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I spoke a little while ago with a friend whose family is from Pakistan and who follows Pakistani politics.  As you've probably heard, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, just two weeks before her party was expected to do extremely well in national elections, possibly putting her in power as prime minister.  Her death has thrown Pakistan in to chaos.  But it's quite possible that my friend is correct, that Bhutto's assassination will also end the political career of Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf.

The Bush administration, the Republican candidates for President and wingers of all varieties will be invoking the specter of "TERRA!" and arguing that this killing is proof that we need a bellicose foreign policy under the command of another bellicose Republican.  Of course, that's wrong.  Pakistan's government has been under the control of the military for much of its history, and often those dictatorships had the sanction of the US.  Cold War politics figured heavily in to its history, and the current crisis has its roots in the US/Pakistani creation of the Mujahadeen forces that fought in Afghanistan in the 1980's against the Soviets.  While it certainly has huge consequences for the US, this assassination is another chapter in the internal struggles of Pakistan.  

It was the creation of those forces for the Afghan war that eventually led to the rise of the Taliban, the creation of al Qaeda, and the radicalization of the mostly Pashtun peoples in the "tribal areas" of Pakistan, where Bin Laden is widely believed to have found a safe haven, most likely with the tacit acceptance of Pakistan's intelligence service, which is believed to be sympathetic to, and probably actively supporting the religious extremists who seek to overturn Pakistan's government.  These are the proximate roots of the current struggles in Pakistan.  

When Bhutto returned to Pakistan a few months ago, she was almost immediately attacked in an assassination attempt.  She blamed Muslim extremists for the previous attack.  They had plenty of reason to want Bhutto dead.  Odds were good that she would become prime minister, and while it's not clear she would have had much control over the military, she had expressed support for US military action within Pakistan to apprehend Bin Laden.  The extremely anti-Shia radicalism of Al Qaeda, the Taliban and similar groups may also have played in to the attack against the secularist Bhutto, who nonetheless came from a prominent Shiite family.  When her father was Prime Minister in the 1970's, being Shiite was not as controversial.  (About a fifth of Pakistan's population is Shiite.)  But the fundamentalists believe Shiites are apostates, and in recent years Bhutto had tried to conceal her Shiite heritage in response.  

Thus, Musharraf, while no friend of democracy, may very well be right that this assassination was committed by Muslim extremists.  But this is not terrorism in the sense of 9-11-type attacks on the US.  Instead, this is political and religious in the context of trying to bring down the secular government of Pakistan, and the horrible image of the US is helping inspire those who may have killed Bhutto and who have also been trying to kill Musharraf.

The US had been pushing Musharraf to accept a power-sharing arrangement with Bhutto.  He appears to have initially resisted, eventually gave in, but the deal finally fell apart.  But whatever the next step was going to be, from the US perspective, it pretty much had to involve Bhutto, who was the only Pakistani politician with enough popular support to sufficiently legitimize the US-backed policy of taking on the Muslim extremists.  

Bhutto was also the only politician who could legitimize the continued rule, even shared, of Musharraf.  There's not much support in Pakistan for terrorism, and the mass appeal of the Muslim fundamentalists is limited.  But Pakistanis rate Musharraf's job performance lower than Americans rate Bush's, and only 15% have a positive view of the U.S..  Now, the best Musharraf can hope for is that he will be blamed for not ensuring sufficient protection for Bhutto; this may make his continued control of Pakistan untenable.  

Being out of power might not be the worst thing for Musharraf, who's already been the target of almost a dozen assassination attempts.  And then there's this:

The video message, entitledCome to Jihad, features an audio recording of bin Laden urging Pakistanis to avenge the killing of a radical cleric during the storming of the Red Mosque in Islamabad in July. “We in [the] al-Qaeda organisation call on Allah to witness that we will retaliate for the blood of Maulana Abd al-Rashid Ghazi,” he says. “Pervez [Musharraf], his ministers, his soldiers and those who help him are all accomplices in spilling the blood of those of the Muslims who have been killed. He who helps him knowingly and willingly is an infidel like him.”

It's quite possible that Musharraf will not be able to continue in power:

"Legitimacy for Musharraf will be deferred if not impossible," said Christine Fair, a South Asia expert at the RAND Corporation. "The U.S. likely does not have a plan for this contingency as Musharraf remains a critical ally and because Bhutto's participation was hoped to confer legitimacy to the upcoming January elections."

She also warned that the murder could embolden militants in Pakistan to seek out other high-profile targets.

The State Department is already pushing Musharraf to push ahead with the elections in two weeks, but it's hard to imagine how they could provide any legitimacy.  And the other main player in the election drama of the last few months, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharrif, has already denounced Musharraf and the election:

"The holding of fair and free elections is not possible in the presence of Pervez Musharraf," [Sharif] said. "Musharraf is the cause of all the problems. The federation of Pakistan cannot remain intact in the presence of President Musharraf," he told a news conference.

"After the killing of Benazir Bhutto, I announce that the Pakistan Muslim League-N will boycott the elections," Sharif said. "I demand that Musharraf should quit immediately."

There's a decent likelihood that the military will hold a coup and and replace Musharraf with another general.  Almost two months ago, analyst Vali Nasr—whose The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future I strongly recommend—had already declared removing Musharraf from power a necessity:

Musharraf's interests are no longer those of his military, and the two are now on a collision course. Generals can still end this crisis by going back to the deal Washington brokered with Ms. Bhutto, but only if it does not include Musharraf. Removing Musharraf will send demonstrators home and the Army to its barracks.

The longer Musharraf stays in power the more Pakistan will look like Iran in 1979: an isolated and unpopular ruler hanging on to power only to inflame passions and bring together his Islamic and pro-democracy opposition into a dangerous alliance.

A disastrous outcome in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed state with weak institutions and rife with extremist ideologies, violence, and deep ethnic and social divisions, will be far worse than what followed the Iranian revolution.

That may be a bit too dire an assessment, as the middle class appears to be fully committed to a secular government;  Juan Cole's take is that the conflict in Pakistan is more between the cities and the countryside (which wouldn't be much different from what happened in the Balkan wars).  But whatever the case, it would be hard to argue with this observation by a Chatham House analyst:

This is not the first crisis Pakistan has faced since its inception in 1947, but I would be inclined to say that it is the worst convergence of crises we have seen.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 04:48 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Cold War (10+ / 0-)

    I saw Charlie Wilson's War last night, the closing quote from Mr. Wilson seems quite appropriate given today's events:

    http://www.ratical.org/...

    "These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world. And the people who deserved the credit are the ones who made the sacrifice. And then we fucked up the endgame."

    •  A friend of mine saw this film and (3+ / 0-)

      called it right wing, pro-Iraq War propaganda.

      But on another front, when I first heard about the assassination today, my first suspicion looked at Musharraf.

      I wouldn't be surprised if he was behind all of this.  

      •  Hmmm (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jay C, Phil S 33, RandySF, Rick Winrod

        I could see the mouth-breathers using this film to try to support their position, but the differences between Iraq now and Afghanistan in the 80's are pretty obvious I'd say. If I was going to take anything away from the film and try to apply it to Iraq it would be that we should be devoting our attention to rebuilding things in the country, not continuing to blow shit up. Certainly the success of covert US efforts in Afghanistan were idealized somewhat in the film, but I'm willing to give a bit of leeway for artistic license. I mainly liked the quote because no matter what you think of what we did in Afghanistan, there is no doubt that we did indeed fuck up the end game and are still paying for it.

        •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rick Winrod

          In the end, we got screwed by the folks we helped, but there was no doubting the Soviet agression.

          •  I am not so sure, Randy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ClapClapSnap

            that is completely correct either.  Remember history isn't written by the losers.

            However, the government of Afghanistan was at that time secular and socialist.  I don't recall the PMs name at the moment but initially he made a mistake in trying to suppress the tribal imams and secularize the countryside in the name of socialism and thereby creating unrest.  He needed help to retain power and asked the Soviets, who deliberated and resisted for three months before sending troops in.  The Soviets really were reluctant to go in for Real politik reasons, not that it had anything moral to do with it.

            The Soviets also had a massive campaign of building schools, hospitals, and civilian infrastructure as well as their military campaign.  The were very sensitive to what used to called "partisan warfare" because they did it themselves since 1942.

            Their troops got bogged down where they should not have been in the first place and it was politically obstructed from getting out back in Moscow.  Yes they were aggressive, overly so, just like what happens with any foreign power caught up in internal guerilla warfare.  Iraq is a good example of our own.

            Just saying there are always two sides of an equation.  And no I don't have a sources other than class notes I took at the Moscow Institute of Social and Political Studies in 1995, but I am sure with some digging you could find the history if you were so inclined.

