Alarming News

December 27, 2007

Word is she was shot twice before the “suicide attack”

Pakistan Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has died after a suicide attack at a political rally.

Posted by Karol at 10:00 AM |
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had she lives perhaps she could have embarked on a relatively successful rap career.

Posted by: E5 at December 27, 2007 at 10:43 am

In the neck, and in the chest.

Posted by: Gerard at December 27, 2007 at 10:53 am

In related news, the sun rose in the east this morning.
Seriously, who A. didn’t see this coming, B. didn’t think that it would be shady when it happened and, finally, C. doesn’t believe that Musharraf will blame this on Al Qaeda?
Not to be cynical (it’s my nature, can’t help it), but she was a dead woman walking the minute she set back down in Pakistan.
Now the only questions are as follows:
1.) Will Musharraf be able to ride the tiger he unleashed? Or is he about to go out like the shah?
2.) Does the Bush White House have a plan for containing this issue or is this going to be another one of those, “No one could have foreseen…” events? Secretary Rice, please pick up the white courtesy phone…
3.) If it looks like Pakistan’s nukes are going to become uncontrolled, will either India or the United States have the cojones to take them out? I say if India does it, this is the starting point where India starts getting mentioned as a “great power.”

Posted by: James at December 27, 2007 at 11:10 am

I’m quite sure no one will ever know what really happened.
Conspiracy theories are already being pieced together. I don’t know enough about Pakistan to say with any degree of certainly what might have happened, but I don’t think Musharaff would be stupid enough to be behind something like this.
I know that the only result of this would be to upset what minimal stability remained in Pakistan. The country would end up ripe for people to exploit the situation for some end.
I fear that one such end would be a civil war orchestrated simply to allow al Qaeda, assisted by some rogue islamist elements in the ISI, to get their hands on some nuclear technology in the chaos in the event of such a civil war.
Musharaff may have wanted her gone, but I think he’s prescient enough to realize that driving his country to the brink of civil war (and possibly over it) in the process would be beyond counter-productive.
I could see al Qaeda doing this and blaming it on Musharaff, as al Qaeda would gain demonstrably by weakening Musharaff. But I hardly see the opposite scenario, where Musharaff would have thought framing al Qaeda in this would gain him any more supporters from Bhutto’s camp.
God rest her soul, and let’s hope calmer heads step in and prevail.

Posted by: Sean at December 27, 2007 at 1:27 pm

Inside job – one of her guys. She was shot before the bomb which, obviously, was either a diversion or seperate attempt.
Love them hajjis – where else can you have two groups competing to assassinate you simultaneously?
Fukin’ Pakis! Stick to making halal – that shoould be the extent of their aspiration.
ps There should be some highly amusing BDS out of this!

Posted by: Radical Redneck at December 27, 2007 at 1:43 pm

Karol, do you do any moderation on this site, or is redneck allowed to use racist abuse unchecked?
Al Queada will say it was the USA, propping up their puppet Musharaf. Musharaf will blame Al-queada, trying to destabilise democracy, but either way, Musharaf wins and Pakistan democracy loses.
They hung Benazir’s father, a former leader of Pakistan.

Posted by: bryan at December 27, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Reports say the suicide bomber was the shooter, actually.

Posted by: James at December 27, 2007 at 3:03 pm

Karol, do you do any moderation on this site, or is redneck allowed to use racist abuse unchecked?

Yawn. Predictable, mindless leftist handwringing. OK Short Bus, name one thing racist in what I wrote. It’ll give you something to do while your mom adjusts the strap on your helmet.

Al Queada will say it was the USA, propping up their puppet Musharaf. Musharaf will blame Al-queada, trying to destabilise democracy, but either way, Musharaf wins and Pakistan democracy loses.

Predictable rubber-spined moral equivalency too. Only a fraction of a chance it was Al Qeada eh? Disregard that they’ve screamed their claim of it.

Posted by: Radical Redneck at December 27, 2007 at 3:52 pm

Bryan. Give it up mate. Radical Redneck lacks the intelligence God gave a fruit fly. He uses racist language because that is all he is intellectually capable of. every request for a rational and coherent evidence to back up what he says results in one being accused of being homosexual or pro terrorist. There is a saying. Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference.
Bhuto’s assasination was almost a guarantee the moment she set foot in Pakistan. On the relative plus side Musharraf has stepped down from his army position so if Pakistani history is any indicator he won’t last long. They never do.
Could India be seen as a great power in the future? No reason why not. Will make the next 50 years interesting. 2 potential powerhouses India and China in close geographic proximity. Didn’t work out too well 100 years ago!!!

