Benazir Bhutto is dead

She was an exiled former prime minister of Pakistan who had returned from exile and was poised to potentially bring back democracy from the near-dictatorship of President Musharaff who has done all in his power recently to bludgeon the judicial branch of his country - even going so far as declaring a state of emergency under the guise of stopping terrorism to halt that branch of government.

It’s very sad and barbaric that so many people who seem to be reasonable and wish for peace seem to be the ones who get killed. What’s almost worse is the fact that all the news networks keep focusing on how the candidates are tweaking their campaigns at the last minute for the Iowa and New Hampshire primary due to this tragedy. Why don’t we hear about the woman’s life?

I heard about this in the morning. I have a friend in Pakistan right now… hope everything will be okay.

I’ve heard quite a few negative things about Bhutto. It’s understandable to try to paint her as a force for democracy, but the truth is that the reason she was exiled in the first place was under corruption charges, and from what little I’ve gleaned it doesn’t sound like it’s baseless. But none of that really matters. The point is that rather than try and let the people decide, some idiot decided on his own that a bullet is the only way he can make his argument heard - a sure sign of a weak argument if I ever heard one. -_- Certainly, this isn’t going to make anything over there better in any way whatsoever.

The charges of corruption against her are a blot, certainly, but it was during the first assassination attempt when she responded by saying that she would continue on against Musharaff despite the danger that she really started gaining my respect.

It solidified the perception that she was a leader concerned with the stability of her region more than her own life. I’m a gullible person and even though I’ve been following Pakistan for a while on the news does not make me any less naive on the subject. The fact remains that it seemed like a pretty selfless action.

As you say, it shouldn’t have been decided by a bullet.

Corruption or no corruption, fact is Bhutto and her political party(the PPP) opposed the radical Muslims. And her death has pretty much crippled the PPPs chances in the elections.

Seems the Pakistani Atty. General says that the elections won’t be happening. That’s not going to help things.

It will be interesting to see how Musharraf is going to respond. Bush, Brown, the campaigners and just about everyone under the sun in the West has condemned the assassination but what will Musharraf do to quell the civil unrest that has been boiling over for quite awhile now? He’s run out of the political capital to get the people to trust him it seems, so the only other response is to crack down. I don’t see how that’s going to work.

Yeah, cause they’re scared shitless that crazies are gonna be voted in.

The elections have been suspended before. The whole reasoning behind it was to keep Musharraf in power I thought. If anything, wouldn’t Benazir have had a better chance to be elected than a religious fanatic over there?

I don’t know what’s going to happen now. Still, Pakistani’s seem pretty angered about this. I don’t see how they would reward religious fanatics with a seat in office when they assassinated Bhutto.

I love Fox News but they seem pretty quick to try finding an Al Qaeda link. Not that it would surprise me but not everything is linked to Al Qaeda.

She was entering into some kind of power-sharing deal with the other opposition party, as I recall.

Musharraf just got out of martial law he imposed himself a few weeks ago, and people are largely cynical about his purposes for doing so. Another crackdown is not going to bode well for him.

The elections have been suspended before. The whole reasoning behind it was to keep Musharraf in power I thought. If anything, wouldn’t Benazir have had a better chance to be elected than a religious fanatic over there?

Yeah. That’s why they killed her. :confused:

The other moderate, Sharif, isn’t nearly renowned as she was… He’s the guy she was entering into a power-sharing deal with, I think.

Speaking of that party, Nawaz Sharif and Bhutto were at least talking about boycotting elections out of protest of the deposing of Supreme Court justices. Sharif has now declared that the boycott will go on.

Sharif is demanding that Musharraf resign and others are blaming the assassination on the fact that Musharraf didn’t give Bhutto more security.

Still, Pakistani’s seem pretty angered about this. I don’t see how they would reward religious fanatics with a seat in office when they assassinated Bhutto.

To clarify my point, I was wrong that the fanatics thought they would be voted in. Rather, what they’re trying to show is that democracy can’t exist in Pakistan, period. Unfortunately, they’ve shown that democracy can’t exist for the short-term future.

My mistake.

Your point is very important though; Pakistan is a golden opportunity for the fanatics and terrorists. If the country does fall into disarray that nuclear armament of theirs might fall into the wrong hands.

