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Benazir Bhutto was No Saint; She is Pakistan’s Arafat

Since the mass media and politicians will only be saying whatever politically correct thing that fits their agenda, you will want to travel around the blogs to get the history, context, historical significance and proper analysis of the assassination of former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto. In many places today, she is being hailed as a hero, a martyr and many other glowing decriptions. While her death is a tragedy, she was anything but any of these adoring descriptions.

So before you fall into the trap of learning about this woman from soundbite summarizations, I suggest you read through these articles to get a full understanding of this woman’s background and history. Her death is tragic, but just because she was the enemy of al Qaeda did not make her a friend of America and the West.

“Benazir Bhutto, The Corruption Diva…” And The Link To Hillary

Given Bhutto’s past corruption, deceit and heavy handedness, is it any wonder she is embraced by the idiot brigade of the left?

Ms Bhutto is hardly one to speak of the high ideals of democracy, constitutions and legality. Her antipathy directed at Pervez Musharraff is understandable. He oversaw an amendment to Pakistan’s constitution that ban prime ministers from serving more than two terms, an action that would disqualify Bhutto from holding that office again. It is in her best interest to call for mass demonstrations and to vilify Musharraff and thus seek to amend the Pakistani Constitution to serve her own best interests. Consider the following:

Arthur Herman, a U.S. historian, in a controversial letter published in The Wall Street Journal on 14 June 2007, in response to an article by Bhutto highly critical of the president and his policies, has described her as “One of the most incompetent leaders in the history of South Asia”, and asserted that she and other elites in Pakistan hate Musharraf because he is a muhajir, the son of one of millions of Indian Muslims who fled to Pakistan during partition in 1947. Herman has claimed, “Although it was muhajirs who agitated for the creation of Pakistan in the first place, many native Pakistanis view them with contempt and treat them as third-class citizens.”

Prior to being run out of Pakistan, Ms Bhutto oversaw one of the most corrupt regimes in that nation’s history – and that is quite an achievement in a nation where corruption is business as usual.

The French, Polish, Spanish and Swiss governments have provided documentary evidence to the Pakistan government of alleged corruption by Bhutto and her husband. Bhutto and her husband faced a number of legal proceedings, including a charge of laundering money through Swiss banks. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, spent eight years in prison on similar corruption charges. Zardari, released from jail in 2004, has suggested that his time in prison involved torture; human rights groups have supported his claim that his rights were violated.

A 1998 report indicates that Pakistani investigators have documents that uncover a network of bank accounts, all linked to the family’s lawyer in Switzerland, with Asif Zardari as the principal shareholder. According to the article, documents released by the French authorities indicated that Zadari offered exclusive rights to Dassault, a French aircraft manufacturer, to replace the air force’s fighter jets in exchange for a 5% commission to be paid to a Swiss corporation controlled by Zardari… The paper also said that Zardari’s parents, who had modest assets at the time of Bhutto’s marriage, now own a 355-acre estate south of London. The estate has been auctioned through a court order.

Bhutto maintains that the charges leveled against her and her husband are purely political. “Most of those documents are fabricated,” she said, “and the stories that have been spun around them are absolutely wrong…” [Of course. The Swiss, Poles, Spanish and French all ganged up on Hillary, er, Benazir – SC&A]

However, Bhutto and her husband still face wide-ranging allegations of theft concerning hundreds of millions of dollars of “commissions” on government contracts and tenders. Despite this, a power-sharing deal recently brokered between Bhutto and Musharraf will allow Bhutto access to her Swiss bank accounts containing £740 million ($1.5 Billion). Another one of her prime assets include her 10 bedroom mock Tudor Surrey mansion.

The New York Times has a series of articles, gathered on one web page. Bhutto Clan Leaves Trail Of Corruption is a must read.

Pakistan’s Arafat

Benazir Bhutto was a ‘pro democracy proponent’? Benazir Bhutto was a ‘soldier for democracy’?

On what planet?

Benazir Bhutto was Pakistan’s Arafat. She stole billions of dollars from her nation and was forced to leave office twice because of corruption charges and allegations she had her own brother assassinated. Her husband spent 8 years in prison, convicted of those corruption charges.

Dr Sanity quotes Cliff May and sees clearly into the neighborhood in which Ms Bhutto lived and played.

Bhutto’s murder points to a lesson we (the Foreign Policy Establishment in particular) has been slow to learn:

This is not some extraordinary event. This is not the work of some lone madman. This is how militant Islamists contest elections – not just in Pakistan but also in Lebanon and Gaza and wherever they they get a foothold.

That there are Pakistanis who hail Bhutto as a ‘democratic’ leader should come as no surprise. There are those Palestinians who venerate Arafat and the Hamas leadership despite decades of corruption and deliberate exploitation.

