Archive for the ‘Benazir Bhutto’ Category

More Benezir Bhutto canonizing…

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

The Economist‘s obituary, which is headlined as “Benazir Bhutto: Erstwhile democrat or ersatz democrat, she embodied the failed ideals of her country’s elite”:

That was her third world: Pakistani patriot, centre-left populist, democrat and ruthless politician. Like India’s Indira Gandhi, Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina Wajed, and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, she risked and suffered much to fulfil her father’s legacy.

Obviously the folks at The Economist weren’t reading Jemima Kahn‘s scathing assessment of Bhuto.

The Economist continues,

She endured grim years in detention after her father’s death. Both her brothers died unnaturally—the younger one in a mysterious poisoning in France, the elder in a murder in Pakistan for which her husband Asif was charged (and exonerated) but some family members still blame her.

Freed, Benazir went into exile in London, then returned home to a tumultuous welcome in 1986. Two years later, after Zia ul-Haq was killed when his plane dropped out of the sky, she was elected to power. For a while, it seemed that the country could put its many troubled years of military rule behind it, and look forward to a democratic future.

But the hopes Benazir had aroused were swiftly disappointed. Her regime was marked by human-rights abuses, incompetence and massive corruption. Mr Zardari became known as Mr 10%. Ousted in 1990 and re-elected in 1993, she was again dismissed in 1996 by the president. Mr Zardari was jailed and she retreated back into exile to escape corruption charges. From there she watched her successor and nemesis, Nawaz Sharif, fall to the Musharraf coup in 1999, and saw Mr Musharraf become an important American ally after September 11th 2001.

Meanwhile, her husband, writing at the Washington Post, The Duty My Wife Left Us

The Musharraf regime has postponed the elections scheduled for Tuesday not because of any logistical problems but because Musharraf and his “King’s Party” know that they were going to be thoroughly rejected at the polls and that the PPP and other pro-democracy parties would win a majority. Democracy in Pakistan can be saved, and extremism and fanaticism contained, only if the elections, when they are held, are free, fair and credible.

Curious stance by a man who inherited his current positon from his wife. As The Economist said,

After her assassination, a handwritten will was produced. Foreseeing her own untimely end, it bequeathed her party, like the dynastic heirloom it has become, to her husband, who said he would pass leadership to their 19-year-old son. For a woman who claimed to be driven by a burning desire to bring democracy to Pakistan, it was a curious legacy.

Neither article bothered to mention Bhutto’s trail of corruption (h/t Siggy).

Head of Bhutto clan rejects new leadership

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

A friend just sent me this:
Head of Bhutto clan rejects new leadership

The head of the Bhutto tribe, a founding member of the Pakistan Peoples Party, has rejected the appointment of Benazir Bhutto’s husband and son to lead the group and predicted that it will split the party.

Mumtaz Bhutto’s comments threaten to reopen the deep fissures in the family, Pakistan’s foremost political dynasty. The Bhuttos started to fall out after the 1979 execution of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the nation’s first elected prime minister who turned the Peoples Party into its most potent political force.

In an interview Tuesday, Mumtaz, first cousin of Benazir’s father, Zulfikar, and a former senior official in the PPP, said that the leadership of the party should have gone to a “real” Bhutto.

Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir’s widower, was unrelated to the Bhuttos, while his son, Bilawal, carried the name Zardari until his mother was assassinated last week, when he took on Bhutto as his middle name.

“The party has come into existence on the name and the sweat and the blood of the Bhutto family,” said Mumtaz, 74, a long-time critic of Benazir who lives on a grand country estate in Mirpur Bhutto, the original family village in Sindh province. “Therefore, the leadership should either have gone to Sanam or Murtaza’s son or daughter.”

The article states that the Bhutto tribe has 700,000 people.

For now, the elections set for next week in Pakistan have been postponed until 18 February, but this Reuters article says that

The party of slain Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto does not want next week’s scheduled general election postponed because a delay would help its political opponents, a party spokeswoman said on Monday.

“We don’t want any delay. That’s what we have asked (for),” Farzana Raja said after the Election Commission met to consider delaying the Jan. 8 poll.

A lengthy delay could dissipate emotional support for the party and help the PML (Quaid-e-Azam), a party allied with President Pervez Musharraf who seized power in a 1999 military coup and is under intense pressure to hold democratic elections.