            Cheers

            "Jedoch ich wollte, dass ihr nicht schon triumphiert: Der Schoß ist fruchtbar noch, aus dem das kroch." -Bertolt Brecht

            by Jeffersonian Democrat on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 02:29:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Bhutto intended to turn AQ Khan over to IAEA - (10+ / 0-)

    BCCI figure, AQ Khan, another operative of Poppy Bush's illegal operations.

    BCCI continues.

    Bhutto said she would turn Khan over to IAEA repeatedly the last few months -  Bushies hate IAEA.

    http://www.expressindia.com/...

    Aren't we glad that BCCI was deep-sixed throughout the 90s?

    It actually effects this nation and the world EVERY DAY - too many just haven't figured it out yet.

  •  second attempt in two days (9+ / 0-)

    according to dawn.com, a pakistani online paper juan cole linked to, there was a similar incident at a bhutto rally in peshawar yesterday:

    Youth with dynamite held near rally venue

    ESHAWAR, Dec 26: A young man, allegedly carrying dynamite, was arrested here on Wednesday from outside the Arbab Niaz Stadium where Pakistan People’s Party chairperson Benazir Bhutto addressed a public meeting.

    Reliable sources said the 19-year-old suspect, who identified himself as Raham Islam of Matani, had dynamite strapped to his body and he was trying to enter the stadium when he was stopped by security personnel. The suspect said that he had come here from a wedding party and could not find time to dispose of the explosive material.

    The sources said he had been detained by the Crime Investigation Agency for interrogation, but CIA officials denied having any suspect in their custody. Capital City Police Officer Tanveer-ul-Haq Sipra told Dawn that the accused had been arrested and was under interrogation.

    sounds like a very similar MO, so i would have a hard time believing this wasn't a highly organized effort.

    there is also a report out that al qaeda is claiming responsibility:

    arachi, 27 Dec. (AKI) - (by Syed Saleem Shahzad) - A spokesperson for the al-Qaeda terrorist network has claimed responsibility for the death on Thursday of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

    “We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen,” Al-Qaeda’s commander and main spokesperson Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid told Adnkronos International (AKI) in a phone call from an unknown location, speaking in faltering English. Al-Yazid is the main al-Qaeda commander in Afghanistan.

    link

    i don't know how reliable that source is.

    l'audace! l'audace! toujours l'audace!

    by zeke L on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 04:53:56 PM PST

    •  al Qaeda may be behind this (6+ / 0-)

      They have tried to kill Musharraf at least three times.  But news reports all day have told us that Bhutto's security detail had been lightened in recent days.  Musharraf didn't have to kill Bhutto -- all he had to do was let al Qaeda do it without interfering.  And al Qaeda certainly has its protectors in the Pakistani military and intelligence services.

      Larry Johnson in a diary earlier today pointed out that in free elections Islamic parties very unfriendly to the US would win handily.  It is doubtful that the army will allow this result, given Musharraf's staff changes to strengthen his supporters.  American bribes aid is important to the military commanders.  It does seem as though Musharraf could be the scapegoat of last resort, though, if pressure gets heavy enough.

      As in Iraq, the US has no interest in real democracy in Pakistan.  We have a tiger by the tail there, and dare not let go to let it go its way.  

      •  If they weren't, it's even worse. That means (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drmah

        somebody else is doing their work for free. Kind of like, I don't know,.... Our President?

        I came in peace, seeking only gold and slaves

        by revenant on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:20:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Just like it was in the 80s...and the 50s.. (7+ / 0-)

        Our government, screwing shit up worldwide since 1953.

        My candidate has lasers..yours doesn't.

        by Brad007 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:25:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Musharraf is looking worse by the minute. (6+ / 0-)

        Just interviewed some guy on NPR that received an email from Bhutto in October, only to be released to the media in event of her death. In the email, she claims that if anything happens to her, it is with direct involvement of Musharraf. Also goes on to talk about how she fears for her life and fears the security detail being assigned to her will fail her.

        Hard not to give that self prophecy any credence, particularly in light of today's events.  

        "...the Edwards folks do not endorse Brittany's crotch."

        by Pager on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:28:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Olbermann just reported that too (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coigue, Pager, chrischen, drmah, geez53

          I'm sure a lot of Pakistanis will give it a lot of credence.

        •  He is toast then... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, coigue

          no way he can be president till any election, if this message reaches the masses it will get really ugly. I smell a coupe.

          English is not my native language, so please be gentle about grammar and spelling mistakes.

          by chrischen on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:46:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  King Midus, Dubya, everything he touches turns to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          geez53

          shit not gold....he can't even play a decent hand of poker....the blood of today and what comes afterwards is on his hands, and if you don't think Bin Laudin is coming down from the hills to get his hands on the nukes, think again.

          Dubya, should be made to wear a sign on his his forehead that simply says, "You got it? I can Fuck it up in no time at all."

          I guess we will all get it when we realize this is just another way of the Republicans playing their Ace of Spades, before the election.  Be afraid, be very afraid, because we want war, we want money, we want oil, and we will do whatever it takes to get it. And it appears that we are going to get exactly what we deserve, for lack of moral integrity and courage in our government.

          Just for the record, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts are, without a doubt the most boring, tepid actors in the world, and Philip Seymore Hoffman, is the only decent thing about that picture,which I will not even rent.

          This is a great diary, but its enough to make you want to buy a good bottle of single malt scotch and just say...screw it all.

          Bush and Musharif?  Thick as thieves... two peas in a pot....give me a break. I am outraged at the stupidity of these crooks and liars, and more outraged for those that have been complicit and let them get away with it.

          Badabing

          •  Agree with everything you said, but expand on it. (0+ / 0-)

            The Shrub is only the worst example of what we are now. There is plenty of historical blame to go around. If we don't completely reject "would be" corporate control of this country, there will be even worse chapters written in the future.

            I belong to no organized political party, I'm a Democrat. -Will Rogers

            by geez53 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:05:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Condi Rice pushed Israel on elections (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, Purple Priestess

        and Hamas won.  Nice guys don't always win elections.  Look at the United States.

        "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars." William Jennings Bryan

        by Navy Vet Terp on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:32:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  huge chaos nationwide there now (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DHinMI, Dallasdoc, Sagebrush Bob

        reports indicate that there are riots, arson and looting nationwide happening right now. many people are blaming musharraf, so it's possible that DH's friend's point about the demise of musharraf's career is correct.

        but it's not clear that musharraf himself would have seen it that way. perhaps he didn't like the idea of powersharing with bhutto under the "rice plan." perhaps he even thinks the chaos gives him a reason to crack down even harder to preserve order, and we'll go along with it rather than see that country spin out of control.

        and then there's the matter of the email wolf blitzer claimed to have received from bhutto recently:

        In the e-mail, Bhutto wrote that, if anything were to happen to her, "I wld [sic] hold Musharaf [sic] responsible. I have been made to feel insecure by his minions, and there is no way what is happening in terms of stopping me from taking private cars or using tinted windows or giving jammers or four police mobiles to cover all sides cld [sic] happen without him."

        if true, it does sound like musharraf would be happy to see her out of the way.

        or perhaps certain people in the ISI?  they've been close with the al qaeda/taliban crew since the good ole mujahedin days.  perhaps they weren't comfortable with all her talk of eliminating the influence of the extremists.

        perhaps they have a faster, better, cheaper military dictator waiting in the wings now that musharraf seems to have passed his sell-by date.

        but either way, i do think al qaeda and the associated militants stand to gain.  the chaos is good for them.  and the crackdown that's sure to ensue is, as always, a central part of terrorist strategy 101.

        l'audace! l'audace! toujours l'audace!

        by zeke L on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:32:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And then there are the Neocons (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, Spoonfulofsugar, geez53

          but either way, i do think al qaeda and the associated militants stand to gain.  the chaos is good for them.

          And then there are the Neocons who are already seizing this as an opportunity to "gain".

          What a fucked up world we're living in.

          Just because I spend time in "Blogostan" doesn't mean that I gave up my citizenship in the real world.

          by Sagebrush Bob on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:45:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Part of the deal was that Bhutto was going to (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, drmah, Rick Winrod

          invite US troops into the country.  Musharraf was already in trouble over (his inability to prevent) the US air strikes.  Inviting an invasion of ground troops was NOT on his agenda.  Once Bhutto was in, the US was going to use Bhutto's invitation as an excuse to invade, and incidently stab him in the back.  

          Now what?  She's dead, and with it the Plan.  Can the US go back to dealing with the man who thwarted expansion of the war?  Can Musharraf go back to an ally who just tried to destroy him?  

          Maybe not, but what choice do they have?  It is just beginning to get interesting.  