Arafat spend decades being feted by European and American leaders. He dined with Kings and Princes, Presidents and Prime Ministers. In the end, not even they could not camouflage his corruption, repression and oppression and bestow upon him any kind of legitimacy. Arafat’s legacy is visible in the wretched lives, poverty and hopelessness of Palestinians.

The same is true in Pakistan.

The Fraud That Is Benazir Bhutto, The Taliban And The Leftists Who Love Her

As the idiot brigades opines on the situation in Pakistan turn into anti Bush bash, (here is an example of stupidity on display), completely ignoring Bhutto’s corrupt and dictatorial past, there is at least one Pakistani who knows Benazir Bhutto and has plenty to say. One absolute idiot asks that leftists ‘stand united’ with Bhutto and Hillary Clinton.

In an editorial in today’s LA Times, entitled Aunt Benazir’s False Promises, Fatima Bhutto, niece of Benazir Bhutto, clarifies a few issues.

Perhaps the most bizarre part of this circus has been the hijacking of the democratic cause by my aunt, the twice-disgraced former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. While she was hashing out a deal to share power with Gen. Pervez Musharraf last month, she repeatedly insisted that without her, democracy in Pakistan would be a lost cause. Now that the situation has changed, she’s saying that she wants Musharraf to step down and that she’d like to make a deal with his opponents — but still, she says, she’s the savior of democracy.

…Yes, she now appears to be facing seven days of house arrest, but what does that really mean? While she was supposedly under house arrest at her Islamabad residence last week, 50 or so of her party members were comfortably allowed to join her. She addressed the media twice from her garden, protected by police given to her by the state, and was not reprimanded for holding a news conference. (By contrast, the very suggestion that they might hold a news conference has placed hundreds of other political activists under real arrest, in real jails.)

It is widely believed that Ms. Bhutto lost both her governments on grounds of massive corruption. She and her husband, a man who came to be known in Pakistan as “Mr. 10%,” have been accused of stealing more than $1 billion from Pakistan’s treasury. She is appealing a money-laundering conviction by the Swiss courts involving about $11 million. Corruption cases in Britain and Spain are ongoing…

Why did Ms. Bhutto and her party cronies demand that her corruption cases be dropped…?

Ms. Bhutto’s repeated promises to end fundamentalism and terrorism in Pakistan strain credulity because, after all, the Taliban government that ran Afghanistan was recognized by Pakistan under her last government — making Pakistan one of only three governments in the world to do so. [emp-SC&A]

My father was Benazir’s younger brother. To this day, her role in his assassination has never been adequately answered, although the tribunal convened after his death under the leadership of three respected judges concluded that it could not have taken place without approval from a “much higher” political authority…

The entire editorial can be read here.

Benazir Bhutto’s younger brother is by no means the only death in which she has been implicated. Killings and death plots are common in that part of the world and Ms Bhutto has clearly shown she can ‘play with the boys.’ In fact, another of her brothers died under mysterious circumstances in 1996. The suspicion that surrounded her was so great that she was forced to resign, with most Pakistanis believing she was implicated in the killings.

An NRO Symposium on Pakistan & Benazir Bhutto on National Review Online

Victor Davis Hanson

We don’t know exactly who assassinated Ms. Bhutto, but, given the infiltration of the Pakistani secret services by Islamic extremists, it seems likely that al-Qaeda-like jihadists, with the deliberate blind eye of the government, were responsible. Same old, same old in the Middle East: The jihadists are cruel and crazy, the dictatorial alternative is duplicitous and illegitimate, and the democratic third way is weak and vulnerable.

Pakistan is a nuclear dictatorship, with a thin Westernized elite sitting atop a vast medieval Islamist badlands that it cannot control. Today’s events show that the very notion of a pro-Western politician coming to power legitimately is unlikely for the immediate future.

Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee, among others, have suggested that it’s about time to consider incursions into Pakistan to strike al-Qaeda. That would be like putting a needle into a doughboy: The problem is not a particular region, or a particular Pakistani figure, but Pakistan itself, founded as an Islamic state, and by nature prone to extremism. It is the most anti-American country in the region and we should accept that and move on.

Our relations were always based on the flawed idea its Islamic and autocratic essence made it a good bulwark against communist Russia and socialist India. But the world has changed, and we should too. It is long past time to smile and curtail aid — and quit arming it with weapons that are more likely to be used against our friend India as bin Laden.

I would imagine once most of the “reform” candidates are killed or cowered, the emboldened terrorist animals will turn on their government feeders — even as the Pakistani street somehow blames us.

Andrew McCarthy: Benazir Bhutto – Killed by the real Pakistan

A recent CNN poll showed that 46 percent of Pakistanis approve of Osama bin Laden.

Aspirants to the American presidency should hope to score so highly in the United States. In Pakistan, though, the al-Qaeda emir easily beat out that country’s current president, Pervez Musharraf, who polled at 38 percent.