This morning Siggy posted on L’Affaire Bhutto: A Story Of Political Filth. You must read the whole post, since excerpts won’t do it justice. Siggy concludes with,

The Bhutto Affair proves one thing. Politics is a filthy business.

Maria sent me a NYPost editorial on how the Pakistani political crisis has presented Americans with a real test of which of the nation’s would-be presidents are fit for the Oval Office.

Meanwhile, Musharraff has just announced that UK investigators are to assist in the inquiry into the assassination. Gateway Pundit posts that Police Discover Bhutto Killer’s Head (Warning: Gross). The British investigators have their work cut out for them, since, as Ali noticed last week, firefighters were already hosing down all evidence of the bombing right after it occurred. Bhutto’s husband has refused an autopsy.

Jeremiah has more on an Australian Woman Asks Right Questions Re Bhutto Assassination – Plus, The Thot Plickens.

UPDATE
Pakistan Has Had Enough Words

And now for the overkill conspiracy theories:
Did A Hi-Tech Laser Beam Kill Benazir Bhutto?

Some food for thought: If the allegations about laser beam technology prove to be true…then the important question: How did this latest sophisticated US technology reach Pakistan?

Plweeez. The usual thirdworldista meme: Yet another attempt to blame everything on the US.

At least A. J. Strata has some sense:

The scientifically and technically challenged who got their education from Hollywood SciFi flicks are really showing off their ignorance. Lasers come in all different levels of energy. I would not worry too much about the lasers used to ‘paint targets’, they are designed to be invisible to the human eye. But if a high powered laser were to be used it would leave just as much of a signature as a bullet. A nice clean, cauterized path would be clearly evident. Of course, the power required for these kinds of laser beams require an equipment van the size of a semi-tractor trailer to house the beam forming components. You definitely are not going to see a hand held laser which can penetrate skin and bone (you know, the cranium) in less than a second anytime soon. And why would the US (or anyone) use such a device in the wide open when an autopsy would detect the unique form of damage in an instant?

Why is it all the scientifically and engineering ignorant inhabit the leftward fever swamps???? Someone explain THAT to me.

Because if they weren’t scientifically and engineering ignorant, they wouldn’t inhabit that fever swamp.

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Bhutto did die of gunshots

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Doug Ross has the photos; Ed Morrissey has the video:

As Ed explains

Musharraf has a huge credibility problem, and this video makes it crystal clear. Until now, Musharraf has resisted calls for an international investigation into the assassination. Today, CNN reports that the Pakistani government could reconsider that decision. If they do, the family of Bhutto could then agree to an exhumation and an autopsy by an independent coroner which will confirm the cause of death.

That will open up a lot of questions about the official government story and what prompted it. With so many eyewitnesses to the murder, why float such a ridiculous theory about a sunroof handle? What were they trying to cover up? The video also shows the vehicle surrounded by people; where was a security cordon? How could the police, seen standing around the vehicle, allow a gunman to get within a few feet of Bhutto?

I certainly hope the FBI stays away from any kind of investigation.

Bhutto’s son named as successor in what amounts to a feudal succession.

Tariq Ali says that Pakistan deserves better than this grotesque feudal charade. Unfortunately he can’t think of anyone.

Meanwhile here in the USA, since the front-page spotlight’s not shining on her, Hillary’s saying she risked her life on White House trips in yet another lie, after claiming she was pals with Benezir Bhutto. Siggy, however, has better memory than Hillaray and asks

One has to wonder why Senator Clinton would be so close to someone who referred to her supporters as ‘chumps and loonies.’

Your guess is as good as mine.

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The Bhutto assasination aftermath

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

UPDATED

Two interesting articles at American Thinker (h/t Larwyn):

First, Andrew Walden writes, The Bhutto Assassination and Islam’s War on Pakistan

she was grasping and self-interested, a beneficiary of Saddam’s Oil for Food scam. Parade, in the kind of unvarnished look only possible before the assassination quotes Bhutto’s own niece saying, “She has no legacy of her own except for corruption and violence.”

Her deal with Pakistani President Musharraf to take the Prime Ministerial position for herself in the January 8 Pakistani elections would have broadened the regime’s base of support by allowing many thousands more snouts from her Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) into the trough. That was enough to make her a threat to the Islamists. Prophetically, Parade quotes a Musharraf insider saying, “She’s the No. 1 target of the terrorists right now.”

