Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Benizar Bhutto Who Done It

One can only make sense of a world turned upside down by standing on one’s head.

The New Year presents us with at least one important “Who done it?” Who assassinated Benizar Bhutto and why?

The historic stage is littered with potential culprits. Immediately after Bhutto’s assassination, the administration of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, released a tape purporting to be a conversation between people involved in the hit and a person who ordered the hit.

“We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat mujahideen.” These were the words of al-Qaeda’s top commander for Afghanistan operations and spokesperson Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, immediately after the attack that claimed the life of Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto on Thursday (December 27), Asia Times on line reported.

President George Bush had engaged both Musharraf and Bhutto diplomatically in an effort to turn Pakistan in a democratic direction. That diplomatic effort appeared to be succeeding, and then the bomb went off. The scene of the assassination was soon scrubbed clean by water hoses, eliminating all useful forensic evidence that might have been gathered to resolve the question “Who assassinated Bhutto?”

The Musharraf regime, assuming it had no hand in the assassination, certainly would have benefited from an earlier forensic examination of scene of the earlier attempt on Bhutto’s life. Bhutto herself said as much in an interview with David Frost.

At this point, though it is very early on, we are left with the question “qui bono?” who benefits, as a speculative guide.

The Bush administration – and diplomatic efforts in general – certainly did not benefit from Bhutto’s assassination. Temporarily, the jihadists appear to have gained the most from the chaos caused by the assassination. The culprits fingered by Musharraf and to a certain extent by Bhutto herself, the Afghan jihadists, have “distanced themselves,” in American political parlance, from the assassination.

But the really interesting thing about the jihadists -- potential makers and breakers of US congresspersons and presidential wannabes -- is that they fail most spectacularly when they succeed. That is what happened in Anbar province. They took it over, banned smoking, imposed hated Sharia law and forced popular sheiks to give up their daughters in marriage to the jihadists. Almost immediately, the locals began to turn them in to American soldiers. The assassination of Benizar Bhutto may, in the long run, prove to be one of these successful spectacular failures, assuming Americans have the patience and the fortitude to run the race through. Europe, always short of breath in the crunch, is traitorous in this regard.
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