Saturday, December 29, 2007

Benazir Bhutto (nee Corleone)

I hoisted this from Dsquared's comments at Crooked Timber:

By the way, here’s the cut out and keep collection of Benazir Bhutto editorials and blog posts:

1. Bla bla bla martyr, bla bla loved country, tragedy, father, bla.
2. Bla bla corruption, bla bla western puppet, bla bla popular uprising bla.
3. Bla bla stability, bla bla “strongman”, bla bla Russia bla.
4. Bla bla democracy, Islam, woman, bla bla.

The amount of boilerplate know-nothing crap flying around on the radio yesterday was nothing short of embarrassing. People at think tanks really ought to learn how to say “no, I don’t really know enough to comment” when the opportunity to hear their own voice comes up.

Uncle Kvetch adds number 6:

Dsquared, we’ve got an addendum to your list over on this side of the pond:

6. Bla bla, country 90% of Americans couldn’t locate on a globe, bla bla, what does this mean for the Iowa caucuses bla?

Initially, there was no number 5. Fortunately, Vivian filled the gap with the always timely:

Not to mention: BLA!! BLAH!! Al Qaida! Blah!

That's why I'm putting only two thoughts of my own on this event - any more, and I'm just wanking around. I'll leave thinking to those who know something, such as these articles linked from the same Crooked Timber thread. 

  • Juan Cole tells us about the riots running in Pakistan sparked by her assassination
  • Daughter of the West - Tariq Ali. That's a fair history of Ms. Bhutto, but it was written before her death. He doesn't accuse her of complicity in the death of her brother, Mir Murtaza Bhutto, outside his house in 1996. He just lays out the facts in damning detail.
  • That explains why the most angry piece of them all is provided by Mir's daughter (and her niece) Fatima Bhutto. It was also written before the shooting, so I'm not going to accuse her of speaking ill of the dead. The title is Aunt Benazir's False Promises:

And I am suspicious of her talk of ensuring peace. My father [Mir Murtaza Bhutto, brother of Benazir] was a member of Parliament and a vocal critic of his sister's politics. He was killed outside our home in 1996 in a carefully planned police assassination while she was prime minister. There were 70 to 100 policemen at the scene, all the streetlights had been shut off and the roads were cordoned off. Six men were killed with my father. They were shot at point-blank range, suffered multiple bullet wounds and were left to bleed on the streets.

My father was Benazir's younger brother. To this day, her role in his assassination has never been adequately answered, although the tribunal convened after his death under the leadership of three respected judges concluded that it could not have taken place without approval from a "much higher" political authority.

My first thought about this story: that's cold, and not in a "cool" hip-hop way. Colder than Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II.

My second thought - arising from the first - is that it looks like she was a really horrible woman. Corruption is one thing, but fraticide is really not on.