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto deals a blow to the hope for taking on the militants in the Pakistani sanctuary. It is also another sharp blow to the idea that political means can primarily or alone defeat Islamist terrorism.

With Musharraf out as Army Chief, his ability to manipulate promotions and bonuses in order to defend himself against further al-Qaeda assassination attempts is weakened. And without the cooperation of Bhutto his chance to widen the patronage-based political support of the regime is threatened.

In spite of all the blither about democracy in Pakistan, and the beatification of Bhutto by pundits and politicians eager to bask in her reflected false glory, the reality is that in the midst of the on-going carnage the so-called democratic forces are motivated by a desire for a piece of the action.

Read all of it.

Also at American Thinker, Walid Phares’s 2007: A Global Assessment of the Confrontation

Pakistan

Finally, General Musharaf’s government widened its military offensives during 2007 in the neo-Taliban zones, prompting terror counter strikes in various cities and a major Jihadi uprising in Islamabad. The escalation opened a window among political opposition to make gains against Musharaf. By the year’s end, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif came back to the country and were leading the opposition in the next elections. The assassination of Bhutto was a setback to the political process. Musharraf and the secular forces need to coalesce around a platform of national security and democracy and move forward with elections and anti-Terror campaign in 2008. But for international security, the priority is to preserve Pakistan’s nuclear assets and keep the Jihadists at bay. Will secular opposition and the President understand this higher national priority in 2008?

The Economist on the Bhutto assasination: An assassin strikes

Even before Miss Bhutto’s murder, the election campaign had been bedevilled by political conflict and terrorism. The role of each of its main actors—including Miss Bhutto and Mr Musharraf—has been contested in the courts and on the streets, against a backdrop of worsening insurgency and Islamist terrorism.

Masses Mourn Bhutto as Unrest Spreads

Musharraf’s Moment
Pakistan needs firm and impartial leadership to surmount the present crisis

Who ordered the killing?

After Bhutto

Others posting:
Bhutto’s Assassination Is a Political and Cultural Honor Killing vs Pakistan’s ‘perfect storm’ a history test for policymakers, with a flashback to last October’s Bhutto’s vanity, NATO’s test and Pakistan’s future.

The Bhutto assassination and polarization in the wider war

In the Aftermath: Riots, Dumb Western Columnists

“With Bhutto Gone” – al Qaeda Remains Important

The pundits on the political ramifications of the Bhutto assasination

Unfortunate Allies
We are still paying the price for Soviet aggression
.

UPDATE
Bhutto exhumation okay, Pakistan official says

The Pakistani government has no problem with officials from Benazir Bhutto’s political party exhuming the slain opposition leader’s body if they see a need to do so, an Interior Ministry spokesman said Saturday.

Ed Morrissey: Musharraf calls the bluff

People have plenty of rational reasons to mistrust Musharraf, but it’s difficult to see how he prospers with Bhutto’s assassination. Between her and Nawaz Sharif, Musharraf would most want to deal with Bhutto. He also needed the elections to go as scheduled for political cover abroad, and Bhutto had all but guaranteed that they would proceed without having to reshuffle the judiciary again. Killing both — Sharif got attacked as well — would only send the nation into a chaotic tailspin that Musharraf can’t afford with the insurgencies already active in the nation.

Prior posts:
Afternoon Bhutto roundup
The head Ronulan has spoken: It’s all our fault
Benazir Bhutto assassinated

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Afternoon Bhutto roundup:

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Aftermath roundup continued on Saturday, December 29

Background On Pakistan: “Why Bhutto and the Elites Hate Musharaf”
1. As prime minister of Pakistan, Ms. Bhutto proved to be one of the most incompetent leaders in the history of South Asia and was dismissed in November 1996 by Pakistan’s president for what he called her regime’s “nepotism, corruption” and “mismanagement.” During her chaotic administration in the mid-1990s scores of people were being murdered in the streets of Karachi every day.

2. Her return to power, or that of her Pakistani People’s Party, would almost certainly trigger a return to anarchy and open the door to a Taliban-style fundamentalist coup. Ms. Bhutto dismisses this possibility as “nonsense,” asserting that “more than two-thirds of Pakistanis are distinctly moderate” in their religious views.

THE BHUTTO ASSASSINATION: NOT WHAT SHE SEEMED TO BE

Bhutto embodied the flaws in Pakistan’s political system, not its potential salvation.

Bhutto: Professional assasination?

