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Joined: 11/18/2007
Msg: 3
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Benazir Bhutto assassinatedPage 1 of 8    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
It's sad to hear that she got killed. She was a beautiful woman, very classy and also had a great heart and a great intellect to go with it.

In a nation already troubled by hostility both inside and outside it's borders, this is something that may bring the political situation there to abit of a slow down with the recent events.

We can only hope and pray that things improve and that people start comming together more as opposed to seeing and treating one another as enemies.
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 4
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/27/2007 10:17:39 AM

Well, this may change the situation in Pakistan... .

Regardless of whether it was radicals, the ISI, or Musharraf's supporters the result is the same, cementing the status quo in Pakistan, something that benefits all three.
Joined: 6/23/2006
Msg: 5
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Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/27/2007 10:24:36 AM
" Political power grows from the barrel of a gun "...Mao Tse Tung
( I'm not sure why this truism has been with me since high school. Probably because it manifests itself daily in world events) unfortunate and tragic event when choices are eliminated by extremist factions. She was not without fault (none of us are). We are guaranteed to revisit " an eye for an eye " scenario. Sadly....the body count will be the variable.
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 6
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/27/2007 11:52:16 AM

Why it is always about the corrupt good for nothing politicians like Benazir?

She was supposed to be the US's "gal in Pakistan" that would help to overcome the criticism of US support. Being a woman in power in an Islamic country that is known in the west more for its radical elements than its scientists was to be proof of the successes of the "war on terror" and against" islamo-fascism".

She was to be a symbol for the west, everything else was irrelevant.
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 7
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/27/2007 12:18:13 PM
Again, it's way too early to start pointing fingers at who did it. It could be reactionaries in the security forces, or Islamic jihadists that hate the thought of a Westernized woman leading the country, or some opposition splinter group...whatever. All I know is political turmoil and upheaval seem to be almost part of the Pakistani landscape over the past few decades, so anything's possible. It certainly seems her assassination was just a matter of time after some earlier, failed attempts. Pakistan will miss her voice of moderation greatly.
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 8
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/27/2007 12:45:18 PM

West has a very bad misconception of Islamic countries.

Which is why the US admin thought she would be a good symbol for their "cause".

As asked? wat has pakistan given the world?
I,m amazed that its even made news headlines in a pakistan village...if the majority of the world is civilised in a western sense then by definition pakistan is abnormal and a backward country full of backward people as is most of the middle east and india...sri lanka etc etc...the norm is the majority...anything thats is not the norm is again what has pakistan given the world? sod all

The thread is about Bhutto, it's not an avenue for ignorant bashing of an entire people.

Do you have anything to say that is actually relevant or are you just going to troll your way through the thread?
Joined: 6/30/2007
Msg: 9
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Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/27/2007 1:33:14 PM
Bhutto's assassination was really sad, but not unexpected. She knew she was risking it all by going back, and her courage led her to go back anyway. What a great woman! It may take a while, but I hope Pakistanis can move up from this and enjoy greater national stability.
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 10
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/27/2007 2:14:12 PM
Can’t speak for other countries, but Pakistan should be of “extreme” importance to all Americans. The North-West Frontier Province, located in the inaccessible, mountainous region that shares a border with Afghanistan, is highly radicalized and a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism. It’s where the seeds of the Taliban first germinated, was the launching pad for the successful, ruthless takeover of Afghanistan in the 90’s, is still the main sanctuary of a resurgent Taliban, and where many believe bin Laden is being hidden and protected. The area is basically autonomous, free from any national governmental control and interference.

If the current Pakistan government falls and the whole nation becomes a rabidly anti-American radical Islamic theocracy, we will be faced with consequences I shudder to contemplate.

This is why US foreign policy is so infinitely complex, with no easy answers or perfect solutions. Should we keep backing Musharaff, which even with all the corruption is 100% preferable to the Islamists, or withdraw support and let the chips fall where they may?

