Benazir Bhutto was known as "Binky" to her Harvard chick classmates. She rocked a pair of Jimmy Choo slingbacks as easily as a burka and loved to regale folk with the story of how General Zia (so comically portrayed in the new Tom Hanks flick "Charlie Wilson's War") murdered her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the ex-President of Pakistan. Ali was like Mossadegh in Iran: a populist, beholden to neither the US or Europe, or the Soviet Union, or even Islamic extremists. In short, dangerous because he represented an alternative that neither Cold War ideologue right wingers/oil companies and other fatcats/the CIA etc nor the mullahs nor the KGB could accept. Binky was a bit of the spoiled brat with a bit of the Coretta Scot King complex; yesterday morning she reaped the whirlwind from seeds she tossed. And I think she knew exactly what she was doing. Sadly, our government and its apologists and wingnut advocates online and on TV stood back and dicked around, knowing (and secretly hoping), for her Wagnerian self-immolation... for reasons more cynical than her own subconcious competition with daddy to see who could out-martyr whom. Interesting how we had to beg General Zia's protege, Dubya's great pal Mr. Musharref, to stop trying to stomp her. Such guarded words from Condi yet all along our troops are dying in Iraq of all places supposedly to establish democracy. Yeah, right. Go sell that to the rednecks during halftime of one the innumerable and insipid (and now pointless) BCS bowl games. [I believe I posted on that other perversion of America--the BCS system--a few weeks ago... ]
Yes such is the world right wing dumbasses created. (I include Muslin extremists here, OK Pajamas Media folk?) Yet if it came out by some alien invasion that Bush choreograph this with the fanatics and clowns on the other side, hey it'd be no news to me. Wake the hell up. It was the old Reagan-Bush clan and disciples who helped Zia off Binky's dad...so is it the position of the sons of Reagan-Bush that "Islamafacists" killed her to destabilize things...rather than Zia's inheritors--whom we have always courted and protected no matter what (and the Islamafacists they too often ally themselves with)? Wow. Either way, we have an uncanny knack for the same sort of ideological/wallet-related short-sightedness and back the wrong horse time and again. Then the horse turns around and kicks us and we start the whole bloody process over again. And now of course the "danger" will be used to maintain the status quo; right wing bloggers et al will point to an isidious Al Qaida plot, rather than--as we've seen time and time again from the murder of Daniel Pearl to now--a bunch of whacked-out college drop-outs or wannabes, all pathetically huckstering for martyrdom points with yet another bunch of assholes. There's unified no evil empire here. Even al Qaida is just gangs of morons and ass kissers led by the Islamic equivalent of Lumberg from "Office Space." They, like Bush/Cheney/Condi, feed off the chaos. Musharref--that bastard gets to stay in power a bit longer, feeding us a few nuggets the way Jack Nicholson fed the FBI in "The Departed" whilst he plundered and murdered. Yet we're told it would be unPatriotic to hope for a Leo DiCaprio type character to quell the storm. (That's your cue, Barack!).
I'm sure Fox will spin this as "heroine and democracy saint" Benazir Bhutto murdered by Muslims--likely IRAN...or MICHAEL MOORE...as if they gave a crap about Benazir Bhutto or the average NASCAR dad knew what a Bhutto was. ."the President and Secretary rice urge our great ally Musharef to 'hunt down and hang these bastards.'" If it wasn't real life, it'd be opera. And having hillary in charge would just change the libretto a few words when what we need is to sweep all of the cattawalling idiots and fanatics here and over there off the stage. And now the Ringling Brothers clown corps that are the GOP candidates are "sounding off." Cool. I feel better already. So do the oil speculators and the foreigners buying up our country as the fallout from greed and short-sightedness on the home front continues. But let's get to Wal Mart and spend. At least you'll have that new Wii with which to escape reality as the bank takes your home, the stockholders of your boss's company yanks your health plan, and yes, of course...there's Pakistan...
