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The Lioness Fallen
Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan, is dead, murdered by a suicide assassin whose kill shot hit her in the neck before his bomb butchered dozens of others at a political rally. Twice dismissed as Prime Minister on largely trumped-up charges, the widely popular reformist returned to Pakistan from exile in London in the Autumn of 2007 to lead her Pakistan Peoples Party against the party of junta leader-turned-"civilian" President Pervez Musharraf. An assassination attempt against her in October failed but afforded Musharraf, citing
Islamic militancy and judicial interference, part of his pre-text for declaring martial law in early November.
U.S. President George W. Bush, whose Administration has coddled the military junta while trying to assist in building a conciliatory relationship between the pro-democracy Bhutto and the authoritarian Musharraf, said
of the assassination, "The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy." For his part, strongman Musharraf took the occasion to declare, "This is the work of those terrorists with whom we are engaged in war," taking advantage of the tragedy to wave the bloody flag of Islamic fundamentalism at internal forces and to remind the Bush Administration of his alliance with the United States against terrorism, a platform of fear-mongering and repression that has served both Musharraf and Bush during their respective and otherwise troubled tenures as leaders.
The White House had gambled on some means by which Bhutto could once again become prime minister of Pakistan while Musharraf retained the office of the presidency, even though Bhutto was widely believed to have been committed, with our without the help of a former dictator of her country, to assisting the United States in continuing its war on terrorism in western Asia and the Indian sub-continent. The Administration's continuing loyalty to Musharraf further reinforced long-standing questions about the extent to which the United States wishes to deal effectively with global threats to peace and stability versus merely using U.S. military power and financial resources to construct solidly loyal spheres of political influence and economic control.
In 2003, the United States attacked Iraq despite the fact that it was Pakistan, through the long-term, ongoing efforts of nuclear scientist and entrepreneur Dr. A.Q. Khan, which was the principal wellspring
from which not only the technology of nuclear weapons was spreading, but the actual parts to build the bombs, themselves, was flowing to countries like North Korea, Iran, and Libya; but instead of crushing the operation, arresting the participants, and punishing Pakistan and its leaders for their support of this global bazaar of weapons of mass destruction, the Bush Administration, through its very own top-level officials, outed a CIA non-official cover spy, Valerie Plame, and thereby destroyed her network that was tasked to tracking these very WMD proliferators. Moreover, the Bush Administration, which now expresses outrage at the assassination of the best hope for Pakistan to emerge from years of authoritarian rule, has poured billions of dollars of aid at the corruption-riddled Pakistani leaders, even as the junta-led Pakistani armed forces have been entirely ineffective in preventing the country's western frontier from falling solidly into the hands of Taliban forces and their sympathizers, who have pumped combatants, war materiel, and ideological strength into the debilitating war of attrition being waged against U.S. and other NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Yet, despite the fact that terrorist organizations are alive and well in Pakistan, feeding allied groups and assorted malcontents that foment trouble and kill locals and American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, George W. Bush is able to keep a straight face and express outrage at one more consequence of a failed war on terrorism, which commenced with tens of billions of dollars in property damage to the largest city in the continental United States and thousands of lives lost, and now proceeds across the Middle East and into Asia Minor, western Asia and the Indian sub-continent, billowing forth with American military casualties by the thousands, deaths and injuries to indigenous peoples of the region in the hundreds of thousands, the utter collapse of moral and financial leadership by the U.S., and political instability that ripples across vast swaths of the world.
Today, that death-swollen legacy of disastrously incompetent policies made a brief stop in Pakistan for the assassination of a once and future leader, a champion who died a martyred heroine even as our own President will live on as a catastrophic failure.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.
Hello Dark Wraith,
I am deeply saddened at the loss of Bhutto. I feel Musharraf was involved, if only by looking the other way as the extremists did his dirty work for him.
Her family legacy of assassinations has been once again fulfilled. As you say, she has been martyred and we can only hope that will signal a call to action by the lawyers once again and millions more will act as well to end the brutal military regime that is content to let the extremists use their country for nefarious and heinous crimes against innocent people.
The Dipshit-in-Chief spent a total of 10 minutes 'dealing' with todays assassination. Gee, hope it didn't ruin his plans.
Like her father and brothers before her, she knew the odds and still tried to bring moderation and sanity to her country. On his best day Musharraf couldn't hold a candle to her and he knew it and she knew it.
I only hope the irony will be a stronger push for a Democratic government, but there really isn't anyone that can fill her shoes waiting in the wings in Pakistan.
I'm concerned as anyone by the instability this assassination may set off, and indeed, no one deserves to die this way, but I'm also a little puzzled by the hagiography of Bhutto that seems to be in the air. Her father was certainly a champion of the oppressed in Pakistan, but it's unclear to me what she herself ever did for the Pakistanis other than trade on her family connections to achieve power and steer patronage toward the remaining party. Her dealmaking earlier this year with Musharraf to the detriment of the previously elected and then deposed Nawaz Sharif added to the impression of a corrupt politician unencumbered by principles in the quest for power. In other words, no different from the politicians we have here in the "West", and certainly a step up from military dictators like Musharraf. If I'm wrong in this admittedly unexpert assessment, pray enlighten me.