Posted by: Nick at December 27, 2007 at 5:25 pm

“Fukin’ Pakis! Stick to making halal – that shoould be the extent of their aspiration.”
Implying that someones place of birth should be a limiting factor to their aspirations is a little bit racist… or at least prejudice, no?

Posted by: E5 at December 27, 2007 at 5:26 pm

This is a post that didn’t take so I’ll try again:
I stand by my belief that Musharraf had something to do with it. The only dispute, in my opinion, is whether his involvement was active (”You, Colonel X, will orchestrate the death of Ms. Bhutto…”) or passive (”Let’s put Colonel Fife in charge of her security…”).
Either way, I’m afraid that given his likely ending (and I don’t mean retirement) if her party won a general election, his involvement would hardly be “stupid.” If Event X = my untimely demise, I’m stopping Event X. Otherwise, how do you explain the logic of this woman’s security arrrangements? Take a look at the videotape of her at the rally right before her death. You think Musharraf’s security would be that lax? I think not.
In the end, provided he manages to keep unrest from becoming rebellion, this is the best possible outcome for him outside of OBL turning himself in. Why? Three reasons:
One, there’s no one after Bhutto the West is going to get behind. The only other viable candidate is the guy who was so busy eating at the corruption trough that he couldn’t even stop Musharraf from starting a war with India (oops, did I say that out loud?). There’s no one else to slap on a horse and send in to the fray.
Two, in that same vein, if there is an election, Musharraf just became the lesser of two evils. Even with a large number of people thinking Musharraf did it, I’m sure a majority doesn’t want to party like it’s 1999 (literally). I’m not saying the man’s election odds are looking Putinesque (and I don’t mean Prime Ministerial), but his party’s odds just got a whole lot better.
Finally, there is now a completely viable and logical reason for Musharraf to clamp down with emergency powers. There are already reports of riots and unrest in Pakistan’s major cities, and the place is probably going to go positively ape sh*t after Bhutto’s funeral, especially if the radicals strike a few more times. Whereas the whole, “Oh, I’m going to declare emergency powers so I can try and crush AQ”-gambit has been played out, the “I’m going to declare emergency powers because I’d really hate for one of our nukes to go missing in the chaos”-gambit is not. While there was a _slight_ chance the Bush Administration might have actually gone to the mat in order to ensure elections that included Bhutto, I don’t see them going through the same contortions for Sharif and whomever rises from the rubble.
Bottom line, I ain’t sayin’ Musharraf ordered the hit…but I am saying he probably didn’t do a whole heck of alot (if anything) to stop it. There’s no difference of culpability in my mind–your results may vary.
Oh, btw, Radical–c’mon now, your comment might not have been “racist,” but it was definitely “K”lassy. I mean, “haji” is hardly a term of endearment even if it doesn’t rise to the level of the ‘n’ word. You can make a point about the Pakistanis being poised on the rim of the toilet bowl that is Islamofacism (and how fitting the “plop” will be) without degenerating to name calling.

Posted by: James at December 27, 2007 at 5:49 pm

Implying that someones place of birth should be a limiting factor to their aspirations is a little bit racist

How so?

You can make a point about the Pakistanis being poised on the rim of the toilet bowl that is Islamofacism (and how fitting the “plop” will be) without degenerating to name calling.

That’s exactly what you just did (appropriately I may add). ;-)

Posted by: Radical Redneck at December 27, 2007 at 6:17 pm

Well glad to see W is demanding that the people behind this be brought to justice. Now if only he would bring Osama to justice….
Look, this is a big blow for the administration and its hopes and therefore American policy. As corrupt as she was, Bhutto was the closest thing we had to a horse in Pakistan. I know it’s gonna make Condi Rice lose a bit of face and the disciples of Comrade Trotsky, Woodrow Wilson and Leo Strauss better get the carrot out of their eyes and actually see the world as it is. Stability means a lot more to the American interest than democracy, especially if nukes are on the table. Sharif is much worse than Musharraf (as James noted) and we should not have put so many eggs in the Bhutto basket. Sorry folks. Spare me the lectures on Sharansky. As bad as Musharraf is, he is the best horse in the ranch now and if the American interest requires backing a tyrant, well we did it a bunch in the Cold War. Hell, we would not have won WW2 without Stalin. Musharraf is a dictator and corrupt as hell. But he’s our corrupt dictator and that seems the best option now.