Qaeda Eyed in Slaying of Bhutto
Assassination Is Laid to Team of Precision Snipers

The attack yesterday at Rawalpindi bore the hallmarks of a sophisticated military operation. At first, Bhutto’s rally was hit by a suicide bomb that turned out to be a decoy. According to press reports and a situation report of the incident relayed to The New York Sun by an American intelligence officer, Bhutto’s armored limousine was shot by multiple snipers whose armor-piercing bullets penetrated the vehicle, hitting the former premier five times in the head, chest, and neck. Two of the snipers then detonated themselves shortly after the shooting, according to the situation report, while being pursued by local police.

A separate attack was thwarted at the local hospital where Bhutto possibly would have been revived had she survived the initial shooting. Also attacked yesterday was a rival politician, Nawaz Sharif, another former prime minister who took power after Bhutto lost power in 1996.

Benazir Bhutto: Trail of corruption and kickback charges still in wings for opposition leader, via Sigmund, Carl and Alfred

British Islamists Celebrate Bhutto Murder

Ali Eteraz writes on Pakistan Renewal in the Wake of Bhutto Killing

The techniques of terrorism: no holds barred

Al Qaeda Opens a New Front

American, Pakistan Officials Probe Possibility of ISI Assistance AQ In Assassination; Bhutto Shot By Five Snipers?

More on Bhutto this morning.

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The head Ronulan has spoken: It’s all our fault

Friday, December 28th, 2007

From LGF: Ron Paul Blames US Policy for Bhutto Killing

Ron Paul blames the assassination of Benazir Bhutto on the “interventionist” policy of the United States, and says Al Qaeda is justified in being “annoyed” at us.

Hot Air has the YouTube:

In Ron Paul’s vision, all the problems of the world are caused by America. That he thinks that Al-Qaeda is justified in being “annoyed” at America is reason enough to dismiss him as the crank he is.

Victor Davis Hanson has it right:

If there is any fallout from this tragedy at home, it is to remind us that radical Islam has the ability to change world affairs in a matter of minutes (at least if taking out a democratic leader vying for control of a nuclear Pakistan qualifies), that the war against Islamic radicalism goes on, and that we should look carefully at those who wish to be commander-in-chief in the years ahead.

Investor’s Business Daily:

As little confidence as we have in Musharraf, we don’t buy into suspicions held by Bhutto’s supporters that he ordered her assassination.

But we do share concerns about the lax security Pakistani authorities provided her. Bhutto personally asked Musharraf to beef up measures, such as providing jamming devices to thwart bombs, after she narrowly escaped a similar assassination attempt in October.

By all accounts, Musharraf ignored her pleas and never mounted an investigation of the earlier attempt on her life.

In an Oct. 16 letter to Musharraf, Bhutto reportedly shared information she’d received about three officials within his military intelligence services who wanted to kill her. And she asked him to help secure her safety ahead of the election.

That request, too, apparently fell on deaf ears.

The fact that this successful second attack occurred in Pakistan’s military headquarters signals that “there may be some low-level military involvement,” terror expert Peter Bergen said.

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton agreed, telling Fox News that “radical elements of Pakistan’s military” may have had a hand in the attack.

Despite Musharraf’s denials, it’s well known that Pakistan’s military intelligence — the ISI — is infested with al-Qaida sympathizers. And Bhutto tried to push ISI out of politics in her first term as prime minister.

Musharraf also has been the target of at least nine assassination attempts since he signed on to our war on terror seven years ago. But it speaks volumes that Bhutto, back in the country just a few months, would be killed before him.

Al-Qaida, we hear, took credit for the murder. And who is the bigger threat to al-Qaida?

We have to wonder if under Bhutto, Pakistani authorities would have allowed the mastermind behind 2006’s trans-Atlantic sky-terror plot to escape from custody.

Last week, Rashid Rauf, who has ISI connections, went missing from a mosque after police let him pray there. He escaped just days before he was due to be extradited to Britain.

Earlier this year, Musharraf freed from jail an al-Qaida lieutenant who plotted to hit U.S. financial and government targets. U.S. officials privately protested the release of Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, but to no avail.

Even so, being realists, we understand Musharraf is still in control of Pakistan. While the terrorists just seem to get stronger under Musharraf’s rule, he’s probably still the only thing standing between Pakistan and chaos — or worse, a fundamentalist Islamic regime that would have access to nuclear weapons.

