Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pakistan: The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

I posted yesterday a post about Niger Delta, the devastating assasination of Benazir Bhutto has to be addressed. I'm looking for a format to have more than one discussion at once.

By Alan Woods
Thursday, 27 December 2007

Benazir Bhutto has been killed in a suicide bomb attack.

The leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) had just addressed a rally of PPP supporters in the town of Rawalpindi when the attack took place. First reports talked of at least 100 killed in the attack, but more recent news put the figure at 15.

This murderous onslaught on the PPP came in the middle of an election campaign where, after years of military dictatorship, the masses were striving for a change. There was a wave of support for the PPP, which was sure to win National and provincial assembly elections that were due to be held on 8 January 2008.

The campaign was gathering strength, and the PPP Marxist wing was getting enthusiastic support for its revolutionary socialist message in places as far apart as Karachi and the tribal areas of Waziristan in the far north. These elections would have reflected a big shift to the left in Pakistan. This prospect was causing alarm in the ruling clique. That is what was behind today's atrocity.

This was a crime against the workers and peasants of Pakistan, a bloody provocation intended to cancel the elections that the PPP was sure to win and to provide the excuse for a new clampdown and the possible reintroduction of martial law and dictatorship. It is a counterrevolutionary act that must be condemned without reservation.

Who was responsible? The identity of the murderers is not yet known. But when I asked the comrades in Karachi, the reply was immediate: "it was the mullahs". The dark forces of counterrevolution in countries like Pakistan habitually dress up in the garb of Islamic fundamentalism. There are even rumours in circulation that Benazir was shot from a mosque, although the western media insist that the murder was the result of a suicide bomber.

Whatever the technical details of the assassination, and whoever was the direct agent of this criminal act, the threads of the conspiracy undoubtedly reach high up. The so-called Islamic fundamentalists and jihadis are only the puppets and hired assassins of reactionary forces that ere entrenched in the Pakistani ruling class and the state apparatus, lavishly funded by the Pakistan Intelligence Services (ISI), drug barons with connections with the Taliban, and the Saudi regime, always anxious to support and finance any counterrevolutionary activity in the world.

The war in Afghanistan is having a ruinous effect on Pakistan. The Pakistan ruling class had ambitions of dominating the country after the expulsion of the Russians. The Pakistan army and ISI have been meddling there for decades. They are still mixed up with the Taliban and the drug barons (which is the same thing). Huge fortunes are made from the drugs trade that is poisoning Pakistan and destabilizing its economy, society and politics.

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is just another expression of the sheer rottenness, degeneration and corruption that is gnawing at the vitals of Pakistan. The misery of the masses, the poverty, the injustices, cry out for a solution. The landlords and capitalists have no solution to this. The workers and peasants looked to the PPP for a way out.

Some so-called "lefts" will say: But Benazir's programme could not have provided the way out. The Marxists in the PPP are fighting for the programme of socialism - for the original programme of the PPP. But the masses can only learn which programme and policies are correct through their own experience.

The January elections would have give the masses an opportunity to advance at least one step in the right direction, by inflicting a decisive defeat on the forces of reaction and dictatorship. Then they would have had the possibility of learning about programmes and policies, not in theory but in practice.

Now it seems most likely that they will be denied this opportunity. The purpose of this criminal provocation is quite clear: to cancel the elections. I have not yet seen the response of the Pakistan authorities, but it would be unthinkable that the elections could now take place on 8 January. They will be at least postponed for some time.

What effect will this have upon the masses? I have just spoken on the phone to the comrades of The Struggle in Karachi, where they have been battling the reactionary thugs of the MQM in a fierce election campaign. They tell me that there is a general feeling of shock among the masses. "People are weeping and women are wailing in their houses: I can hear them now," the comrade said.

But the shock is already turning into anger: "There is rioting in the streets of Karachi and other cities. People are blocking the roads and burning tires." That is a warning to the ruling class that the patience of the masses is now exhausted. The movement of the masses cannot be halted by the assassination of one leaser - or by a thousand.