Posted by: Von Bek at December 27, 2007 at 8:18 pm

Redneck, I would invite you to walk up to any group of americans who were born in pakistan and address them as “fukin’ pakis”. Then you might find out if that term is racist or not.
Your “oh me, oh my, what could I possibly have said” replies are just lame
btw, I predicted what either side will say, and who they will blame, but you’re so lazy, you can’t even see it.
Make comments about my mam, it shows you up for the classy guy you are….

Posted by: bryan at December 27, 2007 at 8:49 pm

How is Sharif worse, let alone “much worse,” than Musharraf?
Politically maladroit perhaps, but I don’t see how he is worse.
He agreed to locate and seize (kill?) Bin Laden, an opportunity that Bubba-in classic Clintonian fashion-passed up. Plus, he has genuine popular support, i.e. he doesn’t need to pay people in order to show up at his political rallies.
I’ve got news for you, every political, media, jurisprudential figure who stands in opposition to the military of Pakistan is charged with “corruption,” including the former chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. It is akin to being charged with ideological subversion in Cuba or the former USSR.
If Musharraf has tight security someone should apprise him of the fact, because the last major political figure who they attempted to assassinate was his prime minister, and prior to that, him.
He told Bhutto that he couldn’t provide her with adequate security, both before she returned and after the unsuccessful attempt on her life in Karachi. That’s not to say that I’m absolving him of blame-since he created the conditions for the Talibanization of Pakistan-or exculpating members of his regime-some of whom could have collaborated with the jihadists who committed this atrocity-but I do think it should be noted that Bhutto was placed under house arrest in part because of security concerns.

Posted by: Gerard at December 28, 2007 at 1:07 am

They tried to shoot Sharif at about the same time yesterday, but missed. I’m sure this was pure coincidence.

Posted by: bryan at December 28, 2007 at 2:20 am

Wait a moment. Even in his terms as PM, Sharif did some rather less than pure things-dismissing officials who did not cowtow to him come to mind. But the main reason I said he was worse was this little tale:
A bribe from Osama and company?
Yeah I’d say that’s corrupt and worse for the American interest than the current tyrant.

Posted by: Von Bek at December 28, 2007 at 6:41 am

Redneck, I would invite you to walk up to any group of americans who were born in pakistan and address them as “fukin’ pakis”. Then you might find out if that term is racist or not.

Talk about a non-sequitor. That’s like saying “go up to the sun and see how much Hillary sucks”
Awwwwwwwwwww, poor Nicky’s back. Still desperately trying to save his (deservedly) fragile ego after I have repeatedly exposed him for the 9/11 apologist shitbag he is. He even emailed me personally to futily feed his delusional adequacy/superiority. Fellow’s not all bad though – at least he’s biodegradable.

Posted by: Radical Redneck at December 28, 2007 at 8:57 am

How is Sharif worse? Oh, let me count the ways:
1.) Kargil War. Sharif either directed the army to or was so inept he could not stop the army from engaging in a conflict with India. His government then proceeded to make comments about being willing to use any and all weaponry in the war. Thankfully, both President Clinton and India appraised Sharif of why this would be a very, very bad thing. While I’ll admit I’m a firm believer in having a first use policy, getting ready to go thermonuclear over a province that _your own country_ acknowledges belongs to someone else is a bit, shall we say, _touched_.
2.) The aforementioned firing of officials. Sharif sought compliance, not competence, in his appointees.
3.) He began the process of putting the Army (via retirees) in charge of everything beginning with one of the major utilities. This process has continued to this day and, quite frankly, it’s one of the big reasons Pakistan’s in the mess it is in.
4.) Directed his intelligence services to support and strengthen the Taliban. Yes, that’s right, the same Taliban he is allegedly going to go right after as soon as he gets in charge. It would take something approaching Neville Chamberlain’s level of naivete to even begin to believe this one.
Call me crazy, but I also find it odd that the shots at Sharif went into the supporters (according to reports) and not Sharif himself. I’d have to see a better account than what’s up so far (if the four supporters were, like, standing around him then I’m a little less skeptical).
As to Musharraf’s security, when was the last time someone got close to him? Wasn’t that like 2004 or something?* Yeah, sorry, I think it quite odd that he’s been so lucky for three years and Bhutto’s getting laid to rest as we speak. The whole, “I can’t protect you…” statement was the flailings of a desperate man who was having the woman shoved down his throat. Sorry, but given that Musharraf’s still breathing, I find it hard to believe the best guys were on the job. Just a hunch.
*I’m not going to count village idiots attempting to hit his plane with a weapon whose slant range was something like 75% of the distance to the jet.