A faithful opposition leader and true friend of the West, Benazir Bhutto showed herself to be courageous in a way few leaders are.

Her death is a tragedy not just for Pakistan’s fledgling democracy, but for all of us. We only hope that Musharraf has the strength and resolution to fight those who would drag Pakistan back into the Middle Ages.

Via Gerard, Benazir Bhutto: Mob hit in Pakistan

NGOstan is (or was) of course Bhutto’s faction. Its chief claim to fame is that it is sponsored by the Western establishment, ie the State Department, the Times, etc, etc. It is clean and sweet and true. At least, relatively clean and sweet and true.

Obviously, it is not a secret that Bhutto herself was a mob queen, at least that many of her associates were gangsters, but the Westernists had an easy solution for this. If they needed to come across as especially clean and sweet and true, they could just condemn Bhutto as a mob queen. She was not offended, at least not unusually offended. You think she didn’t know she was a gangster? So, for example, this article by Jemima Khan did not terminate the membership of Imran Khan as a leading capo in NGOstan. If Musharraf goes down, there will be plenty for everyone to eat.

PakMil, NGOstan and Islamists, and how they play the brutal game: read it.

UPDATE:
Deconstructing The Myth Of Benazir Bhutto

Update 2
The Bhutto Assasination: Not what she seemed to be

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Benazir Bhutto assassinated

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

At CNN: Benazir Bhutto assassinated

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday outside a large gathering of her supporters where a suicide bomber also killed at least 14, doctors and a spokesman for her party said.

While Bhutto appeared to have died from bullet wounds, it was not immediately clear if she was shot or if her wounds were caused by bomb shrapnel.

President Pervez Musharraf held an emergency meeting in the hours after the death, according to state media.

CNN has video of the aftermath of the attack, and here‘s the BBC report and pictures of her last rally.

The BBC has a Q&A: Benazir Bhutto assassination

How did it happen?

Ms Bhutto was leaving a rally of her Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) supporters in a park in the garrison town of Rawalpindi when the attacker struck. Latest reports suggest that the attacker shot Ms Bhutto in the neck and then detonated a bomb which left some 15 other people dead. It is not clear if she was killed by the shots or the bomb, or a combination of both.

Rawalpindi houses the headquarters of Pakistan’s military, but that has not stopped militants striking there at will. In November a suicide attack in the grounds of the much feared intelligence services left many dead.

Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for Bhutto’s death

A spokesperson for the al-Qaeda terrorist network has claimed responsibility for the death on Thursday of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

“We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen,” Al-Qaeda’s commander and main spokesperson Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid told Adnkronos International (AKI) in a phone call from an unknown location, speaking in faltering English. Al-Yazid is the main al-Qaeda commander in Afghanistan.

It is believed that the decision to kill Bhutto, who is the leader of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), was made by al-Qaeda No. 2, the Egyptian doctor, Ayman al-Zawahiri in October.

Death squads were allegedly constituted for the mission and ultimately one cell comprising a defunct Lashkar-i-Jhangvi’s Punjabi volunteer succeeded in killing Bhutto.

Bill Roggio writing for the Weekly Standard has more. This is A profound and dangerous development.

Ali Eteraz:

Its very important to see what Musharraf does. If he does not arrest any terrorist sympathizers in the military, that’s a problem. Musharraf did kill Akbar Bugti, the Balochi leader, a few years ago.

Ali also noticed that firefighters were already hosing down all evidence of the bombing.

As James said,

As the only nuclear-armed majority Muslim country, the home to a large population of Deobandi and Salafist Islamist radicals, and, possibly, the country that’s hosting Osama bin Laden within its borders, Pakistan is a very sensitive country in a very sensitive condition since the unrest of a month ago. Whatever else may happen the situation has probably become more serious now.

While I do not know a thing about Pakistani politics, I can’t help but notice the threat to stability, the continuing Jihadi activity, and the worrying nuclear situation. This is clearly Musharraf’s gravest crisis, and I expect that the election will be cancelled.

BBC World has just reported that four people have been shot dead in rioting around the country.

What is next for Pakistan? We shall soon find out.

UPDATE
Every time Huckabee opens his mouth, Jimmy Carter comes out. Ed has more (American) candidate reactions.
R.I.P Benazir: A Modest Proposal For Preventing Islamists from Killing the Rest of Us. Third time (un)lucky.

A sobering dose of reality from Siggy who writes about Pakistan’s Arafat

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