The masses always adhere to their traditional mass organizations. The PPP developed in the heat of the revolutionary movement of 1968-9, when the workers and peasants came close to taking power.

The dictator Zia murdered Benazir's father. That did not prevent the resurrection of the PPP in the 1980s. The forces of state terrorism murdered Benazir's brother, Murtazar. Then they exiled Benazir and installed a new dictatorship. That did not prevent the PPP from experiencing a new resurrection when 2-3 million people came onto the streets to welcome her back.

The masses will recover from the momentary shock and grief. These emotions will be replaced in time by anger and the desire for revenge. But what is needed is not individual revenge, but collective revenge. What is needed is to prepare the masses for a new revolutionary offensive that will tackle the problems of Pakistan by the roots.

The ruling clique may delay the date of the elections, but sooner or later they will have to be called. The reactionaries calculate that the removal of Benazir will weaken the PPP. That is a serious miscalculation! The PPP cannot be reduced to a single individual. If that were true. It would have disappeared after the judicial murder of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

The PPP is not one individual, It is the organized expression of the will of the masses to change society. It is the three million who came on the streets to greet Benazir's return. It is the tens of millions more who were preparing to vote for a change in the January elections. These millions are now mourning. But they will not mourn forever. They will find effective ways of struggle to make their voice heard.

The masses must protest the murder of the PPP leader through a national protest movement: mass rallies, strikes, protest demonstrations, culminating in a general strike. They must raise the banner of democracy. Against dictatorship! No more martial law! Call new elections immediately!

The PPP leadership must not capitulate to any pressure to delay the elections. Call the national and provisional elections! Let the people's voice be heard! Above all, the PPP must return its original programme and principles.

In the PPP's founding programme is inscribed the aim of the socialist transformation of society. It includes the nationalization of the land, banks and industries under workers control, the replacement of the standing army by a workers and peasants militia. These ideas are as correct and relevant today as when they were first written!

There is nothing easier than to take the life of a man or a woman. We humans are frail creatures and easily killed. But you cannot murder an idea whose time has come!


Phil said...

I think the comrade's guilty of really over egging the pudding, substituting hard fact in places for wishful thinking. The PPP is not a bourgeois workers party, and its bureaucratic fealty to the Socialist Internaional does not make it so. In structure it's more like Berlusconi's Forza Italia, and politically it's of the same species as the Democrats in the US and the LibDems in Britain. There's every chance it will break apart now the unifying figure of Benazir Bhutto has passed from the scene.

However, her assassination is nothing to celebrate (though some blinkered ultralefts will, somewhere, celebrate it as a blow against imperialism). The ones who stand to gain are the insurgent Islamist militas and not Musharraf, as Woods like to think. He's more likely to be damaged than not.

Some analysis on my blog (plug, plug).

Anonymous said...

...but please, don't let momentary events like this assassination distract you, continue down your stupid path of painting Musharraf as the bad guy, protesting the "evil dictator" in the streets and completely ignoring the fundamentalists of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

That way, Osama and the clerics are sure to rapidly gain control the country and give us a real war to fight... nuke against nuke...and we can use our Air Force against Pakistan instead of the USMC.

Think of all the US lives THAT would save. ;-)

Frank Partisan said...

Phil: For your group to stay outside the PPP, puts them on the sidelines.

There is democracy enough in that party, to send some of my comrades to parliment.

Farmer: Our comrades in the PPP, have been facing physical assaults from Islamists.

The PPP is an alternative to Islamists, Musharraf and the Maoists.

Musharraf was in bed with the Islamists.

It's dishonest to claim the writer ignores the Taliban.

When Bhutto arrived in Pakistan, it was a blow to the Taliban. They were exposed as being tiny, when the millions poured out of the streets to see Ms. Bhutto.

Jim Jepps said...