  •  Keith Olbermann coming back from vacation (7+ / 0-)

    to cover the Bhutto assassination on Countdown tonight.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
    IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 04:55:21 PM PST

  •  The riots we saw today are only the beginning. (9+ / 0-)

    Musharref will have to step down to calm them.   So you may be right.

    I have endorsed and will be voting for Hillary Clinton for President.

    by Delaware Dem on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 04:56:40 PM PST

  •  we invaded the wrong country (6+ / 0-)

    Pakistan has Islamist extremists, nukes, and is harboring bin Laden and Zawahiri.  Maybe that's where our 150,000 troops should be.

    Enterpriser; Hard core Libertarian: +6.63 / -4.41

    by jimsaco on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 04:57:20 PM PST

    •  170 million people would require a force (16+ / 0-)

      larger than 150,000.

      Besides, we suck at this democracy thing as much as Musharraf does so I don't think we invaded the wrong country.  The mistake we made was invading any of these countries - maybe even including Afghanistan - because again - we suck at spreading democracy and freedom.

      •  Democracy cannot be imposed. (4+ / 0-)

        so your analysis is right except for the possible implication that if our democracy was better (or even our tactics were better) we could have succeeeded in this in any other way but chance.

        This is not a sig-line.

        by Joffan on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:04:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are right that democracy cannot be imposed. (8+ / 0-)

          My point was not that it could be done - I was very much mocking the people who think that they can spread democracy and freedom through military action.  But I do think you can lead by example where it comes to democracy - but that would be something impossible for us to do since we are in the process of destroying our own democracy as we speak.

          •  Your post: (4+ / 0-)

            I do think you can lead by example where it comes to democracy - but that would be something impossible for us to do since we are in the process of destroying our own democracy as we speak.

            "We" may not be the exact word you intended, as it is the Neocon elements and the Corporatists and the Religious Conservatives who are destroying "our own democracy".

            I do not consider myself to be part of any of these bad influences within our country.  I am one of the true American Patriots (not one of the fake Murdoch-type "patriots").  I am confident that you are a true American patriot as well, and as are the vast majority of us here.  Therefore, I believe that "we" are part of the solution; in contrast, the "Bushies" and those like them, are the ones destroying democracy.

            -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

            by sunbro on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:29:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, we are Americans and there is this (7+ / 0-)

              nasty trend line where real patriotism has taken a complete nose dive in this country.  Having lived for a number of years outside the US, I am prone to saying "we" in describing my country's political shifts and trends.  People who have been scared shitless by our meddling around the world tend to appreciate the fact that I take some responsibility for my country's f*cked up actions - it seems to give them a bit of faith that we aren't all like BushCult and that maybe there is some hope for "us" afterall.  In any case, we are losing this democracy as we speak.  We are not enforcing our sacred Constitutional doctrine or enforcing some of our most sacred laws and we are losing our freedom on top of it all.  Anyway I look at it, I am a part of the "we" who are losing this democracy no matter whose fault it is.  Very depressing really.

              But it is hard for me to feel confident about scolding another government for oppression, lawlessness and anti-democratic policies when my own can't deliver on any of the promises of democracy anymore.  It is rich for Bush to stand up and demand that people in Pakistan be "brought to justice".  I found myself asking quite in earnest today - "Where the hell is Justice anyway?"  Our friend justice is very much missing in action these days.

              •  The Bushies hijacked our government. (3+ / 0-)

                They are domestic enemies, as I see it.

                If I were on an airline, and terrorists hijacked the plane, I would not take credit for being one of the pilots flying badly.

                The truth is that there are criminals, the Bushies and similar elements, running the U.S. government.  I do not feel any kinship toward these individuals.  I am attempting to wrest the controls of the "plane" back, to sanity.

                I feel no need to apologize to my European and other world "brethren".  I too am a victim of insane political hijackers; I do not feel as though I am "among" them; rather, the criminals (e.g. Cheney, Bush, Rove, Addington, Woolsey, Feith, Murdoch, Ailes, News Corp, Bill Kristol, Joe Lieberman, Dan Quayle..one of the smarter ones, PNAC, AIPAC, The Mainstream Media, The Wingnut Televangelists, et al) in a sense, have me at gunpoint.

                -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

                by sunbro on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 06:17:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, sadly we were a real minority for a good (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sunbro

                  while there and that is difficult to ignore.  My country has a lot of assholes in it.  It is hard to not feel some responsibility for things going this far off the rails in a democracy - it isn't a plane - it is a democracy and we do vote for these people - of course you and I don't vote for them - but a lot of people do.  There are people around here who voted for Bush thinking he would be "okay" at the time.  They regret their vote and they are a part of "we".  Sadly, a lot of people did participate in this hijacking if for no other reason than they didn't bother to stop it when they could.  I wish I could have done more.  I've always been able to feel some sort of pride in my country except when some asshole republican takes the White House and then I go back to feeling badly about who we are as a country.

              •  If I were a well-informed European, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                inclusiveheart

                I would feel badly for the progressives in America, that they had to live among so many who are duped by propaganda.

                As a well-informed European, I would see the progressives in America as being those that I would want to empower.  I would try to do deals with only the progressives in America to turn American enterprises away from alliances with the pro-war propagandists and those idiots that believe the pro-war propaganda.

                -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

                by sunbro on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 06:37:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I was dealing with people in (5+ / 0-)

                  a small country many of whom were from places like Guyana - they weren't well informed and they weren't all that well educated.  We looked like bullies to them.  I remember that the night that Kerry made his address at the convention, the ladies at the restaurant were so relieved to find out that I was not a Bush supporter.  The things they said that night were interesting because their judgments of our actions as a country were so on target.  Their arguments were not finely crafted or well informed about all of the politics of the situation, but their bottom line was that we were acting like crazy bullies and destroying all of the idealism they had about the United States and democracy.  These ladies - for whom I have great respect - are pretty freakin' wise about the ways of people and the world.  They were angry at us for not being the best we could be.  It was one of those nights that really illustrated the power of leading by example and the danger of not setting an example.  The place I was living became increasingly anti-democratic in part under pressure from and in response to our government after 9/11.  When we are good, we do make a difference in this world because we inspire people to try to pursue the dream of democracy.  When we stop doing that, we create a dynamic that is not good for anyone.

                  When Kerry conceded the race, the first people I thought of were the ladies at the restaurant and what I was going to say to them to keep their hope alive.  

        •  But U.S. troops may have to secure the nukes (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jimsaco, drmah, Rick Winrod

          We cannot allow Pakistan's nukes to fall into the hands of Al Quaeda or to be left unguarded if civil war breaks out.  This is not imposing democracy.  This would be a defensive operation, turning the appropriate sites into foreign military bases.  Hopefully, we would have a lot of foreign support for this, as we had in the Persian Gulf War.

          "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars." William Jennings Bryan

          by Navy Vet Terp on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:12:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not a good idea. Take control of their nuclear (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Spoonfulofsugar, Rick Winrod

            arsenal by turning their sites into American bases.  Laughable if it wasn't so scary.  And any foreign sovereign would allow this why?  You want to precipitate some nasty shit try marching American soldiers into Arab lands for the purpose of securing their nuclear weapons sites.  Many articles have been written recently stating that their weapons are secure and have many redudant systems that are more than adequate to prevent them from coming into the hands of small faction fundamentalists.

            "An entire credulous nation believed in Santa Claus, but Santa Claus was really the gasman." Gunter Grass

            by rrheard on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:19:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Only as a last resort (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jimsaco, Rick Winrod

              And with a strong preference for an international force.  Remember Bangladeshi and Qatari soldiers fought in the Persian Gulf War.  I would not sit idly by, all idealistic, and watch Osama Bin Ladin take possession of nuclear weapons.  I hope these weapons are secure, but Pakistan is on the edge of going up in flames, and they may become unsecure.

              "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars." William Jennings Bryan

              by Navy Vet Terp on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:28:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Do you honestly believe the Pakistan military (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                philinmaine

                is under threat of being overthrown by the Taliban?  Get serious.  Did you even read DHinMI post.  This is largely a matter of internal Pakistan politics that has been bubbling for a long while with much the same players.  To the best of my knowledge, not my idealism, the only truly stable institution in the country--the military--is in no jeopardy of being deposed by OSB.

                "An entire credulous nation believed in Santa Claus, but Santa Claus was really the gasman." Gunter Grass

                by rrheard on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:35:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, I fear the reliability of Pakistan's Army (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jimsaco, Rick Winrod

                  And yes I read the post which includes:

                  It was the creation of those forces for the Afghan war that eventually led to the rise of the Taliban, the creation of al Qaeda, and the radicalization of the mostly Pashtun peoples in the "tribal areas" of Pakistan, where Bin Laden is widely believed to have found a safe haven, most likely with the tacit acceptance of Pakistan's intelligence service, which is believed to be sympathetic to, and probably actively supporting the religious extremists who seek to overturn Pakistan's government.  These are the proximate roots of the current struggles in Pakistan.  

