If you don’t already know, or care, by now – Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed, along with 20 others, in a shooting/suicide bombing at a campaign rally.
Just to give you a sort of Cliff’s Notes version – Bhutto is the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto – founder of her party, the socialist democratic Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Her father was twice the Prime Minister of Pakistan during the 70s and she was was also twice Prime Minister of Pakistan (the first woman in a Muslim state). Both times, she was removed under suspicious charges of corruption with various European companies.
With just that little bit of backdrop, and even if you just read the Wikipedia entries on her and her father…and all of the other connected person within the scope, you can see there is a clear disdain by the presidents of Pakistan, specifically during our current and past time periods.
Bhutto’s platform of democracy, through a socialist view point, was in direct opposition to the opposing Presidents and their want for military rule. (Pakistan has a two-headed executive branch, that is supposed to work in tandem – however the military has been a prevailing influence and breaker of political parties – except for the PPP). Also, what cannot be lost is the fact that being a woman definitely caused a great deal of problems of the male Presidents and other leaders of our very patriarchal world. Obviously, a devout Muslim man is going to have issues taking counsel from any woman, no matter the lineage.
Another point that can’t be lost here, and it most important, was the actual platform – the socialist democratic ideals held by Bhutto. I’m not going to say that the US had anything to do with Bhutto’s death. Sometimes you have to take some deaths at face value. But to be honest, it would be naive to think that the military rule of Pakistan, the US, and most of the other “free” world leaders, are not exactly saddened by her death…..even with the condolences.
The world media has done a great job is suppressing the fact that she was even PM in the first place….and that you’ve never really heard of the PPP. Those ideals are the last thing our or any US administration wants – because it’s rule by the people. It is well documented that our administration and others, work in cohesion with Pakistani military rule, as well as other authoritarian regimes, i.e. Saudi Arabia. The fact that Musharraf has been basically imposing himself as President of Pakistan doesn’t help either. The US has played the hardball line recently, but they have worked with Pakistan’s ISI (their version of the CIA) for years. (The ISI was even exposed and found to have given of the 9/11 highjackers, Mohammed Atta, $100,000. Why this has not been looked at with a broader scope, I have no clue. On another note….it’s hard to tell is Musharraf is a Bush lackey or not…on one hand it seems maybe he is and Bhutto’s killing helped his cause……but on the other hand, it seems like he wanted to eliminate terrorism and bring in democracy…he just wanted to be the one to do it. Like I said, hard to tell.)
Bhutto was Pakistan’s chance at a true democracy in which all people could participate and work together. She was also going to be the answer to the terrorism happening in the country. Terrorism lives where ill distribution of wealth occurs….where military might dominates the land and the people in it. Where there is uncertainty, it is certain that a potential suicide bomber is near by. Socialist democracy is the last thing our administration wants because it creates a truer form of freedom, and it affects the choices within those freedoms…such a reformations of all the institutions in Pakistan to fit the socialist mold, becoming self sufficient and free to make all choices with this new mold…….which would in turn lead them to no longer need the US, The World Bank, or IMF for anything……which is unacceptable.
In any case, this is a bad day for the world.
Edit – Nice follow-up TIME story I saw on Yahoo! – Where Bhutto’s Death Leaves US.