Sunday, January 27, 2008

Pakistan & Benazir Bhutto... (Jan 2nd repost)

 Apparently shot, or perhaps killed by shrapnel from a suicide bomber.... Much is unknown e.g. re who is responsible. Of some things we can be sure:

  • The other people killed in the blast (21?) will be consigned to oblivion, mourned only by their relatives. After all, they are merely minor cogs compared to Benazir, scion of a landowning family in a feudal society, and 'great white hope' for the future... Similarly, in 1980 when Sanjay Gandhi died at the controls of his Pitts Special stunt plane, the sycophants surrounding and living off the family like so many pilot fish not only ignored the death of his co-pilot but actively blamed him for Sanjay's death (after all, how could the 'demi-god' have made a mistake himself?)
  • Let the hagiography commence! It's part of eco-system for the aforementioned pilot fish. For the movers and shakers of "the West" it's more likely to be a manifestation of ethnocentrism. As a Harvard- and Oxford-educated, English-speaking, "charming", glib, persuasive, "articulate", "charismatic", woman, no doubt (they think) she surely thinks like we do and is 'one of us.' Easy to overlook numerous 'small' foibles, such as her corruption; the fact that she did very little for her people; her husband "Mr. Ten Percent"; her role in the rise of the Taliban; etc.
  • As such, it is relatively easy to either optimistically project good intentions on her, or cynically use her death to reinforce one's pre-existing ideas... For example, per Walid Phares "By jihadi standards it was unbearable to see Lady Benazir seizing the premiership of the executive power. A staunch modernist and a genuine Muslim, she would have been their worst nightmare. With her in power, forget about the Talibanization: There would be no suppression of women and no brutalization of minorities. There would be fierce empowerment of civil society..." despite little evidence of improved conditions for women after Benazir's two stints as Prime Minister ('88-'90 & '93-'96). Having a woman in power does not automatically equate to improvements in the lot of women, viz. Indira Gandhi's fifteen years in power did not empower or substantively improve the lot of women in neighboring India...

How Bhutto Won Washington
Face-to-face with Benazir Bhutto
Final thoughts on Benazhir Bhutto
Murtaza Bhutto's Murder
The Jihadi preemptive strike against Bhutto's war of ideas

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