It seems like the US is going to have to cool down it’s displeasure with Musharraf’s recent actions (although, it’s not like we were being too hard on them in the first place). We’re already suppporting his rule, but besides Ron Paul, it seems like everyone’s seeing that despite his governing flaws, he’s better than anarchy. Either Musharraf is going to somehow unite the populace or push the hard line and that’s what the fanactics would love to happen.

CNN just reported an e-mail sent by Bhutto saying that if anything were to happen to her to hold Musharraf responsible.

In a region where womens rights seemingly don’t exist I think the real tragedy here is that a female authority figure was gunned down.

The way they treat their women are perhaps my biggest issue, if I’ve even got an issue with it, with Islam.

I particularly like how they labeled her as corrupt. Yeah. The men can do whatever the fuck they want without getting a slap on the wrist, but if a woman does it, it’s a big issue. :stuck_out_tongue:

Eh, I think they used the same label for Sharif too. The fact is that a corrupt elected is a better choice than a corrupt dictator. The insistence of the U.S. to once again support Musharraf when he recently started toying with the judicial system and the demonstrations started certainly discredits all lofty talks about democracy. And I’m afraid that helps the extremists.

edit: btw
edit2: That’s probably too good to be true.

As it has been from the start.

History has a way of repeating itself because nobody ever learns from it.

In the 50’s, when Ike Eisenhower was President, the Dole banana company gave Ike a large sum of money in order to overthrow the Democratic government of Guatemala because said government took back lands illegally used by Dole to provide land for local farmers. So, Ike trained Guerrilla forces to overthrow the elected government and put into place a “friendly” Iron-fisted government that evicted the farmers and turned Guatemala back into a Banana Republic. (Personally I never like Ike anyway, he was the only General NEVER to see combat in person. He would just give out orders and let his men DIAF ((Die in a Field)). That way of leadership carried on in his Presidency as well.)

There are other examples, but the current government has an extremely paradoxical mentality. “We want to spread Democracy. Enemies of Democracy will be crushed” combined with “I didn’t see anything. Sure, Totalitarian Rule is a part of Democracy roll eyes. We love that country over there.” and a sprinkle of “Sure they’re Tyrants, but they are OUR Tyrants. Even Iraq was our Tyrant in the 80’s… I mean… Iraq was the enemy and now they are our friends.”

How can these mentalities truly exist together? It boggles the mind.

Supporting tyrants isn’t as bad as foolishly sending out the military.

I know, but why do so many countries do both?

Now isn’t the time to pull support from Musharraf. If he keeps playing this game of not allowing elections in a turbulent environment like this, we’d have to. Condoleeza Rice is voicing the Administration’s support for elections; Musharraf has been embarrassing our foreign policy by his actions. This is the time for him to change direction.

al-Qaida was responsible after all.

Because if you heard anything about her life, it would quickly destroy the easy “democracy/dictatorship” narrative.,,2233334,00.html

“Within her party, she declared herself the lifetime president of the PPP and refused to let her brother Murtaza challenge her. When he persisted in doing so, he ended up shot dead in highly suspicious circumstances outside the family home. Murtaza’s wife Ghinwa and his daughter Fatima, as well as Benazir’s mother, all firmly believed that Benazir gave the order to have him killed.”

If only Musharraf had thought to register on our boards. Only then could he get the expert advice he needs.

The outcome of elections is determined by who has the most money and the most support from significant social powers – not from “the people,” but from <i>significant social powers</i>. In Pakistan, the significant social powers are Islamic organizations, tribal leaders (or “feudal landowners” as the above article calls them), and the military. When politicians lose the support of these significant social powers, they are killed or exiled. Musharraf, for example, has lasted so long because he was able to somehow secure the support of the military.

The balance of social power is established by force, and the purpose of elections is to legitimize that force. Bhutto also understood the rules of this game – for her entire life, she played the game in exactly the same way as Musharraf. Even in exile, she wanted power, she was born and raised for power and she didn’t know how or want to do anything else with her life, so she was willing to play the game one more time. This requires a great deal of personal bravery – any serious politician in Pakistan needs to be brave, regardless of ideology – but it has nothing to do with “democracy.”