                  If you recall, when President Clinton ordered missiles fired at Bin Ladin's training camp, we tipped off the Pakistani military so they wouldn't think India was attacking them with nukes, and they tipped off Bin Ladin.  My understanding is there are more than a few officers in Pakistan's army who are sympathetic to Al Qaeda, which is a major reason why the government has been unable to secure the Afghan border region, and may be a reason why Bin Ladin is still a free man.

                  "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars." William Jennings Bryan

                  by Navy Vet Terp on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:43:56 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  One wonders ........... (4+ / 0-)

                what is going on in India's 'Think tanks' at this moment.

                I doubt they are twiddeling their thumbs over these happenings. Don't forget that they are far more at risk under radicle elements controling those nukes. And no matter what is said from the Indian quarters, they will do what is best for them, period.

                Not only Kashmire but also all of India is considered open territory to be recovered by Muslim extremists. Many many attachs and purges have errupted over the instibility between Islam and other religions inside India.

                The beehive Bush kicked is growing bigger by the day. And there is no way that our nation has the resources to contain and deal with the fallout.

                Right now Bush and Cheney need to be impeached and new leadership put into place, hopefully leadership that can be followed by our nation as a whole.

            •  No shit Sherlock! n/t (0+ / 0-)

              "You don't make a hog fatter by weighing it". ---John Edwards, on NCLB

              by Spoonfulofsugar on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:32:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Pakistan isn't Arab (0+ / 0-)

              Don't like XOM and OPEC? What have YOU done to reduce your oil consumption? Hot air does NOT constitute a renewable resource!

              by Asak on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 11:18:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  So you're advocating more war? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Spoonfulofsugar

            How in the hell would this help the situation?

            My candidate has lasers..yours doesn't.

            by Brad007 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:28:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  further inflaming the situation (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DHinMI

            if the chaos gets to that point, we'll find ourselves up to our armpits in some seriously deep kimchi.

            so if all that does come about, it was a strategically brilliant play by mr. zawahiri.  

            ouch.

            l'audace! l'audace! toujours l'audace!

            by zeke L on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:39:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Another occupation? Heaven help us or Hell NO!! (0+ / 0-)
          •  Navy...three steps back sir, with all due respect (0+ / 0-)

            If we had not gone into Iraq with the lies we were told, would this event be happening today? Kill or be Killed, or is it, kill them first before they kill us, or is it war should be our last, last last, and only last choice?  It was not, when we went into Iraq, and now, the fires are burning out of control everywhere in the mid east. We are here today, sir, because of falsified information, because we were told lies, day after day after day...

            As General Colin Powell said, to Bush/Cheney, you go into Iraq....you own 30 million people.  A bell that has been rung, cannot be rung, and now, the entire middle east is catching on fire like the Santa Anna winds cause in California....

            Only the Bozo's on the bus, with their arrogance and their incompetence, just didn't figure the end game right.

            At this point, I'll be thankful if the world makes it through this crises with out Nukes killing us in our sleep...

            You want to know where the Weapons of Mass Destruction are?

            Now you know.

            Badabing

            •  Late response for Babaling - I agree (0+ / 0-)

              I agree with your post.  So much of the problem in Pakistan stems from Bush virtually abandoning the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, then invading a Moslem country, for a pack of lies and garbage, thereby enraging the Moslem world and recruiting umpteen thousands for Al Queda.  Plus there were his recent lies about Iran's nuclear weapons program.  But the difference is that Pakistan has nuclear weapons, which may become unsecure or in the hands of the people responsible for 9-11.  The fact that our country is run by two pathological liars, who are in part to blame for this breakdown, doesn't change this fact.

              Sorry this is so late but this is the first time I could get to the home computer.

              "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars." William Jennings Bryan

              by Navy Vet Terp on Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 03:04:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Yowser! Let's do some more of that meddling ... (24+ / 0-)

      ...we're so effective at.

      CIA overthrows Mossadegh, installs shah. Sets up, funds, trains and equips Savak, torture-prone secret police whose tactics help fuel Iranian revolution in 1979.

      Soviet Union invades Afghanistan to prop up communist government. CIA funds and equips Pakistani ISI, which participates in CIA funding and equipping of Afghan mujahidin, a portion of which becomes Taliban and al Qaeda.

      ISI helps Taliban take over in 1996 and, some argue, unofficially helps shield al Qaeda and Taliban members after U.S. assault on Afghanistan post-9/11.

      What's that word again? Blowback?

      "Just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win." - Special Agent Fox Mulder

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:10:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe (4+ / 0-)

      Everyone should realize that problems in the world are very complicated, and they would NOT be solved with military force OR singing kumbaya [the two favorites of American politicians).  

      Sometimes, a cackle is the best medicine!

      by ghost2 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:11:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  correction: we invaded the right country (5+ / 0-)

      and then abandoned it for the wrong country. This wouldn't have been such a problem if Bush had taken a firm stand on securing Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the instability that Afghanistan has fed into Pakistan while now feedback into Afghanistan.

      "Being in the center just means you're closer to wrong."

      by Stroszek on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:15:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  just a thought........... (2+ / 0-)

        Terrorism is a tactic used by desperate people. You cannot oppose terrorism with bullets without making the problem bigger. You kill a son or father you have doubled your foes.

        Terrorism is only qualed by thoughtful and more moral arguments and showing your superiority. That is if you have some superiority to begin with. And consistant/even-handed rule of law.

      •  securing Afghanistan (0+ / 0-)

        It is always important to match military objectives with capabilities.  

        Securing Afghanistan has been attempted in modern history:  

        1870s Great Britain
        1980s Soviet Union  

        These attempts at conquest each matched the turning point and practical on-set of imperial decline.  

        and now  

        2oo0s United States  

        It has also done for us, though we haven't yet noticed.  

        We will.  

  •  Benazir Bhutto on David Frost show 2007-11-02 (5+ / 0-)

    There is no way that I can summarize what she says. Best it just to watch the video. 14:38 minutes long...

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    Peace.

  •  If we wind up with an Islamist-ruled Pakistan (5+ / 0-)

    Then we damn well better have a plan to seize the country's nukes, or else I'm moving out of this country. I'm not going to let myself die in a nuclear blast.

    •  Can't help myself (6+ / 0-)

      I've said it so many times already but blowback can be a motherfucker and more unilateral meddling by the US is not going to improve the situation.

      Patriotism lies not in blind obedience to authority, but in the desire to search for the truth. - Ramman Kenoun

      by truong son traveler on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:15:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Their weapons don't have the range to hit (4+ / 0-)

      our shores.  Take it easy.  Take a breath.  Look up thread.  From all accounts their arsenal is fully staffed with many redudant systems that prevent them being launched by anyone with a whacky agenda.  The Pakistani military, however brutally, will figure this out.

      "An entire credulous nation believed in Santa Claus, but Santa Claus was really the gasman." Gunter Grass

      by rrheard on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:21:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you are presuming (2+ / 0-)

        that a loose nuke would need a missle launched delivery system.  Lot's of scenarios that you could see without watching Kiefer Sutherland involve using warheads and their fissionable material sans rocket fuel....

        I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. - Mark Twain

        by route66 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:27:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OMG. Take it easy and put down the remote (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gaianne, nasarius, Spoonfulofsugar, geez53

          control.  Everyone in the world would know simultaneously if one was in jeopardy of falling into the wrong hands.  Haven't you all heard this before circa the leadup to invading Iraq.  Mushroom clouds on America's shores.  Get a grip.  Soviet Union collapsed without its warhead falling into the wrong hands.  India will never allow it to happen and neither will any of the other nuclear powers.  And it can be done without attempting to occupy Pakistan's weapons sites with American soldiers.  Bad idea.

          "An entire credulous nation believed in Santa Claus, but Santa Claus was really the gasman." Gunter Grass

          by rrheard on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:32:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  All along Pakistan has been my worst worry. (4+ / 0-)

            There aren't many places in the world that have all of the elements in place like there.

            That's not to say that we should invade but at the same time we can't act as if the world didn't just become an even more dangerous place.

            I don't have a candidate yet but if forced to choose today it would go Dodd, Richardson, Obama, Biden or Edwards, Clinton, then a write in for Mike S.

            by Mike S on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:38:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not to mention that India is just a heartbeat (0+ / 0-)

        away from Pakistan. Don't you know they're thinking, "we told you so"?

        "You don't make a hog fatter by weighing it". ---John Edwards, on NCLB

        by Spoonfulofsugar on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:39:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  interesting NYT article Nov 18th 2007 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drmah

        The US has been helping Pakistan secure their nukes.

