Benazir Bhutto Assassinated

Once more the Islamic world proves it can't handle simple peace. Yesterday, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated and a homicide bomber blew himself up shortly afterward, killing 20 people and injuring dozens more. Benazir Bhutto died later at a hospital in Rawalpindi. It is unclear at the moment exactly what happened. There are reports of gunfire, and that she was shot twice, in the neck and chest. A surgeon at the hospital reports she was killed by flying shrapnel from the blast. And still another report says the shockwave from the blast caused a skull fracture as she was trying to duck back into her car to flee. Whatever the cause, the result is the same. Pakistan is now in utter chaos.

Currently there are mass riots taking place in the streets. Banks, shops, police stations, military buildings, businesses, and peoples' homes are being burned. Protesters are engaging in running gun battles with police in the streets. But this is exactly what the terrorists want to see happen there. If Musharraf's intelligence is to be believed, Al Qaeda is responsible for all of this. But others blame Musharraf himself, and it wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility for him to have conspired with Osama bin Laden to carry out this attack, and then lay blame on him for it. The entire situation is a huge mess.

Elections scheduled for next month may no longer take place. Bhutto was the only other candidate running against Musharraf, who himself is already overstaying his welcome in office. The remaining leadership of the opposition party has declared they will boycott the elections, is calling for strikes and protests, and is demanding that Musharraf step down immediately. It seems likely that any attempt to conduct an election in 2 weeks should be postponed for 6 months. But doing that is just as likely to create more problems with as long as Musharraf has already been in control.

The real concern though isn't that the "elections" taking place next month are in jeopardy, or that the democratic process has been severely disrupted, it's that Pakistan is a nuclear power with a weak government in control. Musharraf is not popular with a large portion of the population there. He's also not exactly on Osama's best friends list either. All of this makes for a rather unstable set of conditions which leaves the safety of the 30 or so nuclear weapons Pakistan has in doubt. How can we truly be sure the security measures we helped put in place are still working? Suppose Musharraf's government is overthrown by radical extremists? What happens to those nukes then? Surely any attempt on our part to swoop in and take care of it would end in disaster.

There is of course a way out of this that should make everyone more or less happy. Pakistan needs to grant the US permission to enter the "lawless" region in the northwestern part of the country that borders with Afghanistan. Send in a massive air strike. Carpet bomb the areas where Al Qaeda is known to exist. Cut off any escape routes he might have to neighboring countries or more populated areas of Pakistan. Then and only then send in ground forces to mop up and make sure he's dead this time. Sure, Bush would be soundly chastised by a lot of people. But it's the Barack Obama plan, so at least one Democrat should go along with it.

Regardless of what we do, the Pakistanis need to deal with this. If the people are truly sick of terrorism, they need to stand up and fight back. We can't do it for them. But we can help them find the way. The loss of Benazir Bhutto is a huge setback that won't be easily overcome, but it may also be just the wakeup call they need there. For the sake of the world, let's hope they wake up sooner rather than later.
.........................
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

       
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Posted on Dec 28, 2007 10:20 pm by Samson in: | 0 comment(s) [Closed]
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