The Bhutto assassination is a tragedy for Pakistan, and ,of course, for her family and friends.
Beyond this one would have to ponder the questions that comes to mind with respect to the sense of her return to Pakistan. The news presents that Bhutto’s return was supported by American interests toward a power sharing deal between Pakistan’s military leader and Bhutto – all in an effort toward addressing the “War on Terror”. To consider the importance of this and her safety, and in sharp contrast to her unguarded movement throughout the country in the last couple of months, one would have to wonder why she appeared as a sitting duck for acts of violence. Just why was it so easy for an assassin to reach her? Why was she standing above an open sunroof in an armored car? With all the importance this woman represented to Pakistan and the interests of safety in the world, just where was everyone in ensuring her safety?
Consider the above, and the importance of alliance with a nation that is armed with nuclear weapons and then consider: Why are we in Iraq? Why have we escalated efforts in Iraq over the past months and sent more money there?
We send oodles of money to Pakistan, yet not demand conditions for that money? Conditions that would include ensuring the safety of all candidates represented in upcoming elections.
Just who are we paying in Pakistan and what are we paying them to do? It’s a mystery.
I don’t think there is shock over the demise of Bhutto, of course there is sadness to hear of any individual’s senseless death. I think the shock remains in: what is going on here? It doesn’t add up. Is this yet another example of the Bush administration’s failed foreign policy? What are we doing in Iraq? Bush has spoken of Iraq-Iran in terms of potential weapons of mass destruction, yet Pakistan has nuclear weapons and the capacity to deliver them. To them, as well as Afghanistan, we appeared to have turned a blind eye.
Of course the 2008 Presidential campaigns roped Bhutto’s assassination in for a spin. But it does bring an interesting question – “If you were president, what steps would you take at this time?”. This is the question that Wolf Blitzer of CNN was asking candidates this morning. Many of the candidates used the opportunity to display the degree they were familiar with Pakistan’s current military leader, and some spoke of their personal relationship with Bhutto.
The candidate that I found most interesting, however, was Giuliani. When asked if he had ever met Bhutto, his response was “I don’t believe so”.
Rudy, that was a question requiring a yes or no answer. Were you suggesting that you may have met such a crucial world figure in the past, but have no recollection or are you claiming executive privilege? Hmmm. Giuliani also deferred to the president as responsible for responding to the Bhutto assassination. I think he missed the point of the questions. Scary.