        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        Morality is the single most important issue.

        by Ferrofluid on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 07:04:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  as well as (0+ / 0-)

          Seymour Hirsch wrote in 2001.

          Annals of National Security: Watching the Warheads: The New Yorker

          Nonetheless, in recent weeks an élite Pentagon undercover unit--trained to slip into foreign countries and find suspected nuclear weapons, and disarm them if necessary--has explored plans for an operation inside Pakistan. In 1998, Pakistan successfully tested a nuclear device, heralded as the Islamic world's first atomic bomb. According to United States government estimates, Pakistan now has at least twenty-four warheads, which can be delivered by intermediate-range missiles and a fleet of F-16 aircraft.
          [...]

          In recent weeks, the Administration has been reviewing and "refreshing" its contingency plans. Such operations depend on intelligence, however, and there is disagreement within the Administration about the quality of the C.I.A.'s data. The American intelligence community cannot be sure, for example, that it knows the precise whereabouts of every Pakistani warhead--or whether all the warheads that it has found are real. "They've got some dummy locations," an official told me. "You only get one chance, and then you've tried and failed. The cat is out of the bag."

          "Jedoch ich wollte, dass ihr nicht schon triumphiert: Der Schoß ist fruchtbar noch, aus dem das kroch." -Bertolt Brecht

          by Jeffersonian Democrat on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 04:20:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Determining who actually planned ... (16+ / 0-)

    ...this assassination is highly unlikely. Lots of potential suspects for which even those of us who only have a cursory knowledge of Pakistani politics can make a case. Certainly, the idea that one of the biggest losers in this will be Musharraf himself makes a lot of sense. So the two birds with one bullet theory has credence.

    But who benefits most? The military foes of Musharraf? The Inter-Services Intelligence backers of jihadis in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kashmir?

    "Just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win." - Special Agent Fox Mulder

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:02:59 PM PST

    •  Maybe Musharraf just overreached (0+ / 0-)

      He figured a terrorist attack would get rid of his rival, someone only feigning to want to work with him but really on the way to destroying all of what he has worked for.  It would also help legitimize his recent use of martial law and destruction of the justice system which he blamed on the horrible terrorists.  And it would help rally suckers into his whole battle against the dangerous extremists that are trying to take over the government (even though thats impossible given their numbers).  Yeah yeah people will pull their hair out for a few days but really, who  has the guns?  All the while he can't possibly be a suspect because he has something to lose, just not the elections.

      I'm not saying he  did it, just don't count it out as a possibility.  Mistake maybe but mistakes happen all the time.

      I'm a Second Amendment Liberal...and anyone that isn't has a pre-Bush mentality. It can happen here.

      by jrflorida on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:47:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Would we consider cutting off the "aid"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bernie68, drmah

    He's not going anywhere as long as we're pumping cash into the country and no one has to account for how it is being spent.    

    "I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth." - Molly Ivins

    by littlesky on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:04:06 PM PST

    •  We already have done that. NYT just had (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zeke L, Badabing

      a big article in the last couple of days on the unaccounted ineffectual billions we've dumped into Pakistan with zero to show.

      "An entire credulous nation believed in Santa Claus, but Santa Claus was really the gasman." Gunter Grass

      by rrheard on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:12:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do we really (0+ / 0-)

    need a front page diary on this issue?

  •  Viewing this from a combined and admittedly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick Winrod

    simplistic Cui Bono / Occham's Razor standpoint, this must have been al Quaeda - and not really unexpected. (except, apparently, by the Dipshits "running" our country.)

    I came in peace, seeking only gold and slaves

    by revenant on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:08:04 PM PST

  •  What a disaster (11+ / 0-)

    And as usual the Secretary of State and the decider Guy are clueless! All they can shriek is "Terror, Terror!"

    I suppose nobody could have seen this happening either?

    On a less sarcastic note, thanks for this diary DH - it explains this mess so that I feel I have a somewhat better grasp on what's going on!

    Better the occasional faults of a party living in the spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a party frozen in the ice of its own indifference-JFK

    by vcmvo2 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:08:55 PM PST

  •  So the ISI is not on the same page (0+ / 0-)

    as the overwhelmingly secular military dictatorship of Musharraf?  If so how does that happen?  Is the ISI like our CIA and if so are the traditional military branches of the Pakistani government incapable of reining them in?

    I mean our intelligence services aren't the most functional or effective but I always presumed they were on the same general page as the Pentagon and wouldn't be making attempts, overt or covert, on our elected leaders.  What exactly is the situation?

    "An entire credulous nation believed in Santa Claus, but Santa Claus was really the gasman." Gunter Grass

    by rrheard on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:10:07 PM PST

    •  Correct. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DHinMI, zeke L, gaianne, rrheard

      That's actually pretty standard in Cold War countries: the security services would have close links with the USA, so that whatever happened in democratic elections, the USA still had allies capable of calling the shots.  Think Chile 1973.  Or, for that matter, Turkey, up until the Iraq War (when we alienated the Turkish Deep State).

      What's more unusual is that the ISI is no longer allied with us.  Big chunks of it are allied to Islamic extremists.  The military itself is apparently divided between Islamic Extremists and the USA Gravy-Train.

      We're damn lucky that metropolitan Pakistan is not as radical as the ISI or the extremists on the frontiers.  Otherwise we'd be screwed for SURE.  Now we're just maybe screwed.

      Disclaimer: this is all synthesized and regurgitated second-hand, I'm no expert myself.

      •  Then I'd be willing to wager our CIA still has (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rick Winrod

        assets in the ISI despite not being formally allied with us.  It's the CIA way.  I'm sure they'll get this screwed down in short order.  There's a reason only one country in the annals of history used atomic weapons.  Trillions of dollars in commerce will never be allowed to be jeopardized by allowing loose nukes in the hands of a small band of revolutionary extremists.  It's a boogeyman.  MAD.  Even the crazies aren't that crazy.  It serves their cause in no way to touch one off on us or our allies.  It would assure the destruction of billions of Muslims.  Now some kooks in our government may want that but I seriously doubt that collectively the Muslim nations of the earth want that.  They were once parked in Cuba you know. Cooler heads ultimately prevailed.  Hopefully as they always should.

        "An entire credulous nation believed in Santa Claus, but Santa Claus was really the gasman." Gunter Grass

        by rrheard on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:52:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, cooler heads rrhead? Suicide Bombers are us? (0+ / 0-)

          Religious zealots that are kamizazees, are not exactly "cooler heads"...

          That is one of the many many issues, western civilization does not get about Islam. Its not just a cultural divide...their culture is their religion, one in the same.

          It's not that they do not value life, its that they are willing to die for their beliefs because of their basic ideology that their god will welcome them in to their "heaven" for dying for their religion, their culture, their life.  Its all the same to them.

          That is what we don't get over here. The lands that they occupy are "holy sacred ground" and as far as they are concerned we are spitting on that....

          The fire has been lit.  The entire middle east is about to cave in, because for almost 8 years, we have had certifiable insane people in charge of our country.....

          Diplomacy ?  What's that?  Peace process? What's that? Sanity, reason, statesmanship, negotiations?  What are those things?  Gone baby gone.

          Badabing

          •  Dude. Not all Islam is radical. A very small (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            geez53

            segment is.  Pakistan, at least urban Pakistan, is very moderate.  It's not all the same.  Did you know there is more than one sect within Islam?  Did you know most of the holy sites are centered in Iraq and Saudi Arabia?  Did you know that Pakistan isn't even technically in the Middle East?  Did you even read the diary?  Can you even read?

            I do agree that "certifiably insane people have been in charge for [nearly] 8 years."  I wouldn't bank yet on the entire Middle East "caving" in.

            "An entire credulous nation believed in Santa Claus, but Santa Claus was really the gasman." Gunter Grass

            by rrheard on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:27:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Very Very Small Segment. The extremist are just (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rrheard

              that, extremist. I'm getting really tired of the power mongers promoting the buggy man as Islamic anything. Why didn't we call Timothy McVey a Christian extremist or Christeo Fascist? It's just as valid.

              I belong to no organized political party, I'm a Democrat. -Will Rogers

              by geez53 on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 10:56:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  i am listening to demcracy now on my computer. (0+ / 0-)

              the pakistanis being interviewed say the same thing. they also say that bhutto is not without some blemish and that she was a tool for bushco. what a shame that one more person had to die due in part to the bushies' stupidity and arrogance.

              they talked her into coming back and tried to force it's acceptance not taking into account what is really happening in pakistan. now the rethug candidates are hollering terror, terror. the truth is that most in pakistan are moderate in their outlook.

              another day, another time she might had a different result without the bushies being involved. they also said on the show the washington planned the coup that tookout and killed her father. you just don't get info like this on television here.

