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I'm not seeing a lot of blog-reaction yet, people haven't had time to really process the news, and most of the blogs I follow focus on the Middle East, not Pakistan or South Asia.

One response from Abu Muqawama ("father of resistance," an odd name choice if you ask me), who is a former US Army officer (who served one or two tours in Afghanistan) and current think-tanker and academic specializing in counter-insurgency.

abu muqawama: Benazir Bhutto, RIP

The folks on NBC, though, are making it sound as if Bhutto was some brave liberal alternative to the Musharraf regime, swallowing hook, line, and sinker this narrative that Benazir Bhutto was some kind of Pakistani Aung San Suu Kyi.

Okay, folks, we all know she was eloquent, went to Harvard and Oxford and was a darling of the English-language media. But she was arguably the most corrupt woman in the history of South Asia. She was removed from office not once but twice on corruption charges. And ruthless? She killed her own brother in 1996.

So by all means, mourn Benazir Bhutto, but those who live by the sword...
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 09:02:13 AM EST
What? The MSM doesn't do nuance? Next you'll claim that Garry Kasparov isn't really the leader of the Russian opposition...

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 09:22:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've assumed from the start that Bhutto was sponsored by the US to depose Musharraf, who was not behaving on his leash as he was supposed to.

Remember that a world leader with nukes does not have to kowtow to American interests.  It is clear that Pervez was not exactly towing the line for the Cheney folks.  I'm sure if I google Bhutto's recent comments there is a free-market angle to be found.  She certainly did not represent the poor and destitute of Pakistan, that is for sure.

I also think that Bhutto's presence has generated a huge amount of instability and she was taken care of to REDUCE that.  Ultimately the opposition needed her to rally around, to give it some kind of legitimacy and a tie to the "old days of Democracy" in Pakistan.

From what I've seen and recall from his takeover, Musharaf is really not some Hussein-esque dictator.  He took over a corrupt country from a corrupt leader and the nukes probably had a lot to do with it.  During his term Pakistan has largely avoided major war and skirmishes with India and other neighbors.  

If you can look past the "democracy" red-herring it would appear that he's their most competent leader in a long time.  I certainly had no hope that Bhutto's faction would do any better.

by paving on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 01:38:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You should read FarEasterner's recent diary.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 02:27:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He took over a corrupt country from a corrupt leader and the nukes probably had a lot to do with it.  During his term Pakistan has largely avoided major war and skirmishes with India and other neighbors.

Remember that he managed to get over from that corrupt leader after the US ordered that corrupt leader to pull back troops in Kashmir which were provocatively pushed forward -- on Musharraf's rogue orders.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 05:17:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC mentioned the death of two of her brothers, but she had him killed?

Murtaza Bhutto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bhutto campaigned as an independent in the 1993 elections, winning a seat in the assembly governing the Sindh province[1]. In 1995 he led a schism of the ruling Pakistan People's Party[1].

In 1996, he accused police of unfairly targeting his organization and denied playing any part in bombings in Karachi[1] that year. On 20th September 1996, he was shot and killed along with six supporters during an altercation with the police[1]. The police stated that Murtaza and his supporters had refused to allow police to search their vehicles as part of security measures imposed since the bombings, and that they were fired upon first[1]. The assassination took place in the posh locality of Clifton, Karachi. According to area residents the gunfire continued unabated for hours.

Benazir Bhutto was the prime minister of Pakistan at the time of Murtaza Bhutto's killing. The brother and sister were estranged at the time and were political opponents. To date the assasination of Murtaza Bhutto remains an unsolved case.



We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 05:59:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I don't know enough about that to make a judgment, but that's what his family claims.  

I found this 1996 news story to make rather surreal reading in light of the current situation....

Opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, in a speech in parliament, accused the government of "state terrorism" against its political opponents. Leaders of the Lahore High Court Bar Association in Punjab were quoted as describing Murtaza Bhutto's killing as a murder.

Murtaza's killing "is part of a conspiracy to make Pakistan a police state and crush democratic freedom," said Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Pakistan's fundamentalist party leader.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 07:03:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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