Posted by: James at December 28, 2007 at 9:44 am

I didn’t imply that he wasn’t inept.
In fact, his concession that appointing Musharraf to head the army-over several officers with seniority over him-is a tacit admission of his own ineptitude.
When Clinton told him to call off his dogs, re: Kargil, he did. The primary responsibility for that fiasco lies with Musharraf and the army though, which operates as an independent, sovereign entity in Pakistan.
Again, the fact that Sharif was corrupt and practiced cronyism is not denied-it was the same practice of his predecessor, Ms. Bhutto, and every single elected and unelected ruler of Pakistan, dating back to the imposition of military rule many decades ago.
I don’t know where you get the idea that transparency was a hallmark of Pakistani civic culture prior to Nawaz Sharif’s arrival on the scene, but that is simply not the case and never has been since the ad hoc creation of the state itself.
The militarization of Pakistani politics began long before Sharif’s arrival on the scene. If you want to apportion blame for this phenomenon I suggest you look towards the late General Zia. Notwithstanding the charges that Sharif was one of his cronies, the fact remains that every Pakistani politician who has any prominence today began his or her political career under military dictatorship. That is not their choice, but a matter of circumstance.
As for Musharraf’s brushes with death, the last assassination attempt occurred this past July.

Posted by: Gerard at December 28, 2007 at 12:10 pm

And the notion that just because Al Qaeda, or any assorted group of Islamic lunatics, wants to murder some one they can-with enough persistence-is absurd.
How many times have hey tried to off Hosni Mubarak?
How about Salman Rushdie?
How well did their multiple attempts on the life of the late Pope John Paul II go?
Or President George H.W. Bush?
What about Steven Emerson-is he sleeping with the fishes?
Or Ayaan Hirsi Ali?
You see where I’m going with this, don’t you?

Posted by: Gerard at December 28, 2007 at 12:13 pm

As for ABC’s “prominent human rights activist”-you have to love euphemisms-here’s a more accurate description of him and his motives:
Khalid Khawaja
I’m sorry, but I’m not going to invest a lot of trust in the deceptive mutterings of someone who might have played a pivotal role in the assassination of Daniel Pearl.
The other key “witness” has even less credibility in my eyes. We still have never been given any details as to what terror plots Ali Mohammed disrupted-if any-but we do know of at least one massive terror bombing he orchestrated personally.
The Defendent Who did not go to trial
You’ll forgive me if I don’t give much credence to the terror-fighting/investigation skills exercised by the Federal Bureau of Incompetency.
The Ali Mohammed-FBI Bungle

Posted by: Gerard at December 28, 2007 at 12:28 pm

Musharraf claims he has evidence it was al-Q, is this the basis for blaming them?

Posted by: bryan at December 29, 2007 at 3:27 am

We’ll see.
It’s not wholly implausible, since Al Qaeda is ensonced in that country-not just in FATAs, or the Northwest Frontier Province, but in every city within Pakistan.

Posted by: Gerard at December 29, 2007 at 10:29 am

“Talk about a non-sequitor”
So does this mean, if it offends someone, it is their fault for being so sensitive? So that’s what those race riots boil down to 40-odd years ago: over-sensitive blacks, jews & etc. being mean to the humorous whites exercising their freedom of speech and expression with their comedy white hoods and burning crosses. I’m not calling you any name, because I think your words speak far more eloquently about who you are and what you are.

Posted by: bryan at December 29, 2007 at 4:37 pm

Like I said, the criticisms against Sharif are specious.
He’s no more or less corrupt than any other Pakistani politician.
He wasn’t any more conciliatory to Islamists than Bhutto-who gave them and the army a free hand during both her prime ministerships-or Mushie-who’s allowed them to accrue so much power that they are on the verge of toppling his government.
He did help us nab Ramzi Yousef-the mastermind of the first WTC bombing and Operation Bojinka-reined in the Pakistani army when it provoked a nearly full-scale war with India, and was willing to help us seize Bin Laden-if the dolt in the White House at the time hadn’t been so fixated on being serviced by female interns we might have prevented the 9/11 massacres.
The two character witnesses-and I use that term loosely-against him are cold-blooded terrorists-one with close ties to Sheikh Gilani, Bin Laden’s pal, and the other to Bin Laden himself.

Posted by: Gerard at December 29, 2007 at 7:47 pm
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