      •  There are a lot of ISI that are sympathetic to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        beltane

        the Taliban.  The Taliban, pre-9/11, and post, to a lesser extent, provided a strategic buffer to the Pakistani government against India, a fallback position.  They're always worried about India, so they support/supported the Taliban, as a result.  It's led to Islamic extremism, but it started very much more in geopolitical considerations.  
        True radical extremist Islam only has about 10-15% support in Pakistan.

  •  Very nicely done - great post (5+ / 0-)

    The best treatment of the topic yet -- and on the same day.

    Wonderful work - thanks so much.

  •  Musharraf is responsible, he wants total control (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Flippant to the Last, daliscar

    He was one of 3 world leaders to recognize the taliban, to give them support, he took over power in a military coup and decleared martial law, he is part of the extremists he keeps mentioning. As a Indian-American of Kashmiri descent it hard to feel to bad about the death of Bhutto, sure it sad when a fellow human being dies, but she is the one who started and state-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir.

    "There is nothing wrong with America can't be cured by what is right with America" -Bill Clinton

    by SensibleDemocrat on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:15:26 PM PST

  •  An omen (5+ / 0-)

    While this is pure speculation, I was eerily reminded of the assassination of Ahmed Shah Massoud days before 9/11. Al-Qaeda knew that Massoud would be America's proxy in Afghanistan. Should a major attack come soon, Bhutto would have been our most likely proxy in Pakistan. Taking her out fits with Bin Laden's modus operandi.

  •  wait (5+ / 0-)

    you didn't tell us what Presidential candidate this incident would help!  Please go back and add that.

    D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

    by dday on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:16:56 PM PST

  •  Easily the biggest assassination in the region... (4+ / 0-)

    since Ahmad Shah Massoud -- on September 10, 2001.  

    I've often thought that previous assassination provided some sort of signal.  Wonder what this one may bring.

    As an Iraqi-American academic born and raised in New Orleans, this voter is not pleased.

    by naltikriti on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:20:45 PM PST

  •  DHinMI (10+ / 0-)

    Excellent recap. The best summary I've read all day on very complicated events.

  •  Regarding the email that they're talking about (5+ / 0-)

    CNN and MSNBC:  Supposedly there's an email from Bhutto saying that Musharraf would be the one responsible if an assassination occurred.  Wolf Blitzer claimed that he  knew about this email weeks ago.  I thought it was interesting that he revealed that he had known about it.  But in any case, how relevant is this email and Bhutto's allegation?  

    I have no factual basis for having my doubts about the email, but it just smells funny to me.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace" --Thomas Paine

    by joanneleon on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:25:44 PM PST

    •  Neocons (0+ / 0-)

      My speculation:

      Wolfie is a Neocon mouthpiece extraordinaire
      Wolfie hypes email forwarded to him two months ago
       allegedly written by Bhutto fingering Musharraf

      Conclusion : Neocons want Americans to pin the blame of Bhutto's assassination on Musharraf

      Why? You tell me. I think that since they were beaten back by the NIE concerning Iran, they are bucking for a new Ahmadinejad target. Neocons love to demonize leaders of countries on their hit list - Iraq, Iran, Russia ...

      "You don't make a hog fatter by weighing it". ---John Edwards, on NCLB

      by Spoonfulofsugar on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:59:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ridiculous (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jrflorida

        The US can trust and work with Musharraf, but at the same time encourages him to be Democratic.  For stability, Pakistan is secure under a dictatorship like China and Singapore, yet the US prefers Democracy and you speculate that the US want Masharraf gone?  That makes no sense.

        •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Spoonfulofsugar

          Stable eh?

          Recent evidence notwithstanding?

          Puh-lease.

          You cannot stand in front of progress for your country because of your fears, you must stand behind Her in spite of them.

          by coigue on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 06:24:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The irony... (0+ / 0-)

            The irony is that it wasn't until the US encouraged Democracy that stability worsened.  The US has been known to support dictators because they are stable.  

            Sticking to core beliefs about Democracy is a problem because it can bring the rise to populism such as Hamas, Nazis, and extremists in Pakistan.

            Maybe US policy to support dictators is the best way?

            •  Would have been better to continue (0+ / 0-)

              the old policy wrt Iraq and Sadaam Hussein, that's for damn sure. I wouldn't 'xactly call it supporting him, tho.

              So....you are inconsistent with your comments, do you think the US is at fault in this or is it just the 'silly Democrats blaming the US as the NAZIs scapegoated the Jews' as you claim below?

              Make up your mind, I've got to adjust the chair
              (punchline to an old joke)

              You cannot stand in front of progress for your country because of your fears, you must stand behind Her in spite of them.

              by coigue on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 06:35:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The irony... (0+ / 0-)

                coigue,

                You said: "So....you are inconsistent with your comments, do you think the US is at fault in this or is it just the 'silly Democrats blaming the US as the NAZIs scapegoated the Jews' as you claim below?"

                No, I meant that believing the extremists are blaming this on the US (and also believing it) is very similar to how Nazis scapegoated the Jews for problems at home and to push their own agenda.  Agreeing with the extremists in this case is a bad move.  After all, Bhutto agreed with US policy for the most part but she was still her own woman.  US policy, I believe, isn't perfect, but is there something better?

                I find US policy inconsistent, though, in that it supports dictatorships sometimes, and sometimes doesn't.  But I think those who claim the US wants Musharraf gone so it can install a democracy is ignorant because in the US's best interests, a dictatorship is usually better for the US.  There are few people here who believe the US could do something in the interest of another nation, presuming Democracy is the best form of government, of course.

                •  So you are saying that Democrats are like (0+ / 0-)

                  Nazi enablers???

                  US policy, I believe, isn't perfect, but is there something better?

                  US policy is not monolithic. Weve done good and bad. So there are better ways to do things and worse.

                  But I think those who claim the US wants Musharraf gone so it can install a democracy is ignorant because in the US's best interests, a dictatorship is usually better for the US.

                  This is an interesting thesis, EXCEPT that it leaves out intermediate steps between supporting a dictatorship and installing (or attempting to install) a western democracy. There are many intermediates. Actively supporting a dictator may be convenient in the short term, but causes long term problems: e.g., Idi Amin, Sadaam Hussein, Manuel Noreiga, Um...that guy in the Congo Mumbaba (???? I can't remember his name), et al.  

                  You cannot stand in front of progress for your country because of your fears, you must stand behind Her in spite of them.

                  by coigue on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 07:52:56 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  CNN is the Most Important International News... (0+ / 0-)

        ...outlet.  You can look for all the more complicated reasons you want, but the obvious one is that CNN International is the most important news network in the world.  Thus, they would be the obvious place to deliver that message.  

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 12:03:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  what a mess (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Flippant to the Last

    Faux news keeps hyping the GWOT. I keep wondering if Dubya's minions had a hand in this woman's death. Our foreign policy skills just plain suck.

    -7.38, -5.23 One day we ALL will know the truth about the 2000 presidential election. God help us all.

    by CocoaLove on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05:33:51 PM PST

  •  Seriously, folks. (5+ / 0-)

    Is this really the Only Front Page diary about what happened in Pakistan today?

    When I heard the news, I felt the stunning numbness that envelopes when unbelievable events impose themselves into history.

    A world-wide light of hope has been extinguished today.  One who shared in our optimism, one who dared to walk amongst those with with nefarious intentions.  She was a Hero on a global scale, ignored by many, but one who will have a Chapter in the books detailing the advancement of justice, equality, and the irrepressible energy of the human spirit.

    God rest her soul.

    •  This is a masterful diary. You are right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      geez53

      I echo God rest her soul

    •  She was a US stooge? (0+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately, there are those here who love to think she was a US stooge and that somehow must be wrong.  I'd like to know why.

      •  Or she let them think she was their stooge (0+ / 0-)

        It got her back in the country.  Yes the Bush administration orchestrated the whole alliance with Musharraf, but alliances can be broken once she had a bit of power and popular support.  Apparently she recently said that while she thought she could get elected and get political power, without the military behind her there was nothing she could do even if she were elected.  Her best hope was to play along with an alliance and work slowly to restore democracy.  I don't think she was really what this administration was bargaining for once she got there.  She helped shine a nice bright light on what a despot Musharraf really is.  Now that her mouth is shut she'll be their hero now.

        I'm a Second Amendment Liberal...and anyone that isn't has a pre-Bush mentality. It can happen here.

        by jrflorida on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:54:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Shameful (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rick Winrod, exMnLiberal

      Is this really the Only Front Page diary about what happened in Pakistan today?

      It would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic that this story was ignored by the entire Super Duper Front Page Team.  ALL DAY.  We saw front page mentions of pheasants and the grandpa of Paris Hilton wanting to give his money away, but NOT ONE WORD about the assassination of a world leader.  You'd think it was newsworthy enough to at least have a link thrown out at us by one of the Powers-That-Be.  But no, sorry.

