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What ? You mean apart from a bloodbath ? I guess it will confirm that Pakistan has been allowed to become ungovernable.

I'm not even sure that a full military dictatorship can save the day for the simple reason that all it will do is try to put a lid on pressures that are already far beyond such control.

An awful lot of people are going to die in the next few weeks and there's bugger all anyone can do to stop it. However, the presence of the nuclear weapons throws a nasty complication into the mix. I suspect that america and others may have to step in and clear up we helped create, or at least get the nukes out. And that will put us into an interesting situation vis a vis Saudi Arabia as it's their people we absolutely need to exterminate (I use the word deliberately).

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 08:53:41 AM EST
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Any idea who benefits? Does this really benefit Mushariff, for instance?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 08:56:08 AM EST
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CNN has a Bhutto spokesman on the phone now and the anchor just said to him something along the lines of isn't it far too early to be pointing fingers right now?  The spokesman begs to differ.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 09:04:40 AM EST
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Hah. How long did CNN wait to point fingers on 9/11?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 09:05:31 AM EST
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Seems to me that Musharraf's hold on power is tenuous to the point where this might just be the thing to topple him. But that's my uneducated guess.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 09:20:19 AM EST
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No, much as Musharaff didn't want to work with Bhutto, her death complicates things for him. For everybody.

Plus, Islamic militants had already promised to kill her for the crime of being female and a politician. Suicide bombers aren't the army's m.o, but they are those of islamists. So I guess we have to look at the Wahabi madrassas for the originators of this.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 09:22:32 AM EST
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That was my sense of it.  It sounds like Musharraf is being blamed initially, but didn't he agree to the amnesty because he believed that he needed to work with her?

Given their promise to kill her, it sounds like the work of militants, but we'll see.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 09:33:40 AM EST
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Well, it's happened in the same area that Musharraf put her under house arrest and stopped her from going to. She went now that the state of emergency is over... and died. Obviously, there are two possible readings here.

My guess is on radical circles inside the ISI.

"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." Sun Tzu

by Turambar (sersguenda at hotmail com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 09:35:27 AM EST
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I wouldn't put it past the ISI to have their fingers all over this, but I'm sure it was at a slight remove. They probably kicked a hornet's nest in a madrassa and sat back to watch. Bhutto and they are at daggers drawn and have been since forever. The charges of corruption against her originated from within ISI as I remember.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 09:42:15 AM EST
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I think that's a very important point -- the extremists and the Pakistani security services are not really separate things.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 09:42:56 AM EST
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 So I guess we have to look at the Wahabi madrassas for the originators of this

or is that what you're supposed to think?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 02:05:22 PM EST
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Heh. There are so many possible suspects that if you brought them all together in a single dining room, the combined talents of Hercule Poirot and Nick Charles would be insufficient for identifying the true culprit.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 02:10:58 PM EST
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Do groups/people come forward to say they were behind these kind of incidents?  Or will it be down to forensics and experts to make their best guesses?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 05:38:11 PM EST
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Sometimes they do, but sometimes those claims are not credible -- i.e. a group will have been invented out of whole cloth, or some other group will want to take credit for something that it had nothing to do with.  Any statements and/or videos claiming responsibility would have to be evaluated on their merits.

As for the investigation... well, that assumes the integrity of the officials involved, doesn't it?  If people believe that the state could have been involved, do you think they're going to believe what the state's own forensic investigators say about who did it?  Or believe the FBI's or Scotland Yard's investigators, if they were to be invited in?

In Lebanon, this is why they appointed the UN investigator into the Hariri assassination, and why they had several different forensic teams from different countries inspecting the evidence; but that also can prove problematic in different ways.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 05:48:33 PM EST
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A Russian expert puts finger on islamists and says life would be much more difficult for Musharraf right now. In addition, he'll have to deal with Bhutto supporters who'd be convinced it's him.
by Sargon on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 10:05:22 AM EST
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What forces are available for an intervention? None in sufficient strength to achieve anything, I suspect. In any event the experience of the past few years does tend to imply that military actions by the west in Islamic countries is counter-productive.

If Pakistan does not become a nuclear armed Islamic caliphate in the next few years, it will owe more to the good sense of the Pakistani people than the wisdom of western policy.

by Gary J on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 01:27:59 PM EST
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Or, more to the internal inter-community tensions (and the communitarian bounds of the Caliphate-ists) than both Western and Pakistani wisdom.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 02:24:25 PM EST
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