I agree with Phil. I think this piece is particularly weak and guilty of fitting the facts to the theory.

Having said that I wish those members of the left of the PPP all the best - things have already been difficult with a great deal of state repression against them - now things are going to get very tough - and the future of Pakistan itself is in the balance.

Anonymous said...

"Musharraf was in bed with the Islamists". Yeah, that's why they've been trying so hard to kill him.

Please, both Bhutto AND Sharif were coordinating to boycott the January elections and right now, Sharif is screaming for a boycott that will dump the entire country right into the fundamentalist's lap.

And I'm sure the PPP legal eagles will stupidly and happily "stay the course" in their campaign against "the evil" Musharraf. After all, he's a "fascist dictator" and the PPP is currently "rudder-less".

Anonymous said...

I think Bhutto was trying to convince Sharif NOT to boycott the actually participate in some manner that would minimize voter fraud.

...and THAT is why Osama had to hit her. As a "civilian" (thank you Ms Bhutto), Musharraf's ass is currently swinging in the wind...

The only needed to push him over is the "stink" of illegitimacy that a boycott would taint him with.

And you can bet your sweet ass that the PPP is going to make SURE that THAT happens.

Anonymous said...

Musharraf will now attempt to put his uniform back on and cancel the election... then Sharif will, within a month, foment a new "revolution" (and sh*t all over the PPP once he's done with the "useful idiots") and either he will be successful in his revolution OR current Army Chief Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani will step forward as the new dictator of Pakistan and a huge civil war will break out, throwing the country eventually over to Osama himself.

I'll bet dollars to donuts that the the unimaginative PPP followers join Sharif in a futile attempt to delay their own, now nearly inevitable, execution by seeking revolution.

Where do your donuts lie?

Anonymous said...

Muslims Against Sharia condemn the murderers responsible for the assassination of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her supporters.

Our prayers are with the victims of this atrocity. We send our condolences to their loved ones.

May the homicide bomber rote in hell for eternity. May his accomplices join him soon!

Frank Partisan said...

Muslims Against Sharia: Thank you for visiting.

Jim Jay: The most democratic minded secular people in Pakistan are in the PPP. You can dream about a better party, atleast it alllows factions.

Farmer: Bhutto was killed in the most secure part of Pakistan. Musharraf wasn't able in his own stronghold give Bhutto security. That makes him fall guy. His own military may get rid of him.

Musharraf is a military dictator. Calling him fascist is not precise. There are differences between a military dictatorship and a fascist state.

Condi is calling for elections in two weeks. I don't see how that is realistic.

I have to wait to know more.

My instincts are that the smaller offices PPP candidates are in good shape for an election. They have been armed attacks from the pro-Musharraf MQM.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Renegade, Bhutto is also friends with the Army, which makes her a stronger threat to Musharraf.

Funny how some of your right-winger commentators issue "fatwas" disregarding people's lives...

Anonymous said...

So instead of going after the people RESPONSIBLE for the murder, YOU favor punishing the man who was unable to protect her...

Now there you have it. Leftist reasoning in all its' glory.

I have a fatwa against Osama. He deserves it. Musharraf doesn't.

Jim Jepps said...

ren: I don't see how your comments to me fit what I said at all. You say I'm dreaming of a better party - all I said is I wish the PPP luck - I didn't even critise them!

My problem with the article is that it's dogmatic marxism of the clunkiest kind, full of wishful thinking and spurious claims.

For example "The dark forces of counterrevolution in countries like Pakistan habitually dress up in the garb of Islamic fundamentalism... The so-called Islamic fundamentalists and jihadis are only the puppets and hired assassins of reactionary forces that ere entrenched in the Pakistani ruling class and the state apparatus"

I think what Woods is saying amount to saying Musharrif directly organised the assassination. Whether or not this is true (it might be but I'm yet to be convinced of that) he has no evidence what so ever for this. For such a serious claim to be made on so little evidence demonstrates a fundamental weakness to this article.