      Every political blog in the world had it.   Even celebrity blogs mentioned it for crying out loud.  But not here.  

      Markos should be ashamed that readers of Perez Hilton were more up-to-date about this important world event than readers of this site.

      I remember a time (long ago) when this site had news front paged seconds after it happened.  But as today's non-coverage proves, money and fame breed laziness.

      Without music, life would be a mistake.

      by Cory on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 07:18:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We shall (0+ / 0-)

        easily become,

        those that we despise.

        ..........

      •  Because dkos is a news aggregator (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rhutcheson

        and without a link on the FP you would not have known about the assassination? Because we absolutely had to follow the traditional media's model and rush forth with wild speculation? Because getting it right isn't worth waiting a few hours?

        chiz

        •  Geez (0+ / 0-)

          Oh please, smintheus.

          Actually mentioning a huge political story on the front page of a huge political blog means we are following the traditional media's model?  Horseshit.  And you damn well know it.   Christ, how much effort does it take to throw up a link at the very least?  Not much, as the constantly overflowing Diary Rescue link posts prove.  

          This woman was brutally murdered and it will affect nations and people around the world.  Yet every one of the Super Duper Front Page Team decided to hold of and wait all day to mention the story so they could get the story straight?  LOL.  There certainly was no delay in frontpaging a dumbass story about Paris Hilton's grandpa and his money.  THAT story follows the traditional media's model perfectly.    (Traditional media today kept switching between stories about Bhutto's assassination and Mischa Barton's DUI arrest!)  

          The entire Front Page Team failed miserably today regarding this story.  Suggesting otherwise is pointless.

          And of course I knew about the assassination.  And that's because I stopped relying on this site for breaking news a long time ago.

          Without music, life would be a mistake.

          by Cory on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 11:00:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Get Real (0+ / 0-)

        Some people don't give a shit if they post a piece of crap as long as they get it up quickly.  I'm less concerned with getting it up quickly than with getting it right.  

        If you simply want quick, go to the AP wire.  That's not what we do here.  

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 12:09:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps you should stop thinking (0+ / 0-)

        of the contributing editors as the "powers that be," and be thankful that someone addressed this story with an extreme degree of analysis and nuance, rather than rush up a bombastic diatribe about how this, like everything else that pains the world, is a direct result of the profound failures of the Bush Administration.

        Money and fame?  Holy shit, I think you operate under a grave misunderstanding of what a CE is.

        Liberal.
        Waterboarding is torture. Torture is unconstitutional. Period. ~Ted Kennedy

        by GOTV on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 06:33:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, DHiMI (13+ / 0-)

    A fine example of what this site does best.

    With so much oversimplification happening in both the traditional news and internet comments, this was a refreshingly in-depth look at a complicated situation, without dumbing down said complicated situation.

    Given the critical importance of Pakistan to both U.S. and world concerns, it behooves us to be aware of how complicated this situation is and to pay attention.  As such, a very fitting post for the front page.  Thanks again.

    •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phthalo

      At times he ticks me off when the discussion of impeachment comes up, but remembering posts like these help me to hold back my tongue. Well at least most of the time ;)

      Just because I spend time in "Blogostan" doesn't mean that I gave up my citizenship in the real world.

      by Sagebrush Bob on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 06:05:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  From the India Times (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jay C, Phthalo

    About 14 killed in violence after Bhutto's killing

    I also found the reader comments about the death of Benazir Bhutto to be interesting.

    Just because I spend time in "Blogostan" doesn't mean that I gave up my citizenship in the real world.

    by Sagebrush Bob on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 06:02:16 PM PST

  •  Through a Glass Darkly (4+ / 0-)

    We have absolutely no idea who was responsible for killing Benazir Bhutto.  As one commentator noted, there were so many people who wanted her dead that it's a wonder she lasted this long.  Let's take a look at the list:  Pervez Musharraf benefits from her death -- now the Bush Administration can't force her down his throat; the Pakistani military benefits for the same reason Musharraf benefits; Al Qaeda -- as DHinMI notes, Bhutto was a supporter of letting the U.S. pursue Al Qaeda on the ground in Pakistan; non-Al Qaeda Pakistanin Islamacists-- these are nationalistic Pakistanis whose primary focus is Kashmir.

    What all these players have in common is opposition to Bhutto being the Bush Administration's running dog in Pakistan.

    How she was killed could have been manipulated many different ways.  It could have happened exactly as it has been reported -- a suicide bomber shot her then blew himself up.  Or, those behind it could have sent an assassin -- essentially a patsy -- who was unwittingly carrying a bomb that was then detonated by someone nearby as soon as Bhutto was shot.  Kind of a Jack Ruby by remote detonation.  This conveniently snuffs a potential trail of evidence as to who was responsible.

    Given that many of those who had an intense interest in killing Bhutto will likely be in charge of investigating her murder, there is no way we can ever have confidence in any conclusions as to who killed her.

    What is clear is that U.S. policy toward Pakistan is in shambles -- which it has been for some time.  Bhutto's murder just removes one thin reed of hope that allowed the Bush Administration and its Village enablers to continue to deny the disaster of their foreign policy.

    A nuclear armed Pakistan is imploding while the U.S. military is bogged down in a country that was no threat to anyone.

    Way to go, Serious People.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 06:30:21 PM PST

  •  Since GWB, the whole world is on Tilt. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rosebuddear

    Just in case. I am not talking about planetary tilt, wobbly earth orbits, or other celestial stuff. I'm talking about political systems.

    BTW, the earth's axis tilts away from the sun, or, is it vice a versa?

    I vote Earth.

    "They pour syrup on shit and tell us it's hotcakes." Meteor Blades

    by JugOPunch on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 06:31:02 PM PST

  •  Yes... but (0+ / 0-)

    the current crisis has its roots in the US/Pakistani creation of the Mujahadeen forces that fought in Afghanistan in the 1980's against the Soviets.

    The root of that root is the US government acting contrary to American values in the name of expediency. Until our actions are congruent with our values, those who are obsessed with aquiring power will find a way to take advantage of our mistakes.

    Expedient actions based on nothing but the perception of a short-term advantage never work in the long run. Those in the future inevitably pay in one way or another.

  •  The threat of Al-Qaeda justifies the suspension (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Badabing, Rick Winrod

    of Constitutional law in Pakistan. Is it any mystery why Musharraf doesn't want US troops in Pakistan "going after Al-Qaeda". That would remove the justification for "emergency law"(military dictatorship).
    There is a global agenda against freedom, but groups like Al-Qaeda are not the root cause. Religious extremists are only instruments used to justify the opposition to Constitutional law(Human freedom). It was greed interests that allowed Pakistan to get nukes in the first place. Not to "protect" Pakistan, but to use as a bludgeon, along with the existence of religious extremists, to justify a military dictatorship and to disallow human freedom.
    Someday we will learn that greed is the root of agendas designed to undermine human freedom. Democracy would be "costly" in Pakistan. Democracy leads to "costly" things like labor laws, environmental regulations, workplace safety standards etc. Fascism(military dictatorship) is a much "cheaper" environment in which to do business. Greed is the root of agendas designed to undermine human freedom. Religious extremists are just pawns in the game. It's the combination of Greed and Ignorance that causes situations like Pakistan.

  •  Romney: I Ran The Olympics, I Can Invade Pakistan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lungfish, Rick Winrod

    That was pretty much his message on Hannity (who's on vacation so he talked to Colmes).

    He came across as a blithering empty suit, then said other people shouldn't politicize the attack.

    Willard, you're not in Utah any more

  •  Instead of the movie..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick Winrod

    ...Charlie Wilson's War....

    try reading the book. It's actually facsinating and details a hell-of-a-lot of money and shenanigans that took place during the 70's to the 90's.

    Rather amazing amounts of money .....

  •  am i on Dailykos?? (4+ / 0-)

    some of the comments here seem to be planted by the LGF crowd... i mean are we seriously advocating more wars and more interference?? How the heck do we think Pakistan got into this situation?

    Religion was always there... but we didn't have Busharraf... When you destroy all avenues for people to express their opinions and crush the freedoms of people, when you dispose off the judiciary and destroy all semblance of checks and balances, when you do not discriminate between religious orthodoxy and religious extremists.... when the rest of the world sits silent and support it... just like it is doing in Uzbekistan and other dictatorships... then this is the result...

    Let me tell you where it started. This started with the blood of the students at Red Mosque. What could have been a sensible and restrained operation to arrest the militants turned into a bloodbath. The number of suicide bombers that one incident produced will not be quenched until probably many more die.

