers are at the end of the day nothing more than primitive, uncivilised, sub-human filth.

      Posted by Dave Wane on 2007 12 28 at 04:10 AM • permalink

 

    1. #84 spot on Contrail. Our lizard like lip licking PM can’t take his old diplomatic hat off making sure he covers every PC aspect in his point making.

      But without any feeling of genuineness or compassion – he has traits that are upsetting many of his own.

      This is one sign that he is not fit for such high office. He is a cold diplomatic machine who can only be protected for so long by his spin doctors.

      Posted by mehaul on 2007 12 28 at 04:41 AM • permalink

 

    1. A solution to Islamic lunatics?

      Work towards developing a healthy scepticism about all things “supernatural” amongst those who live in the Islamic world.  Probably near impossible, but worth trying.

      Clearly democracy can help in this regard, as voters in a democracy have to constantly determine which politician is fair-dinkum and which politician is off with the fairies.

      Obviously, those who murdered Benazhir Bhutto do not want any form of democracy.  Democracy could of course sew the seeds of Islamic scepticism and promote a western-lifestyle and all the freedoms.

      And medieval uncivilised muslim “fruit-cakes” certainly do not want that!

      Posted by Dave Wane on 2007 12 28 at 05:15 AM • permalink

 

    1. #84
      A further irritant is the “When I became Prime Minister, I…” preface to seemingly every issue du jour. (Reminding his media audience how far in front of the power curve he is.)
      Even his comments on Julian Moti today, began this way.
      I’ve started keeping tally.

      Posted by lotocoti on 2007 12 28 at 05:27 AM • permalink

 

    1. #84, I am sorry, but I don’t quite see it like that. Bhutto was returning because like many politicians she was an opportunist who saw that Musharraf was in a bind and about to create a power vacuum. Her version of democracy is the ISI created Taliban. Conversely Musharraf tried to purge the ISI of its Islamist activists.

      It makes little sense to me that Al Qaeda assassinated her. Unless Musharraf is now the popular choice of the Taliban, it would only make sense that he was ultimately behind this. And he has played his hand well, the West can only increase support for him as he is fighting Al Qaeda and murdering his opponents. Once again, we find ourselves supporting another brutal Islamic despot. Oy vey.

      Posted by captain on 2007 12 28 at 05:42 AM • permalink

 

    1. #86 mehaul – “But without any feeling of genuineness or compassion…”

      You’ve put your finger on one of the things that has always bothered me most about Rudd.  I first noticed it when he was visiting a hospital here in Perth mid-year.  No natural expression on his face.  Then it really stood out contrasting his cold hand-shake and stilted words with one of our recent war widows with Mr Howard’s reaction (he hugged her, and was obviously moved).

      He shows no real emotion, and he also lies very easily (Sunrise “Anzac Day” farce; Scores; his “childhood eviction” story; even on Melbourne Cup Day when he told one reporter he didn’t know anything about form but later in the day told another one “I’m a mad keen punter from way back”)…

      He’s seriously creepy.

      Posted by spot_the_dog on 2007 12 28 at 05:47 AM • permalink

 

    1. #84 and 88

      Yes, yes, YES!!

      Kev really needs a new speechwriter.

      Or any speechwriter!

      #80

      “root cause” of Islamic terror = Islam.

      Too true. And the sooner that it’s realised and spoken out loud by all, the better.

      Posted by kae on 2007 12 28 at 05:48 AM • permalink

 

    1. captain

      Her enemies were both Al-Qaeda and Musharraf.  Either could have done it.  Both had alot to lose if she’d won.  Both would be happy with her demise.

      Posted by murph on 2007 12 28 at 05:49 AM • permalink

 

    1. Spot the dog

      He has a false front. It’s plastic. You can hear it in his speeches. There’s no emotion. He tells porkies all the time. One minute he’s not a gambling man, the next he is. Melbourne Cup day.

      Posted by kae on 2007 12 28 at 05:50 AM • permalink

 

    1. #91

      I’m currently the author of the most recommended comment over at the BBC HYS.

      The Leftoids and Islamoids are having an embolism about the comment and its popularity.

      Posted by murph on 2007 12 28 at 05:52 AM • permalink

 

    1. Who was it earlier who was wondering when someone was going to find a way to blame George Bush?  From WashingtonPost.com via MSNBC:

      For Benazir Bhutto, the decision to return to Pakistan was sealed during a phone call from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice just a week before her return in October. The call culminated more than a year of secret diplomacy — and came only when it became clear she was the only one who could bail out Washington’s key ally in the battle against terrorism.

      See?  Without BusHILTER’s intervention, she would still be alive!  (That didn’t take long, did it?)

      Posted by spot_the_dog on 2007 12 28 at 06:00 AM • permalink

 

    1. murph, what makes you think she was an enemy of Al Qaeda? This is like Iran/Iraq all over again. We thought Saddam was a better bet than the Ayatollahs. I was participating in a political program in Israel when we were discussing how promising Saddam was because of his Western, anti-Islamist approach. It made good sense then, but now surely we have to have progressed from that kind of logic.

      If nothing else, it clarifies what the real problem is, we wouldn’t give a toss if they didn’t have then bomb. And this is why Iran similarly should be stopped by all means necessary. We will forever be forced into one power-play after then next to sidle up to offensive dictators in order to make sure another more odious dictator doesn’t take control.