The next few months will be extremely interesting.
Joined: 6/30/2007
Msg: 11
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Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/27/2007 2:30:21 PM

Being a Pakistani American, I don't feel sad about Benazir's assasination. It is funny how people are rushing to mourn the death of a corrupt good for nothing leader,

Thanks for your perspective on this; but wasn't it Bhutto's husband who committed the atrocities? I had always heard that she herself did none of those things. Enlighten us......
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 12
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/27/2007 2:39:19 PM

Being a Pakistani, I still highly doubt Pakistan will fall under a fierce Islamic theorracy.

Thanks for your input, MM. I sincerely hope you're right.
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 13
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/27/2007 3:54:22 PM
Exactly, AS. Whatever happens in Pakistan not only affects Pakistan, but India, Iran, and, of course, Afghanistan.

Benazir Bhutto was a champion of moderation, a strong voice for democracy, and a big supporter of fair, pluralistic Islamic religion for her country. She deeply cared about the poor and was dedicated to social reform. There is no other figure that can take her place, and none I see on the horizon.
Joined: 7/12/2006
Msg: 14
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/27/2007 4:42:10 PM
Very very sad!
The Dark Ages will continue on for a while longer in Pakistan and perhaps the rest of the Middle East for women. While we waste time on phantom WMDs in Iraq and Imaginary ones in Iran, the real deal sinks further into Chaos.
Forget Baghdad,
AL Quedostan should be our focus now.
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 15
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Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/27/2007 5:35:55 PM
I heard the news today and felt a little piece of hope torn away.
She wasn't perfect, but she had the heart of a lion.
For her to come home knowing!!!.... that she would be targeted
from the moment she stepped onto Pakistani soil.
That act ranks as one the bravest things I have ever seen.

Very few of us have ideals we are willing to risk almost certain death for.
I don't believe she came back for venal reasons, she returned
because she had hope and faith in the people, and Pakistan itself.

A martyr is born.
This crime may reap a harvest very different from
what the criminals hoped for.
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 17
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Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/27/2007 6:11:00 PM
Benazir Bhutto was a brave woman to try to come home. I hope that Pakistan can become the free nation that she dreamt of.

She may be gone but is not forgotten. She is now up in Heaven with my friend who was a Pakistani American, and a wonderful person. Perhaps my friend and she are talking right now to help guide Pakistan to freedom and prosperity.
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 19
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/28/2007 4:20:22 AM
Personally, I have no problem with Musharaff. You will never have a perfect ruler (even Bhutto, as many have pointed out, had her flaws), but anything is better than vehemently anti-Western Islamic radicals bent on returning the country (and ultimately the whole region) to the Dark Ages and making Pakistan an even bigger launching pad for terrorists. The people we should also be courting is the educated, moderate professional class who have just as much vested interest in preventing the country from turning into a sharia state as the military.
Joined: 7/9/2005
Msg: 21
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/28/2007 6:51:42 AM
An Earthling says, " Main thing is don't just read the news, read between the lines". I am
reading between the lines and what I read between them is telling me that I need to get a passport quick and leave this nation. It feels to me like this nation is being set-up by our own president. He's been playing dumb all along, but the reality is that he's been wanting to get nuclear weapons in the hands of these madmen since before he became the president of the United States of America. It feels like these guys are still fighting the American Civil War. Plausible Deniability manifested in letting the madmen do what he's been wanting to do to parts of this nation himself. Waiting for the east & west coast to be hit when these crazies take over Pakistan's Nukes. Bush will then declare Marshall Law making himself King of the United States of America !!!
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 22
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/28/2007 6:58:58 AM
I saw PBS's online Newshour last night. They devoted the whole program to Bhutto. Selected excerpts....

JUDY WOODRUFF (PBS): Mr. Ambassador, an important question for you, and that is accusations being raised today by -- they had been raised by Benazir Bhutto herself. They are being raised today by her supporters and by others that the Musharraf, your government, didn't do enough to protect her, that there were repeated requests for protection, security, and that that protection was never provided.

MAHMUD ALI DURRANI (Pakastini Ambassador to US): No.

To the best of my information, I think the amount of protection that is being provided to -- or was provided to Benazir and all the other opposition leaders is almost the same that has been provided to the prime minister and the president.