The article demonstrates no understanding of the complexities of the political situation only that the PPP=revolution and therefore all who oppose them are in bed with each other.

If the PPP win it will be a small temporary step forward, not a revolution. It may herald a step towards a mixture of progressive reforms and closer ties with the US/UK or it may simply herald a new military dictatorship.

It's just not good enough to help anyone understand what is going on to write this kind of fossilised conjecture.

I wish all the comrades in the PPP good luck with the years to come which will be hard and painful - I'm sure we all hope that their desire for progress in pakistan bear fruit.

Frank Partisan said...

farmer: Bhutto was assasinated at what is equal to in the US West Point or Annapolis.

The Pakistan government said today they solved the murder and the Taliban did it.

You think Musharraf has no responsiblity for her security? Bhutto wrote about two weeks ago, if she is assasinated Musharraf has some responsibility.

MFL: See the previous Niger Delta discussion.

Jim: I'll answer better tonight.

Anonymous said...

More like Annapolis (which is much MUCH more than the campus of the USNA). As for Musharref having "some" responsibility, I think that the "some" was less than 10% and NOT the 90% others would like place upon him. After all, Bhutto was killed after her departure from whatever security zone had been established for the speaking event.

Now Bhutto ALSO said recently in a Parade interview:

"Despite the corrosion of her reputation by corruption and compromise, Bhutto appears to be America’s strongest anchor in the effort to turn back the extremist Islamic tide threatening to engulf Pakistan. What would you like to tell President Bush? I ask this riddle of a woman.

She would tell him, she replies, that propping up Musharraf’s government, which is infested with radical Islamists, is only hastening disaster. “I would say, ‘Your policy of supporting dictatorship is breaking up my country.’ I now think al-Qaeda can be marching on Islamabad in two to four years.”

...and so I am NOT in favour of any long-term support for Musharref... but I really don't see any "acceptable" alternative. After all, Musharref himself had been moving AWAY from military dictatorship and towards a power sharing arrangement w/Bhutto and the PPP. He DID resign his Chief of Army post last month specifically in the interest of military-civilian rapprochement

Shifting our support now to Sharrif, I am convinced, would be a HUGE mistake. If the Deobandi are to remain reigned in, those reigns must be applied from within the Pakistani military establishment. If anyone else tries to shut down the madrassas (which are currently the equivalent of mujahadeen military forts), the militant clerical hardliners will take them out.

And so if the PPP is to EVER achieve a return to democracy, they'll need an ally in the military establishment. And right now, Musharref is the best ally they've got. Otherwise al-Qaeda will be knocking on ALL their doors in a few months, vice years, time.

Frank Partisan said...

The reason the Pakistani army and intelligence, is so weak on the Taliban, is that they were decades trained to hate Hindus. They are not reliable to readjust.

I'm waiting to see what happens in the PPP.

Una said...

All humanity is in mourning.

steven rix said...

Here is a reaction from Tariq Ali (He's a british from pakistanese origin with far left views):

Even those of us sharply critical of Benazir Bhutto's behaviour and policies – both while she was in office and more recently – are stunned and angered by her death. Indignation and fear stalk the country once again.

»An odd coexistence of military despotism and anarchy created the conditions leading to her assassination in Rawalpindi yesterday. In the past, military rule was designed to preserve order – and did so for a few years. No longer. Today it creates disorder and promotes lawlessness. How else can one explain the sacking of the chief justice and eight other judges of the country's supreme court for attempting to hold the government's intelligence agencies and the police accountable to courts of law? Their replacements lack the backbone to do anything, let alone conduct a proper inquest into the misdeeds of the agencies to uncover the truth behind the carefully organised killing of a major political leader.