Also, not to be a pedant--well actually, who am I kidding, TO BE A PEDANT--"Asia Minor"=Anatolia, most of present-day Turkey, and is not the same as the "Indian Subcontinent", which is what I think you meant to say instead.
Good Evening All:
I confess to being unsurprised by the news, though I am saddened. She had her faults (don't we all?), but I always liked the woman.
I really don't have much to say beyond this. Happy New Year Pakistan.
Good evening, heatkernal.
On your point about Asia Minor, yes, although my definition of Asia Minor would encompass some of the troubled regions, I did augment my original draft to be more inclusive, and I thank you for that point.
On your first matter, I am familiar with more than several individuals from Pakistan who express a sentiment I see in the accounts of the PPP rallies in Pakistan, itself: Benazir Bhutto was revered as a champion of the poor. A constant refrain, both from those I know personally and from stories I read in the press, is that a great deal of improvement in the lives of rural Pakistanis was the result of her focus on domestic matters. Rural electrification was one of the big projects under her rule, as were other bread-and-butter infrastructure works, including water and sewerage, things that have, even to this very day, contributed to an improvement in health beyond the boundaries of the big cities.
More importantly, she was seen as the person whom the bullies of politics didn't like; and that, in itself, made her a heroine among those who saw themselves as economically, politically, and socially marginalized.
It seems to me—and I address this particular matter only from a combination of inadequate information and political intuition—that her husband was far more a user and opportunist than she, and it was, at least in part, his shenanigans that gave Benazir's political enemies considerable legal firepower to use against her. It was only after she matured as a politician and, more importantly, as a strategician that she was able to put him in his place (specifically, in Dubai, where he could get into trouble all he wanted) and use her own skills and those of people of her choosing.
Once unleashed, she was a major threat to the status quo of Pakistani politics: a populist with a huge following, major international sources of funding, and a keen sense of her own power.
Put that in the visage of a woman, and you've got all the makings of someone a military junta needs to deal with in a less-than-sportsmanlike way.
Just ask Aung San Suu Kyi.
The difference between Bhutto and Kyi being, of course, that the Burmese version of junta thugs understands that it's much better to hold the tourniquet on a woman just tight enough to shut her up, but not to kill her.
The Dark Wraith thinks Pervez Musharraf could learn a lot from his brethren to the east.
good evening dark wraith:
i was glad that i didn't see any neocon fingers in this pie. rather than plot and scheme it seems they have done their lazy ass try to ignore things and follow the old american conservative tactic of propping up a dictator and calling it stability. why not? that worked just fine with bautista in cuba, with somoza in nicaraugua, we had such great success with the shah in iran, who can forget the incredible stability achieved by the brave pinochet in chile? that man had cojones. he could face down the will of the people in an entire nation with only a handfull of u.s. trained death squad advisors. there is your model of statecraft that appeals to bush. one stupid little man defying the entire civilized world.
i am very glad that i will be away from the t.v. for a few days. i just hope they don't finish blowing up the rest of the fucking world while i'm not looking.
bhutto left an email on file with the Associated Press to be released in the event of her death. she fingers musharraf big time. generally the word of the target is pretty valuable in figuring out the triggerman.
Ouch! Witness from the grave.
The Dark Wraith always did think the dead were good for more than just a well-catered wake.
Wraith, as to her husband, you are correct imho that he was more of a K-Fed type of guy. His opportunistic tendencies didn't help her and her goals.
The charges of corruption were later overturned by the Pakistani courts btw..plus she did come from a monied family, so it isn't like she had to 'get by'.
As to Burma's Suu Kyi, she chose to stay in her country when all the others fled. She wanted to stand her ground at great personal expense I might add. Same goes for Bhutto returning to Pakistan.
Good morning, Mr Wraith.
I suppose it's time to send Condi out to do her tap dance, or so it seems.
Diplomats just back from the big tap dance over at N. Korea, but they're probly a bit tuckered. Tap dancing takes a lot of breath, ya know....
Anyway, I think Condi can tap dance our way out of this one. She's an old tap dancer from way on back.
Good morning, Progressive Traditionalist.
It seems to me that, in the absence of genuine diplomatic skills and a wide-ranging matrix of diplomatic relationships cultivated through mutual understanding and cooperation, tap dancing will be exactly what the Bush Administration tries to do. It has, however, been my experience that tap dancing isn't particularly useful or welcome at a ballet concert.
That is especially the case when the opus involves automatic weapons fire and explosives.
The Dark Wraith is, on the other hand, grateful Condi and George aren't going to wear tutus as cover.
If they do engage in a Pas de Deux put somebody dependable on the trapdoor to hell when boygeorge begins his entrechat.
I hope everyone properly celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ by buying lots of goods manufactured by Chinese slaves!