But a suicide attacker is a suicide attacker. And especially with political leaders, when they have to go out -- What is the word for that? -- go out and meet their supporters, shake hands with them, you saw that clip before she went into the vehicle. If you saw that, there were security people around her. But, in a situation like this, where there's a suicide bomber, it's probably impossible for the best security system in the world able to stop them.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, you know for a fact that she was given the protection she asked for?

MAHMUD ALI DURRANI: Absolutely. Absolutely.

I would say she was given not exactly what maybe she may ask for, but, for Pakistan's environment, I think she was given the best protection possible.

My take....if she was that concerned about lack of security, why not have more beefed up security from her own forces?...unless she was purposely restrained from doing so by the government...maybe some can enlighten us?

JUDY WOODRUFF: Stephen Cohen, this has been all over the news today, as far as I can see. We are devoting an entire hour to this. Does -- is the death of Benazir Bhutto, does it merit that much attention in this country and elsewhere?

STEPHEN COHEN, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies, Brookings Institution: I think it does because she was in a sense the best hope for a moderate, reasonably secular Pakistan, in tune with the rest of the world and Islam that Pakistan had produced in a long time. She had many failings, but I think, on balance, she was going to be -- she would have been a better leader her third term, had she won or had she had that opportunity.

And I think her death, but this way, is really strengthening the forces of darkness in Pakistan, and they're going to see this as a great victory. And the ineptness of the government in protecting her or coming up with any reasonable solutions I think is going to come back to haunt them.

I think there will be more changes in Pakistan, more dramatic changes in Pakistan. And I don't expect the present setup to remain as it is now.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Mr. Nawaz, as a native of Pakistan, what did she mean for your country? And how does that change with her death?

SHUJA NAWAZ, Author/Journalist: I think she felt that she had a mission that she needed to fulfill. These are all the ideas that she thought that she should have implemented in her first two terms, because, when I spoke with her before she left for Pakistan last fall, this is what was guiding her, that she was unafraid of the risks, which she was also quite cognizant of. But she was ready to go in and to battle for what she thought was an opportunity to change the way Pakistan is operated and run.

Mr. Husain, also a native of Pakistan, you worked for Benazir Bhutto's father. What did she mean for your country?

SHAHID HUSAIN, Former Pakistani Official: Well, she was young. She was a woman. She was educated. She was very controversial also, which means that today is probably not the day and not the time to look at her flaws and -- but she represented the contradictions of Pakistan's history.

JUDY WOODRUFF: In what way?

SHAHID HUSAIN: If you look at Pakistan's history of the last 60 years, it has been ruled by a small elite, an elite consisting of the feudals, the military, and municipal servants.

Largely, they have disenfranchised the people of Pakistan. And it has been a very narrow elite which has ruled Pakistan, which has neglected human development, which has neglected education. After 60 years of independence, 50 percent of Pakistani adults are illiterate.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Fifty percent?

SHAHID HUSAIN: Fifty percent. Pakistan rates among the last seven in the index of human development of the UNDP.

And Benazir Bhutto, Musharraf, and the entire leadership is responsible for it, because of the neglect of the people of Pakistan and the lack of linkage between the establishment and the masses in general.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Stephen Cohen, given that, why was she the hope that you just described?

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, I don't say she was a great -- a likely -- I don't think -- I think she would have had trouble doing what she wanted to do.

But I think she was the most charismatic and I think dynamic and perhaps intelligent leader Pakistan has produced in a long time. And I think she stood head and shoulders above the rest of the politicians in that regard. So, I think she also had good international ties, especially with the United States.

Pakistan's problem, of course, in terms of democratization and liberalization, is that two of its major foreign friends, the U.S. and China and Saudi, two of them are not interested in democratization. Nor are they interested in deep social reform.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, you are saying that the forces, that -- that what?