Binky, maybe there will be a groundswell of common sense as they lay you to rest. We can only hope. At least you can drop that burka, slip on them sling-backs and your old Crimson letter sweater, a pair of capris, too and show of them prize gams that drove the preppie fools wild back in the day..."Hey who is that swarthy chick with the limey accent? That's Binky, silly goose." Travel well, sister. But stop by and haunt the booby hatch in Crawford, Texas for a spell. After all, it was his dumb ass who made you the martyr you always yearned to be. In that, you proved to papa that his little girl could out-Ali-Bhutto the great Ali Bhutto...
You think she also may have "choreographed" this, subconsciously?
You're comment about short-sightedness and backing the wrong horse is so right on, Chris. I think what bothers me the most is that I see bad decision after bad decision but our leaders don't. How does a Foreign Affairs student who eschews politics (me) seem to know more about how the world operates politically than those who earn their living doing so? I refuse to believe that we have that many idiots in this country. It's just not possible.
Binky stood to be a great asset to the US particularly in terms of this War Of Terror.....er On Terror. And now we've lost her. Beyond political objectives, I've always admired her for leading a country. We're allegedly the champions of democracy yet with the exception of JFK, we won't elect anyone other than a WASP male. A muslim country elects a female - twice.
She will be missed here, but I believe Pakistan has lost the most.
The NASCAR dad comment really shook me. No one really knew who this woman was or what she represented, both good and bad, and yet she'll be spun into some symbol to keep up the fear and thus control.
I agree. I'd say "Well said" but as usual you overstate things and do it coarsely at that. Nevertheless, this is certainly summarizes my anger as well. I am well beyond ennui.
This lady was no saint herself but she was, as her father, an alternative.
This post clarified some memories. From what little I remembered, I was called on to be the resident historian and say why she was murdered. Age has it disadvantages. You would have at least thought thirty somethings would have known something about her father. I guess they are teaching the same history they taught fifty years ago.
this is the most insightful analysis of
Bhutto's death and legacy
I've heard or read today.
Very well done post. Her death reaked of US foreign policy gone terribly wrong. *SMDH* Gone too soon. She was with her flaws, but she could've done so much.
good job... my post on the assassination of bhutto also lays the blood-soaked wreath on the doorstep of george w. bush, who STILL has our troops wandering around the hot ass sand in Iraq 3 years after the demise of sadaam hussein!
if nothing else, our troops should be in pakistan and afghanistan "bringing bin laden to justice"! when those "islamic extremists" get their hands on pakistan's nukes (and you know they will)... i just hope they decide not to deploy them in the southern US!
This is reflected in The Great Debaters, the topic at the end of the movie. The Great Debaters is the best movie of the year.
This post breaks it down. Nothing happens in a vacumn. Most of the news has focused on how this impacts America, not on any back story.
Bhutto predicted this would happen to her but she went back home anyway. When I saw the news I could not believe it. First her father, her two brothers and now her.
We are paying the price for all the mis-guided, short-sighted foreign policy decisions made during the "end" of the Cold War. In our haste to claim victory over the Soviets did we ever think about the people we gave arms to...like the Taliban?
In an older post you reminded us that General Zia was our ally and turned around and empowered all of the radicals in Pakistan, and armed the Taliban in Afghanistan. One of the people he armed was Osama Bin Laden, also our "ally" against the then-USSR. So we come full circle and I think that is broached in Charlie Wilson's War.
Nevertheless I think the other story is true. I think Bhutto wanted to become a martyr-hero like her father.
I did check out the Field-Negro's blog and found a quote from a commenter you need to use:
"Curious how Benazir Bhutto wasn't safe in Pakistan but Obama bin Laden is perfectly safe in Pakistan."
That says it all!!!
Osama bin laden and Al Qaeda are more popular in Pakistan than Bush and America.
Bunches of assholes got you down? Try sendahole.com.