      Musharraf is ambivalent at best towards broad Western objectives. If Bhutto was being courted by the US, it shows exactly how desperate we are.

      Posted by captain on 2007 12 28 at 06:24 AM • permalink

 

    1. #93 Yes kae,

      Still the old Kevin “Rudderless” Rudd – puts in a suitable program and presses enter!

      Campaign mode or as PM, but always the same manufactured waffle.

      Posted by Dave Wane on 2007 12 28 at 06:30 AM • permalink

 

    1. There is no solution to what ails Pakistan.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2007 12 28 at 06:50 AM • permalink

 

    1. So, tell me if this correct :

      The bomber guy gets 72 virgins.

      Bhutto gets a pain in the neck.

      If you’re a woman, then this religion sucks.

      Posted by Rainbow on 2007 12 28 at 07:04 AM • permalink

 

    1. #99 That’s about it Rainbow, except this “religion” sucks for everyone, but the women realise it first.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2007 12 28 at 07:50 AM • permalink

 

    1. There’s a lot of disagreement on just what value Bhutto brought to the table, and I must say that those speaking against her have very valid points.  But let’s not forget that there is a common enemy here:  Islamic terrorism.

      Until the Muslim world purges itself of the religious fanatics, the so-called “Religion of Peace” will be known as the “Religion of Pieces”.

      The self-victimizers can wail all they want to about “Islamophopes”, it wasn’t any Islamophobe what set off that explosive charge after shooting Bhutto.

      <waves at Media Watch>

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 12 28 at 09:41 AM • permalink

 

    1. Until proven otherwise I’ll take AQ’s word for it. There’s no plausible reason this helps Musharraf and get’s rid of 2 of AQ’s enemies at once.

      Posted by Bandit on 2007 12 28 at 11:00 AM • permalink

 

    1. Some reports now that she was not shot but bumped her head, possibly as her guards dragged her back into her vehicle.

      That fits my earlier comment (#55) that she made herself hard to protect.

      Possibly Pakistan, which once before divided itself, might consider dividing itself once again.

      Unlike any Arab Muslim country, there are actually some democrats in Pakistan, and they might consider if they would be better off by hiving off the western provinces into an independent Buffoonistan, allowing the modernist Pakis to get on with living.

      Posted by Harry Eagar on 2007 12 28 at 02:51 PM • permalink

 

    1. Possibly Pakistan, which once before divided itself, might consider dividing itself once again.

      Perhaps they could start by dividing the jihadis in half? Lengthwise, perhaps?

      Posted by Rob Crawford on 2007 12 28 at 04:59 PM • permalink

 

    1. The previous division was exceptionally bloody—bloodier by far than the total of all maniac Islamic violence since then. I’m not suggesting it would be bloodless.

      Posted by Harry Eagar on 2007 12 28 at 05:16 PM • permalink

 

    1. #89

      I wasn’t agreeing with Nelson. The point I was making is that Nelson had thought about his words. Rudd, on the other hand, simply uttered meaningless words written for him by the same person who scripted his campaign.

      I think it was Johnny Carson who said it was easy to be sincere, just fake it. Well it’s not working for Rudd.

      Posted by Contrail on 2007 12 28 at 05:45 PM • permalink

 

    1. Contrail, I agree with you about the Rudd sincerity deficit. He is a dull technocrat who displays the same affect whether he is commentating on the cricket or the assassination of Bhutto. Nelson, unfortunately, is stiff, two dimensional and philosophically erratic. He always reminded me of those Thunderbirds characters.

      Posted by captain on 2007 12 28 at 06:06 PM • permalink

 

    1. Once again, we find ourselves supporting another brutal Islamic despot. Oy vey.
      Captain, I suspect that as time goes on you will progressively reveal yourself to be a plausible agent provocateur, out for some sport.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2007 12 29 at 06:20 AM • permalink

 

    1. I’m no agent provocateur, although that would have been a true statement if that girly Loewenstein ever printed my comments.

      I pretty much agree with most of what is said here, but in this situation, I am utterly bewildered at the uncritical acceptance of the Al Qaeda explanation. Especially where there is no evidence of it at all.

      To me this is as plain as it seems, Bhutto was a two dimensional political opportunist who was going to seize power. She also believed that Musharraf was trying to do her in. There is no doubt that we are in a terrible bind having to support Musharraf whilst he is plays the duplicitous game to cling onto power. He stands for everything the US isn’t. Yet we are compelled to support him, and even more so now. You don’t agree blogstrop?

      Posted by captain on 2007 12 29 at 07:11 AM • permalink

 

  1. Why be critical of Musharraf as a brutal islamic despot? Pakistan has been progressively more islamicised since Bhutto senior was offed by Al Haq, who, incidentally, more desrves that epithet. This process was hastened and deepened by their position and involvement in the campaign to oust Russia from Afghanistan.
    Virtually the whole of the Middle East and large swathes of Africa “stands for everything the US isn’t”. What do you propose be done about it?
    As for sniping at Brendan Nelson, I thought he was doing quite well for the most part. Our media is still full-on sycophancy for the new, clever ALP people. Michael Costello in the Australian rabbits on about the government being in control of the military because Joel Fitzgibbon took a decision about new submarines. He contrasts this with the former government, painting a silly portrait of a cabinet entranced by a martinet. I think Michael is still intoxicated with the big win.

    Posted by blogstrop on 2007 12 29 at 05:55 PM • permalink