»How can Pakistan today be anything but a conflagration of despair? It is assumed that the killers were jihadi fanatics. This may well be true, but were they acting on their own?»,,2232699,00.html

One can discourse ad infinitum on this assassination and his consequences. The dramatism of the event, the strategic and ideological sensitivity of Pakistan, the instantaneous connection of the event with all the tensions which characterize the crises in progress, all that opens vast the field of the speculation. This vastitude is paid by the absence of certainty. Reality is that one is unaware of obviously the direct and apparent effect, the indirect and fundamental effect of the event. One measures the limits of the speculation, even his uselessness and his futility. The reasoning is bels and good but one evolves/moves in coherent ether of the reason whereas reality recalls us with the disorder.
More interesting is the effect than one notes, almost immediate, on the electoral campaign in the USA. One noted the remarks above. All the candidates split themselves of an official statement and various considerations. It is that Bhutto had its entries in Washington and it was, at the time of its stays, one of favorite for the place of “exotic guest” in the dinners downtown, - in addition to being, as null is not unaware of any, a chart in the US play in Pakistan. Its assassination brutally recalled the electoral campaign americanist to the reality of the world. It is indeed possible that the event compromised the chances of Barak Obama, considered more and more as an amateur in foreign policy after a few weeks of intense promotion of its candidature.
All that, one includes/understands it, does not form a very coherent image of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. One can, if one wants, cry of the crocodile tears moralizer over “the chances of the democracy” in Pakistan once more compromised. It is known well that is to sacrifice to usual conformism, that the possible accession of Bhutto to the function of Prime Minister would not have changed anything fundamental so much the situation in this country is inextricably related to our own wanderings (those of the West and Washington). Only teaching is due to the suddenness of the event, its brutality, the person who is the victim, all that makes event a sudden and imperative illustration of the disorder. It is indeed initially the disorder which struck Bhutto, and which gave to its assassination the echo that one hears some.
Pakistan is well a kind of “item zero” of the disorder which became the world submitted to the Western policy and americanist. The assassination of Bhutto, whereas its intrusion in the political countryside seemed to be with certain one of these rare promising events of this so dubious time, is initially the recall that today the disorder reigns as a supreme Master of the world. Thus we let it make, the disorder; thus we did everything, blindly of course and with all the force of our satisfied vanity, so that it is thus.
Sorry for the typos, no time to read again.

Daniel said...

This murder exposes once again the deep flaws in human nature, flaws which ensure that we repeat the same mistakes for an eternity.

We are a sick species. We need both medical and genetic help urgently!

Tom Cleland said...

Here is the McKinney Statement on the Bhutto assassination.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Bhutto was nothing but a corrupt politician. She came back to Pakistan, determined to run for office, for one reason only. She was determined to get her hands on and in the multi-billion dollar cookie jar the US passes out to the country on a yearly basis. The same holds true with Sharif.

I don't condone her murder, but it might be the best thing that could have happened in terms of the country's fate. Had she survived and been elected, it would have been more of the same kind of corruption for which she was driven out of the country a decade ago, and there would otherwise have been no substantial changes whatsoever.

Now that she's dead, evidently at the hands of Islamist extremists, the country in general might as a reaction turn farther away from them. As for Musharaf, he had nothing to either gain or lose by her assassination. He is disciplined enough, he could have agreed to sit on the sidelines and wait out what would have been the inevitable result of a Bhutto return to power. It wouldn't have taken long before it went back to business as usual. He could have easily followed her example. Go somewhere where it's safe for awhile.

On the other hand, were Benazir Bhutto a man, no one would have rallied around her. The world is just hungry for a woman leader to step up on the world stage. Well, sorry, but Bhutto was the wrong woman at the wrong time, and damn sure for the wrong country. If she had survived and been elected, and Hilary was elected in America, the two of them would have been a matching set. The media talking heads would have ooed and ah'ed over them for a while, but by the time five or six years had gone by the inevitable result would be a general feeling that maybe women aren't cut out for political power after all.

Any woman that reaches the heights of power does so by depending on the same corrupt entrenched interests that put men there. The fact that they are women doesn't make any difference, but because they are women, people give them a pass, because they hunger and lust after the illusion of "woman power".