    Behind Busharraf is of course Bush. You can blame the current situation on Bush and his team of neocons. They are not directly responsible, but they are indirectly complicit.

    I am flying to Pakistan on Saturday if flights are still going... I hope to report back some of the ground-situation...

    •  Can I second this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rosebuddear

      Poor Pakistan.  When it comes to Pakistan we've meddled for decades, and it's produced a dysfunctional, corrupt country.  We need to meddle less.  When Biden blasted Richardson today for saying that Musharraf has to go, it proved that Washington just does not learn.  We're in this mess because Musharraf is "Cheney's guy" and we've propped him up.  

  •  ok (adjusting tin foil chapeau) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick Winrod

    dang that thing chafes sometimes. :)

    Cui Bono? Is it weird that the first thing I thought of when I saw the headline this morning was Paul Wellstone? Thus have these creeps always rid themselves of troublesome fleas getting in their way.

    It seems that they are sort of thinking the same thing over at Firedoglake.

    http://firedoglake.com/...

    "Smart cat - has cheatsed yur stoopit labrintz"

    by Rosebuddear on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 06:56:57 PM PST

  •  Thank you for an analysis that takes a point of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jay C, Rick Winrod, CA Libertarian

    view--that of the Muslim world--into account.  You pointed out that the Bhutto family is Shia, a factor hugely and widely ignored because around here, how many care?  Well, Muslims care.

    I'm spending a lot of time on the phone with Pakistani friends today so, in short, I appreciate your diary.

    Also:  I also saw a reprise of a 60 minutes special on Charlie Wilson in which he looked back on our decisions in Afghanistan and said something I thought I had already screamed loud enough for the world to hear, a long long time ago:  REBUILD AFGHANISTAN.  DO A CENTRAL ASIAN MARSHALL PLAN.  DO IT NOW.  I cried today when I realized he had said that, on 60 Minutes, in 2001.  

    He thought it was already too late then, but we can still create some  stability and stanch some suffering if we start now and truly intend to help the entire country--even the Taliban-controlled border areas.  It would be one of the hardest things to do right that I can imagine. But it HAS to be done, ESPECIALLY now.

    It won't turn back the clock but it would help the future, ours and theirs.  

    She didn't know it couldn't be done, so she went ahead and did it.

    by Boadicaea on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 06:59:12 PM PST

  •  I Saw 3 Political Obituaries Romney, Huckabee And (0+ / 0-)

    Giuliani on the republican side, their statements are something to forget not to remember I throw in Obama on the Dems side as his statement on Bhuttos dead was more "Bush Like" Than anything I have ever heard a democratic candidate say.

  •  Memories (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DHinMI, Jay C, lungfish

    I remember the late 80's/early 90's was a time of so much hope. Cori Aquino had been elected in the Phillipines, Violeta Chamorro replaced the Ortega regime in Nicaragua and Bhutto was elected in Pakistan. It was a time not just of growing democracy but an era of strong women leaders in parts of the world where women traditionally did not hold much power. Bhutto will be so missed.

  •  Double-edged sword (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lungfish

    Despite Benazir Bhutto's extraordinary posthumous stab-in-the-guts delivered to Gen Musharraf: we still, at this point, don't have any real idea of who planned this heinous act, or why. And, perhaps, never will.

    The glib answer that Mrs. Bhutto's assassination was devised by (or allowed to happen by) official Pakistani Government actors may be a simple one: but, at least as far as President Musharraf's fortunes go: a tricky one.

    Actually, old Mush gets slammed from both sides: while the death of Mrs. Bhutto does remove one possible rival: this awful murder has so inflamed tensions (and passions) in Pakistan: that any suspicion (well-earned, to be sure) of Musharraf's involvement is likely to generate even more negatives for his already-abysmal popularity. It seems a tad counter-productive, even for a species of dictator like Musharraf, to think that adding "assassin" to his resumé is going to help him: at all.

    Pakistani politics os a hellish snakepit of violence at the best of times: and, sadly, I think the best of times, for Pakistan, is past.

  •  11/02/07 Benazir Bhutto tells whos killed OBL (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick Winrod

    Omar Sheikh so said Benazir Bhutto to Sir David Frost on Al Jazeera English 'Frost over the World' interview in November.

    Anybody remember seeing in on US TV news or in the newspapers !

    Morality is the single most important issue.

    by Ferrofluid on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 07:37:54 PM PST

  •  You've distilled a heck of a lot (0+ / 0-)

    of good analysis into this piece, DH. All kinds of kudos for an outstanding post.

  •  counterpunch has the best takes on this tradegy (0+ / 0-)

    get over to Alexander Cockburn's site now and read the best writing on Bhutto's role in Pakistan and what is likely to happen next.

    As Ken Silverstein learned from an anonymous Washington lobbyist last year," big donors would not be helping out Obama if they didn't see him as a 'player.'"

    by formernadervoter on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 08:14:52 PM PST

  •  John Edwards oppurtunist (0+ / 0-)

    Announcing that he just "spoke with Musharraf a few minutes ago".  I'm sure Bush did as well, and being friends with this dictator is not going to do any good for us or the rest of the world.  I wanted to see which candidate would try to capitalize most on this tragic event, and I think John Edwards showboating is pretty hard to top.  Huckabee gaffed, yes, but he came the the closest to characterizing that actual situation over in Pakistan.  

  •  Bush wants a lackey (0+ / 0-)

    Musharraf is the one he is use to but he'll take whoever he can get.  Until he figures out who that is he is going to keep Musharaff.  I thought it interesting that Bush was quick to parrot Pakistan's statements that it was an extremist attack.  It was done in a military garrison city and could just as easily have been planned by the government to look like extremists.  They didn't wait for any kind of investigation.  There won't really be one as it is so cut and dry that even the President knows who did it already.  Not that its not extremists, its just the body isn't cold yet and the propaganda is already steamrolling over the next election.  Musharraf will push ahead with elections, get his way, and ignore complaints.  It doesn't matter if the other opposition party boycotts it, the ambassador has already mentioned the other 49 that will participate.  Its like the coalition of the willing. It doesn't matter how insignificant the party, they will all be treated as consequential.  If the shit hits the fan then the military does what it did when they throughout the Supreme court.  I know they got rid of martial law but last I knew the courts were still overthrown.  Mission accomplished and no one remembers because woohoo!, constitutional government is restored.  The country didn't explode then and they figure its going to blow over this time too. They pulled that one off claiming extremists were out to takeover the government then too, which is so unlikely its laughable...well maybe not laughable.  

    I'm a Second Amendment Liberal...and anyone that isn't has a pre-Bush mentality. It can happen here.

    by jrflorida on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:38:49 PM PST

  •  DH - truly outstanding. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA Libertarian

    This is far and away the best piece I've read on the situation all day.  Well done.

  •  Excellent. (0+ / 0-)

    But this is not terrorism in the sense of 9-11-type attacks on the US.  Instead, this is political and religious in the context of trying to bring down the secular government of Pakistan, and the horrible image of the US is helping inspire those who may have killed Bhutto and who have also been trying to kill Musharraf.

    We don't hear that enough (even on dailykos).  This is not a symbolic strike, it (could be) a serious attempt to bring down a government and create a Sharia state in its place.  One with nuclear weapons.

  •  Interesting diary, and informative. I hope (0+ / 0-)

    your title is right.  Thanks.

    Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be. Clementine Paddeford

    by blubryeyes on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 03:37:48 AM PST

  •  Another US foreign policy failure? (0+ / 0-)

    Probably.  The way we take sides, the way we push things too fast, supporting personalities and not democratic institutions around the world....

    RIP BB


    Go to your window [and http://youtube.com/watch?v=90ELleCQvew]

    by coffeeinamrica on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 04:39:20 AM PST

  •  "Conflict in Pakistan is more between the cities (0+ / 0-)

    ...conflict in Pakistan is more between the cities and the countryside."

    Sounds like what's been happening here in the USA, too...

    Thanks,

    Mike

  •  Invoke "terra"? (0+ / 0-)

    It was a terrorist that assassinated her! Got it!

  •  "But the deal fell apart"... (0+ / 0-)

    heh - is THAT the euphemism we're using?

  •  Musharraf has the unqualified support (0+ / 0-)

    of the gang of thugs in the White House and billions upon billions in aid that he can dispense to his followers and his enemies. American dollars can trump religious nuts every time. He'll be in power as long as he can continue to dodge the bullets and bombs. He's a surviver like it or not.

    •  Uhh (0+ / 0-)

      American dollars can trump religious nuts every time.

      Uhh, ever hear of Iranian Revolution?

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 01:51:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And how long did it take to get rid of the Shah? (0+ / 0-)

        He had almost no legitimacy at all and still he remained in power for years at the cost of thousands of lives because of US backing and $. Got any other bogus examples?

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