STEPHEN COHEN: That she was bucking the Pakistan army, which is retrograde in terms of its understanding of Pakistani development, which is totally India-focused, and had no interest in what's going on in the country, except control. And, also, Pakistan's external support is the Chinese and the Saudis, who are not terribly supportive of a democratic Pakistan.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And you're saying she would have been strong enough to stand up to them, whereas there may not be anyone else who could do that.

STEPHEN COHEN: She would have given a good fight. And I think she would have held her own. She understands how the world operates. And I think she was intelligent enough to manage that. She would have made compromises, but I think she would have made some progress as well.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Given all that, in the short run, and then in the longer run, what should the U.S. posture toward Pakistan be?

SHAHID HUSAIN: I do not see a quick fix to Pakistan's problem.

There's the long haul. And unless both Pakistan and its partners address the fundamental issue of deprivation and lack of linkage between the state of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan, the problem will not be solved.

So, don't think for a minute that there is quick fix. It will remain confused. It will remain volatile. But we have got to look at the whole issue of human development in Pakistan and work for it not for years, but for decades. This is a situation that has developed for 60 years. And there is no quick fix to it.

JUDY WOODRUFF: No quick fix?

SHUJA NAWAZ: I agree with that.

And I think, as far as the U.S. is concerned, the U.S. needs to be much more unequivocal in its support for developing systems and institutions, like the judiciary, like the media, like political parties and not...

JUDY WOODRUFF: And you're saying it hasn't been that?

SHUJA NAWAZ: It hasn't been that.

When the crunch comes, the United States traditionally -- and history has proven this time and again -- has taken the short-term solution, supported a dictator, supported an autocrat, and not gone for the long-term system-building.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Steve Cohen, short term, long term, what should the U.S. be doing?

STEPHEN COHEN: Short term, we should make a special effort, send the vice president, send another senior official to meet with Pakistani politicians, not just with Musharraf, but the politicians, and tell the army that, this time, there should be a reasonably free election.

Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 23
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/28/2007 7:08:03 AM
...another excerpt from the program last night

Corruption charges

PBS: But, Mr. Siegel (Bhutto Advisor), her two terms as prime minister, as we know, were definitely faulted for both sort of management incompetence and also on allegations of corruption. Now, publicly, she always said: "Well, nothing has ever been proven. I have never been convicted."

But was she any more reflective or forthcoming about that in private? What did she say about that?

MARK SIEGEL: Well, first, she was very constrained in both two terms by the intelligence agencies, by the military, by the establishment. She never had firm control of the government because of -- because of them.

Charges were brought against her for -- for corruption. But there -- that's what -- when you bring down anyone in Pakistan, under the constitution, you charge incompetence and corruption, including the chief minister, who -- the supreme court chief justice, who was brought down again for the same charge. She was never convicted of any of these things. With all...


MARK SIEGEL: But, no, with all of the ammunition of the government against her, she was never convicted. Her husband was in jail for 11 years and was never convicted.

Saying all of that, she's learned a great deal. She was ready to be a great prime minister for a third term. She understood modernity. She was a bridge between East and West. She was a bridge within Islam between -- between the forces of Islam. And she understood that extremism thrives under dictatorship. And she was determined to stop that.

Mark Siegel has been Benazir Bhutto's man in Washington for decades, serving as an unofficial adviser. He has also been a longtime Democratic Party activist and now associated with a Washington law firm. He and Bhutto were collaborating on a book.

(Obviously, as one of her advisors he may be very partial and partisan to Bhutto, so take his words with that in mind.)
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 24
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/28/2007 2:00:44 PM
Just a general comment about American involvement in Pakistani politics: Due to the extreme circumstances surrounding 9-11 and the sensitive nature of the region, of course Pakistan is important to the US? To ignore the area and withdraw backing any pro-American support would be extremely short-sighted and rather ridiculous. However, I submit American influence is minimal at best. If Pakistanis don’t want the appearance of Washington meddling in their affairs?....simple, they can return whatever aid they’re now getting and pay back that $10 billion we’ve already supplied.

Musharaff, the military, and the professional class have a VERY good reason to act in their own self-interests, in spite of whatever Washington wants—their own survival!