The reality might not be so attractive. But it's all about illusion over substance anyway.

Just like people try to avoid talking too much about Michael Vicks problems with the dog fighting scandal, as he's obviously not a legitimate representative of African American sports figures. Let's divert attention from that and talk about how Vince Young might be the greatest quarterback of all times, until he unfortunately presides over a 8-8 season. Then we'll find somebody else to oooh and ahh over.

Well, there's nothing to ooh and ahh over Benazir Bhutto about. Well, I guess if you were in the middle of that crowd there was, but otherwise, well-

Frank Partisan said...

Camieno Incierto: Thank you for visiting again. I should vacation someday in the Basque country.

Politiques: Tariq Ali was once asked by Benazir Bhutto to join her government. He turned her down. His wife owns "New Left Review."

On Democracy Now, he implied today, Benadir or atleast her husband, had something to do with the assasination of her brother.

Because of how people remember her father, she is popular. In addition she is seen as representing the poor. In politics perception is important.

Daniel: Blame will have to be made more specifically than human nature in general.

Tom: My comrades are running for parliment positions. They have had altercations with the MQM people. They were arrested during the marshal law period. The movement to free them, overwhelmed the authorities.

Pagan: If you think a female leader is any different than a male leader, in a capitalist system, two words; Margaret Thatcher. Actually they rally to support Bhutto, because of her father's name.

Certainly Benadir is a corrupt, bourgeoise politician, who created the pathway for Islamists to be strong in Pakistan. I do think she honestly changed on that issue.

What you have to understand is how people see her. Her father tried to establish a socialist program. To the masses she was seen as a savior to the poor.

My comrades hold office in government representing the Marxist wing of her party. We have no illusions about her or her party. That is the party, the poor who are not Islamist turn to.

Even if she was the best hope to save capitalism, her party in power would strengthen workers and peasants. People would be less cynical.

The military and intelligence agencies in Pakistan were trained to hate Hindus. That is why they are so poor fighting the Taliban.

Jim Jay: I'm waiting to see the next moves of the PPP, and how the masses respond the next few days.

roman said...

Pakistan, very much like Iraq, suffers from a strong sense of "clan loyalty" which makes any semblance of western style Democracy virtually impossible. Each political aspirant seems to carry favor only in his/her home province. We have been learning this hard lesson in the painfully agonizing efforts to build consensus within the Iraqi "government". You can lead a horse to water…..
In practical terms, the push to democratization of this nation will ultimately lead to its disintegration and takeover by dangerous fundamentalist groups like the Taliban or al- Qaeda. Nobody, not even Pakistanis want that.
A benevolent strongman like Musharraf is probably the best the world can hope for in the immediate future. At least, with him in charge, there was some semblance of governmental order and unity. I hope he re-assumes his role as the head of the army and continues with a more gradual phase-in of representative democracy.

Frank Partisan said...

Roman: Most in Pakistan are secular.

The people of Pakistan see the PPP, as the alternative to dictatorship and Islamism. I'm not ready to say much, until I know the next moves of the PPP, and how they are accepted.

The scenario that she bumped her head, is to deny her martyr status.

beatroot said...

Ren: if she is assasinated Musharraf has some responsibility.

That just does not work on many levels.

Bhutto was the only person that could give those elections validity. The president needed her badly. He brought her back to Pakistan, and he made the terms of her return very favorable, both legally and financially.

Secondly: she was riding in that car with her head up through the roof. That is not a rational action when you know that there are crazies just waiting to get you. Getting a few good photos of her driving through the crowds is not worth risking a life. Her security people must be mad, or cowards.

And now her 19 year old son has had to stick his neck out and become the leading light… just because the PPP knows that there is no solid ‘movement’ behind the party – it is a dynasty – no Bhutto no party.