Ali was like Mossadegh in Iran
Now that is a subject people definitely don't want to talk about. Mossadegh was deposed in favor of the Shah with the help of the CIA--that is a fact. Thus we again shot ourselves in the foot! You trace our problems all the back to events like this and they are all interrelated. Try to tell the good ole boyz down here this and they rant, however.
The obvious clarity of looking backwards in time to second-guess what WE should have done is a useless, pointless, and pathetic exercise in mental masturbation! In the 1980's we called the Muslim fanatics of today "freedom fighters" because they served our Cold-War purposes (Remember - The enemy of my enemy is my friend!). Wake up from your halcyon haze of partisan snipping... All Politics - whether national or international is neither civil nor achieving of any long lasting solutions. How foolish for anyone to claim that this is a "Bush/Cheney" Problem. Since 1980 we have had 5 Presidents 2 Dem 3 Rep and they ALL were involved in the international game(s) of Real Politik. Get over your pointless pontifications that massage your self-indulgent egos and realize that what happens to the "Binkys" of the world will continue to happen regardless of whether our leader is a Stubborn Blue Jackass or a Fat Red Elephant!!
I disagree, SoCal (great name!!!). There's realpolitik, and then there's cynical lies and bizarre, almost blind religious zeal and adherence to ideology (and in this Administration's case, true religion). Realpolitik involves a chess game, not a crusade and cynical lies to your population (not to mention the world); each player knows what you are about, and even so, you can't utterly slough your principals. Here our principals wobble back and forth from holy scripture to a punchline.
I see your point, SoCal, but I think you are being a little too strident in defense of the indefensible. Unfortunately, Binky Bhutto would have still chosen this path.
Mama said the same thing over breakfast yesterday.
" Bush killed that woman."
Mama was mad at her for listening to Bush and leaving her 3 babies without a mother.
She was killed because she was a ' Moderate Muslim' and a woman.
The question here is: Who benefits from her death?It is clear that President Musharraf wanted her out of the picture.Ms. Bhutto should have been offered a tighter security by the Musharraf's government, while making her political rounds.
I wouldn't be surprised if the architects of our foreign policy in that volatile region with their myopic vision had concluded that Ms. Bhutto was more a problem than a future player in pursuing their policies. Ms. Bhutto was an assured winner in the January elections.Crazy President Musharraf has decided that there will still be elections in January ; he must be on hashish.We still cannot discount the hardliners involvement in her assassination,their agenda is to create an Islamic state in Pakistan. Some Pakistanis are very culturally close to the tribal groups in Afghnistan.Then you have members of the Taliban who have been scattered and many believe have been regrouping in Pakistan. Either Musharraf is not really in charge, or he is running scared. There is no secret that pro militants have mounted a campaign to create a worlwide Islamic hegemony; it sounds insane, but the idea is lurking in the minds of many hardliners. Pakistan may be the testing ground.I do not think the Americans (Bush and Company) know what the hell is going on. The Muslim world is too unpredictable to the Western World.They need to really understand that democracy is not like floral or vegetation that you can go around planting all over this world.I feel sad for Ms. Bhutto and her family, but she said something that I felt she was a bit naive, and not looking at past events and even at the big picture when she uttered : "A Muslim would never kill a woman, because it is against the Koran". While the motorcade was moving, she rose to greet and salute.Why was it so diificult for them to grasp that a woman running for the highest office in a Muslim country should have been covered and protected with the tighest security ever? It is going to take much longer for healing to take place in Pakistan.
This assassination has Masharraf's hands all over it. He stands to gain the most from her timely departure a few weeks before the election. Musharaff knew that Bhutto was going to win, and he would lose all control.
If Bhutto had stayed alived and won the election, Masharaff would have beem powerless. He has already given up his control of the military.
From its point of view, the US stands to gain by keeping things the same. Bhutto was an independent soul. If she had won, the US didn't know what she would have done. Actually, this is foolish calculation by the U.S. There was every indication that, unlike Musharaff, Bhutto would have gone after Al Queda.The untold story is that Masharaff has taken billions from us to go after Al Queda but has used it to prop up its military against India.