The War President has announced that he is going to be around the world spreading freedom and peace. For some reason though, all of the world's nations seem to be geographically located near Israel. Pakistan isn't on the list.
Shouldn't Dick Cheney have gone to Bhutto's funeral? I remember a long time ago, back in the dark ages when Presidents and vice Presidents attended funerals for heads of state and other important figures. I guess George and Dick are too civilized to attend funerals.
This whirlwind adventure is intended to be a photo-op to follow up on the photo-op, recently held to generate world freedom and peace between any parties that happened to show up. Bush attended the multi-day event for four hours.
Giulliani's campaign manager says that if elected, Giulliani will get rid of all of the world's Muslims. I guess he can scratch Bhutto off his list. Just a few billion Muslims left to go.
The very apperance of darth cheny or the shrub in Pakistan could result in WW3. Best left to the tap-dancing SecSt Kindasleezy. She could do a piano recital for the mourners.
Somehow I feel it may be best for the neo-con crowd to simply not attend.
Neo-cons. Gawd I hate those guys.
Wow, a virtual cascade of excellent points brought up in dis here tred. Mr. Bhutto=K-Fed, indeed. Dubai, huh? I always wondered where they had him kenneled. Hey, mebbe He'll run in Benazir's stead!? Nawaz Sharif, the PM ousted by Musharrif, looks like his only recourse, which he stated he'd commit to, was a boycott of the Jan. 8th elections by his coalition, and Bhutto's PPP. Is there anyone else batshit crazy enough to run against Musharrif? He has to have someone run against him, just to legitimize the election, especially after his end run with the sacking of the SC judges, and many election observers claiming voting irregularities coming out the wazoo in the last go-round. Hey, just fer giggles (go ahead and let loose, Minstrel Boy!) why don't they just find out who the Taliban/Al qaeda would like to see running the country? The one person I can think of that has advanced their causes so productively, already has plans to "give a bunch of talks around the globe", and cashin' those paychecks. Howsabout his mentor/Death Star Operations Director? The new AQ bumper(bomber) stickers: GIVE DICK A CHANCE!! Thereby simultaneously causing the camels to be highly relieved, and young boys to be scared shitless.
Good Morning, Dark Wraith.
Sorry to go off topic but your encounter with Skunk is big medicine! Go ahead and laugh. But that furry little animal has a reputation that contains a great deal of power.
Due to its distinctive behavior, humans give this tiny, smelly creature a wide berth. The key word here is respect. The skunk does not threaten your life but threatens your senses. The "I-dare-You" attitude of this four-legged creature commands you, as the observer, to respect its space by mere reputation alone.
What that skunk may be teaching you that by walking your talk and by respecting yourself, you create a position of strength and honored reputation. The way you carried your body in its presence proves that how you relate to others is what you believe about yourself. Your "intack" sense of self, with no need to bully, aggravate, torment, or overpower other beings is like the skunk medicine's.
That field of energy around your body is relayed through the senses and permeates the body's energy, and was instantly recognized on a extrasensory level by the skunk. The skunk, like you , asserts, without ego , what it is. Respect follows.
You have great skunk medicine, Dark Wraith. Skunk medicine people have the ability to attract others, and they are very charismatic. At the same time, the other side of their natural power is to repel those who seek to take energy from them without recycling the gifts they have taken.
I find it fascinating that you walked with the skunk medicine. You must be very good at how to handle energy flows, or body language. In tribal teachings, this is your personal medicine which you are showing others. You use this medicine well and are known by your reputation. To others, people with skunk medicine may seem as if they are putting on airs. Usually out of envy, jealousy, or a projection of their low self-esteem.
Skunk says, "if your ego is not your amigo, you know it stinks!"
"Skunk...tell me a story,
So I will know it well,
Of how to attaact,
And how to repel."
Sams & Carson
Good afternoon, Missouri Mule.
Good Heavens, you have revived in my mind a virtually identical story about dealing with animals I heard so many years ago I cannot remember exactly when. I recall that the broader point was about "standing" in the physical sense that led to a deeper "standing" with animals (including even people).
I wish I could remember where that story was told to me, but I have this sense that it came in the aftermath of being mauled by a dog one night when I had gone to get help for my mother after her car broke down.
Anyway, thank you so much for stirring that memory of mine about "standing."
The Dark Wraith learns something old every blessed day.
Trog..I love that ridiculous video ;)
Dark Wraith..I had no idea you were one with the skunks..kudos ;p it beats getting sprayed any day of the week, which has never happened to moi but I have had dogs that got nailed. I cursed them for days.
Good Evening, Dark Wraith.
Would if be OK with you if I call you "Miss Wraith" after yesterday's comment exchange over at PHB?
txrad and I had a dandy laugh.
Ridiculous, you say? Ma'am, I am wounded to the core. My only concern was that everyone here know how much I regretted letting my unChristian side get the better of me and, once that goose is cooked, wee Tiny Tom myself, shall carve it up and serve it to all!
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