Quick “Who was Benazir Bhutto and why should I care?” Guide

Benazir Bhutto is dead and I don’t feel so well myself.

Benazir Bhutto was the woman who was elected to the position of Prime Minister in Pakistan a couple of times before the current military dictator Musharraf seized power. She had been living abroad in self-imposed exile until someone in Pakistan wanted to talk sense.

The US doesn’t—or at least didn’t, once upon a time—care who was in charge in Pakistan. See, Osama bin Laden is likely holed up in the northern/northeastern disputed territories of Pakistan, and we’re apparently in favor of whoever can keep him nailed down.

The dispute? The dispute is kinda Kurd-like. The Kasimir province is claimed both by India and Pakistan, currently divvied up according to who won the last battle, and governed by, well, the same system that’s governed such places for several thousand years. Which is to say, there is a strong independence movement based on farmers and grazers not wanting to pay taxes to anyone in particular while that money goes principally to having their children become increasingly forced to watch Sesame Street and YouPorn.

So now you have the Musharraf’s supporters, Taliban forces fueled by bin Laden’s crew (who aren’t particularly in favor of Musharraf, but who could never handle a woman being in charge again), Kasimiri separatists, the occasional heavily armed Indian trouble-maker, and the newly inflamed Pakistan People’s Party whose head has just been martyred—and also everyone else with their own smaller parties who were just about to front themselves for an election scheduled for early January…. Flag down. Too many players on the field.

(Just so’s you know: Musharraf has been pressured to have himself duly elected, so he declared a state of emergency and basically sacked the entire Judicial Branch that was just about to declare his candidacy illegal. He appointed loyals and cronies and officially handed over the military to a buddy so he could be a civilian for the upcoming election. That’s who we’re calling a “valuable ally” in the War Against Unsponsored Terror. Like we were allied with both Saddam Hussein and bin Laden when it was the Soviets who were invading Afghanistan. Nothing new here.)

Did I mention that both Pakistan and India have nukes? Maybe I should mention that both Pakistan and India have nukes.

Anyway, Bhutto was lured back to Pakistan by a promise of a power-sharing deal with Musharraf—which was scrapped when he pulled his stunt parenthetically mentioned above. Also, she possibly should have gotten a hint when two suicide bombers hit her motorcade the second she set foot back in Pakistan, killing more than a hundred and thirty people and injuring at least as many additionally.

There’s nothing like watching an “ally” disintegrate, with a game of “Button, button, who’s got the button?” played with explosive nuclear devices to follow.

Pour some out for a fallen comrade, and sleep tight.


December 27, 2007 · by xalieri · Posted in Everything Else  


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