And this is the fact of life in Pakistan: there is now no credible political movement to engage the ‘masses’ (and the class make up is nothing like the west, so a ‘mass’ they do not have) ….no movement except, that is, men in long beards….

Frank Partisan said...

Beatroot: Musharraf has no direct responsibility. He will be the fall guy. Her last letters condemn him.

My comrades hold seats in parliment. They have a base in every city, trade union, and school.

I was expecting her to do the wrong thing again. Keeping the party a family heir loom, The best that come out of this situation, is for it to have an internal discussion.

The men with long beards, are much weaker than the secular forces. No Islamist ever had a rally as large as when Bhutto returned.

beatroot said...

the point about the long beards is that they do not have to have much support when there is no other political solutions.

troutsky said...

Phil and Beatroot make good points ,Alan Woods polemic is simplistic and Packistanis', despite Rens comrades representation in Parliment, are along way from the necessary democratic culture required to shale military dictatorship.Which Farmer supports in the "short term", very humorous view of Packistani history.

Who was out in the streets defending the rule of law and freedom of the press? Not the "masses" certainly.Their toleration of a Bhutto dynasty is worse than US voters embrace of Bush/Clinton/Kennedy.

On the other hand the idea of "extremists" getting their brown little hands on the bomb is ridiculous fear mongering and ignorance of the power of the military.Ren is wise to wait till smoke clears before making predictions.

Anonymous said...

The men with long beards, are much weaker than the secular forces.

That's rich, Ostrich! Every mosque a castle. Every worshipper a knight.

Unknown said...

Happy New Year Renegade!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Years, Renegade Eye!

And a very Happy New Year to all you Lefties out there, well, until November anyways. ;-)

Frank Partisan said...

Farmer: Holiday Greetings.

The PPP can bring more people into the streets, in Pakistan, than any Islamist sect.

The events in Pakistan are characterized by grief and spontaneity, Two elements out of anyone's control. From what I've heard, no group controlled what happened.

Graeme said...

Happy New Year all!

It seems Bhutto had real life courage, but no political courage. She had two chances to change her country and both times made deals with the Islamists and the Military. The military controls Pakistan, and it is a big military. I don't see any way the fundamentalists could take it over.

enigma4ever said...

Happy New Year Renegade....thank you for all of your hard work in Blogatopia and excellent blogging....namaste.

jams o donnell said...

Happy New Year, Ren

SecondComingOfBast said...

Happy New Years, Ren-

Ring out the old, ring in the new. Or maybe it's shoot down the old and acclaim the new but the same old shit.

"Democracy is the best revenge". Yeah, Bhutto's son should try that sometime. If democracy requires a Bhutto, that's pretty fucking bad, but not surprising.

That's all I'll say because it would seem that as an American I don't have much room to talk. We have our own personality cults, that would seem to take precedence over qualification and real experience. Well, at least as far as the Democratic Party goes. Just ask Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, and Elliott Richardson, as they try to get noticed past the personality cults of Clinton and Obama.

The Republicans of course are suffering from multiple personality disorder, and their candidates are and symbolic of a fragmented and disintegrated personality.

The only difference between Pakistan and the US is the way they solve the problem. They solve it, albeit violently, while we embrace it.

Anonymous said...

no group controlled what happened

Not even the Islamicist assassins? Wow, you ARE forgiving. Pretty good timing for disrupting the election and further discrediting Musharraf, if you ask me.

Frank Partisan said...

FJ: No organized tendency controlled the rioting.

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Anonymous said...

The Islamicists aren't organized?

Divide et Impera!

Anonymous said...

The timing and nature of the attack were explicitly controlled by the Islamicists with a single purpose in mind... separate Musharraf and the PPP.

Anonymous said...

...and drive many of the now leaderless supporters of the PPP into the arms of the PML-N.

Nawaz Sharif was in Saudi Arabia how long? Where is his brother, Shahbaz?

Tom said...

Greetings o' the season, comrades.

Anonymous said...


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