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Dec 28, 2007

Destiny And Fate


Listening to coverage while spending most of yesterday on the road, one expert likened the Bhutto killing -- in terms of the impact on Pakistan -- to the assassination of JFK.

I don't have a sense of how, or how well the metaphor transfers.  What I do know is that, seeing a photo like this, taken just seconds before the killing, one feels in close proximity to destiny and fate.  Another interviewee on the radio yesterday spoke about the pattern of propping up dictators, and the failure of the U.S. to help build "systems" or institutional structures in Pakistan.

On that level, this image is just another sad testament to how thoroughly the Administration squandered the opportunity to target South Asia, al-Qaeda and the Taliban after 9/11, and how much the world is paying for it.

Bhutto Assassination (NYT slide show)

(image: John Moore/Getty Images.  December 26, 2007.  Islamabad.  via


I think it is more like the assassination of RFK: the elections proceeded, however not in ten days; another person was in office at the time and after, although not running to succeed himself; and the country had not fully recovered from the traumas of the JFK assassination and the Vietnam war ongoing, which could compare to the ongoing terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

It now appears that she was actually not shot in the attack, but hit her head on the sun-roof. Not sure whether to believe that one, but I suppose it has become the official response.

To paraphrase Malloy: Ever notice that wherever Negroponte goes, there follows murder and chaos?

I wonder where does one draw the line between bravery and foolhardiness? She must have known that the risk of just such an event was very high. She had said that she thought she was safe because [Musharraf] didn't want any incidents.

Another thing I noticed was when The W said these words: "The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy. Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice." He had the same cross-eyed squirrel look in his eyes as when he talks about "getting bin Laden" and just as much conviction. He's not even trying to get bin Laden and he's not sorry Bhutto is out of the way for Musharraf. In his usual and unconvincing way he's saying words that are just slightly off key for the mood of the hour.

And another thing I forgot.......Although I haven't heard it on MSM (not that I spend much time with them) in a November interview with David Frost, Bhutto said, quite clearly and thoughtfully, (when mentioning the name of those whom she thought could be her assassins), stated that Omar Shaikh was the one who killed Osama bin Laden. Hello?? I know we were laughing at all those Osama tapes that looked more like westerners than any six-foot tall Arab. Maybe we were right after all. The BBC did pick up on this and it is apparently widespread knowledge in Europe, where they don't have a controlled MSM.

I found one report that she spoke the next day as if he were alive, but that was apparently not on tape. So...........?

'Destiny And Fate' or Collusion And Disaster

A Pakistan must read. This article is extremely long, unless you have time or sufficient interest I suggest the first 4-5 paragraphs then SKIP NEXT 70-75 and read remaining 4 and postscript.

"Arranged marriages can be a messy business. Designed principally as a means of accumulating wealth, circumventing undesirable flirtations or transcending clandestine love affairs, they often don’t work. Where both parties are known to loathe each other, only a rash parent, desensitised by the thought of short-term gain, will continue with the process knowing full well that it will end in misery and possibly violence. That this is equally true in political life became clear in the recent attempt by Washington to tie Benazir Bhutto to Pervez Musharraf.


Daniel Markey, formerly of the State Department and currently senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, explained why Washington had pushed the marriage of convenience: ‘A progressive, reform-minded, more cosmopolitan party in government would help the US.’ As their finances reveal, the Zardaris are certainly cosmopolitan.

What then is at stake in Pakistan as far as Washington is concerned? ‘The concern I have,’ Robert Gates, the US secretary for defense, recently said, ‘is that the longer the internal problems continue, the more distracted the Pakistani army and security services will be in terms of the internal situation rather than focusing on the terrorist threat in the frontier area....

Also Tariq Ali interview on Democracy Now

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