Btw, anti-Western hate and anger in the NWFP was fully entrenched way before 9-11. Musharaff's US support might have inflamed it even more, but if anyone implies the region became radicalized as a "direct" result of 9-11 is just plain wrong.
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 26
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/28/2007 11:55:43 PM
The fall-out may be spreading beyond Pakistan already

Police in Indian Kashmir clash with hundreds protesting the killing of Pakistan's Bhutto

This bit of spill-over could add a whole different dimension to the problem if it heats up enough.
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 28
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/29/2007 9:30:48 AM
I see conspiracy theories are already making a mild appearance in this thread, and it hasn't even been three days since the assassination?

There is absolutely no way to tell this early on exactly "who" is responsible for Bhutto's murder. Speculation is of course natural, and playing the "Who dunnit?" game is like sport for some people, but, really, give this time to sort itself out. It may be months or even years before we know who is ultimately responsible.

The simple facts that remain is the huge hole Bhutto's death has left in Pakistani politics and what kind of impact this will have on the country/region in the coming weeks and months. Whatever happens will be fascinating to observe.
Joined: 6/30/2007
Msg: 29
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Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/29/2007 9:53:45 AM
It's sad what happened to Benazir Bhutto. Absolutely horrible. That being said, though, I think the focus of other nations should be on the competing factions which are left. Staging an "independent investigation" of the death of a former head-of-state is not likely to be that productive. The time is better spent forging relationships with the most moderate, anti-nuclear political faction we can find in Pakistan. That may be Musharraf, or it may be someone else.

The truth is that Bhutto was always going to be a divisive leader as long as she lived. Whether she was successful in the upcoming elections or not, nothing was going to change the fact that she was a polarizing figure. Now that we have to move on from that, the focus needs to be on a unifying leader who can try to forge better relations with India and also help to stop Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
Joined: 4/21/2007
Msg: 30
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/29/2007 3:37:52 PM

BTW, talking about Clintons, anyone saw the pic of Bill Clinton and Benazir? Bill was ogling at her like he was drooling. hahahaha.

Well. She was quite a pretty woman and we all know what Bill's like, right? He's loves him some pretty ladies.

It's very sad that she's dead. Very cool woman, very smart woman, very interesting woman. Hopefully those responsible will be brought down.. HARD.
 natural energy
Joined: 9/23/2006
Msg: 31
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Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/30/2007 1:50:01 AM
This thread has been a very interesting read for me, except for the hints of conspiracy theories.
I am no expert on the politics of the middle-east, including the extremists.
This has heightened my interest to learn more about the various religions of the world, as well as the constant discourse in the middle-east countries.
Of course, the media, is not the best place to learn what actually is going on.
Although I do respect some media writers ... Gwynne Dyer being one.

It is always terrible and sad when any life is taken in such a violent manner.

As has been stated through this thread, Benazir was not the only one killed, although she was the target.

As, with all people, she was not perfect.
She obviously has done much good for her people.
I am very happy to hear that she has helped the women in her culture and religion to improve their place in their society.

Just this evening I told my tenant, who is muslim, that I accept all religions and cultures, as long as there is no abuse or suppression of any person.
It really is too bad that violence is the major means of communication in the middle-east.

It will be interesting to see the results of this assassination and the effects on Pakistan, as well as the other nations affected.
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 32
Benazir Bhutto assassinated
Posted: 12/30/2007 9:34:40 AM
MM, I don't think most are saying Bhutto was the savior to rescue the country. She had flaws just like all her rivals. But she was the best "hope" for furthering democratic ideals and the most agreeable voice of moderation than any others I've seen mentioned. Was she the perfect answer to Pakistan's ills? Of course not, but she was better than most alternatives. I'd also like to see Musharaff (I think he's done an admirable job in a very difficult situation) go into the NWFP and clean out the radicals, but that could very well cost him his presidency and plunge the country in a very vicious civil war that would help no one. Maybe that's destined to happen anyway; I can't see how any country can allow such an rabidly anti-government, autonomous region to operate freely without strong national intervention....guess we'll see.
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