Musharaff has been playing the US for suckers for years. But, like a prostitue coming back to the cadillac to get bitch-slapped and patted nicely on the ass, the US thinks Bhutto's death is not so bad because it will all end up with Musharaff firmly in control-- as soon as those pesky Bhutto supporters stop shooting and lighting fires.
Note to Bhutto and US government: Elevating mere mortals to martyrs is a very dangerous thing indeed.
A couple things.
1. Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility.
2. Her nickname was Pinky, not Binky.
3. Musharraf invited her and Nawaz Sharif back into the country. It was clearly in his interest to lift the state of emergency and have open elections with her participation, even if they were rigged.
4. Read this.
You can blame Bush for killing Blink, or you can just blame Condi Rice. I think Blinky was encouraged to return to her home hellhole by our State Department.
It seems to me that a lot of people wanted her dead. She knew that and got her death wish. Perhaps if she had gone to Princeton, she would not have been so naive.
Anyway, the place is a mess and I wish we give up on this democracy thing in foreign policy. Hell, we are near fascist in our governance. Give us a strongman over there and in other places. Then we could get along.
Cobb finally made it over here? hahaha. He's got to stop getting his news from Matt Drudge and Roger Ailes, dude.
Lady here in Oakland knows a few of these barristers marching in the demonstrations two months; they and journalists over there in Karachi--they still have journalists in the world, rather than spewing heads--appear to refute much of the flackery and fuckery coming from Musharref's and Bush's mouthpieces.
Bruh, you're a Hoya prof now--don't you have the Daniel Pearl folks based there? Ask them the scoop. I'm sure it ain't as melodramatic as you lay out hehehehe, but it I'm sure it's also not what's wafting from the White House or rightwing blogs or rehashed tired news blurbs either.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
The wife wants to pay $200 PER COUPLE to hit this hotel party/overnight stay/champagne breakfast gig. I yearn for the old Dick Clark set. Cheers
wesley clark has now turned against obama for blaming clinton for bhuttos death. bhuttos son is now tking over the ppp.
Although they say someone else would assume office if their political party wins in the coming January elections, a nineteen year old college kid leading a political party sounds too much like fairy tale and not very serious. Dynastic politics does not work all the times.
I do not know about Bhutto's widower- Asif Ali Zardari,he was involved in some very seedy maneuverings and was charged on corruption and spent eight years in jail.She was not perfect, I expected more from Bhutto when she was in power, I know she was pressured from all over butI was looking for at least some kind of improvement in the lives of Pakistani women. Women in Pakistan are treated horrible.
Pakistan is in a feudal economic stage, where wealthy landowners(Bhutto's family is one)are extremely powerful, and this gives them(landowners ), control over local and regional politics(fief).
Her family story is even more tragic . Her father the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, chose her(Benazir) to succeed him in politics and her mother, preferred her (Benazir's )elder brother- Murtaza, who was later assassinated.Ms. Bhutto's mother,Nusrat Bhutto blamed Benazir's husband for masterminding the death of her beloved son.
The youngest brother- Shahnawaz died mysteriously, many believe he was poisoned.There was always a rift between Benazir and her mother(she is ill now), I don't even think they were on speaking terms.
Well, politics is worse than religion, it certainly creates deadly divisions.
I admire Benazir Bhutto for her courage and determination, surviving exile(it has to be the worst thing),her desire to return to lead her homeland,and her lack of fear in answering the call of destiny(she always talked about it).Pakistan had a woman who believed that she was groomed and rightfully capable to lead her nation. I think Benazir Bhutto had more "cojones" than many of the men in Pakistan.
Mr. Cobb--I see new news breaking on the autopsy. As my wife's friend would say, "Your money is funny."
Nabila J, kudos for your response. Besides, after the shameful leadership of Nancy Pelosi, I'm getting tired of anything political from California.....
not surprising, I've seen this coming from a few months ago.
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