President George Bush, the face of a campaign to bring democracy — or, at least, some form of sharia-lite that might pass for democracy — to the Islamic world, registered nine percent. Nine!

If you want to know what to make of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s murder today in Pakistan, ponder that.

There is the Pakistan of our fantasy. The burgeoning democracy in whose vanguard are judges and lawyers and human rights activists using the “rule of law” as a cudgel to bring down a military junta. In the fantasy, Bhutto, an attractive, American-educated socialist whose prominent family made common cause with Soviets and whose tenures were rife with corruption, was somehow the second coming of James Madison.

Then there is the real Pakistan: an enemy of the United States and the West.

Bill Roggio: Bhutto Assassinated

Bob Krumm: Pakistan’s Archduke Fredinand

All that being said, it is not hyperbole to say that the biggest story of 2007 just happened today with less than a week left in the year. If this event touches off a wider war a la the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, everything just changed. Everything.

[ … ]

It is worth remembering as we begin our own campaign season in earnest next week that no matter how acrimonious the political discussion becomes, we live in a country where those who root for the death of their political opponents exist far outside the mainstream and that even if an assassination attempt were to occur here, there is zero risk of anything but an orderly transition of power on January 20, 2009.

Christopher Hitchens – Benazir Bhutto, 1953-2007

Who knows who did this deed? It is grotesque, of course, that the murder should have occurred in Rawalpindi, the garrison town of the Pakistani military elite and the site of Flashman’s Hotel. It is as if she had been slain on a visit to West Point or Quantico. But it’s hard to construct any cui bono analysis on which Gen. Pervez Musharraf is the beneficiary of her death. The likeliest culprit is the al-Qaida/Taliban axis, perhaps with some assistance from its many covert and not-so-covert sympathizers in the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence. These were the people at whom she had been pointing the finger since the huge bomb that devastated her welcome-home motorcade on Oct. 18.

She would have been in a good position to know about this connection, because when she was prime minister, she pursued a very active pro-Taliban policy, designed to extend and entrench Pakistani control over Afghanistan and to give Pakistan strategic depth in its long confrontation with India over Kashmir. The fact of the matter is that Benazir’s undoubted courage had a certain fanaticism to it. She had the largest Electra complex of any female politician in modern history, entirely consecrated to the memory of her executed father, the charming and unscrupulous Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who had once boasted that the people of Pakistan would eat grass before they would give up the struggle to acquire a nuclear weapon.

Counterterrorism Blog: Previous Counterterrorism Blog Posts on First Bhutto Assassination Attempt

Counterterrorism Blog: Analysis of the Bhutto Assassination

Counterterrorism Blog: Benazir Bhutto’s Assassination — a Lethal Assault on Democracy

Her faults were also profound, as the well-documented grand corruption cases brought against her and her husband attest. She did indeed treat her country like it was a family-owned business, with corrosive results. The corruption provided the excuse for her removal from power in 1990 and again in 1996, weakening her politically and telegraphing to others that they could siphon funds, too. The corruption was thus central in preventing the Bhutto governments from delivering the reforms needed to make Pakistan’s government responsive to the needs of its people.

Counterterrorism Blog: Bhutto’s Assassinaton Needs a Real Investigation

Counterterrorism Blog: Pakistan on the Brink: Assassination of Benezir Bhutto triggers widespread violence in Pakistan

Counterterrorism Blog: Reports: Imminent Statement Expected from Al-Qaida’s Mustafa Abu Yazid Claiming Credit for Bhutto Assassination

There are now widespread reports suggesting that an imminent official statement is expected from Egyptian Al-Qaida spokesman Mustafa Abu Yazid claiming responsibility for the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Earlier today, Al-Qaida issued a separate statement from Mustafa Abu Yazid denying any role in recent blasts targeting mosques in the Pakistani border city of Peshawar. According to that communique from Abu Yazid (dated December 24), “We do not attack targets in mosques or in public places where there are crowds of Muslims in order to safeguard Muslim blood and to respect the sanctity of mosques. This is our approach generally, and we inform all of our supporters in Pakistan — and everywhere else — about these facts.”

It should be noted that is not the first time that Al-Qaida and its affiliates have allegedly targeted Benazir Bhutto for assassination. During the Philippine police interrogation of Abdul Hakim Murad — an associate of 1993 World Trade Center bombing mastermind Ramzi Yousef — Murad recalled that Yousef “once made a statement that BHUTTO should be replaced as PM of Pakistan since Islamic belief does not allow a woman to occupy such position and that [mujahideen organizations] should do something to unseat her. Said statement indicates that [Yousef] might be planning to carry out an attack against the PM of Pakistan.” Likewise, during the mid-1990s, the FBI recorded several telephone conversations involving Kifah Jayyousi and Adham Hassoun (who were recently convicted in federal court for their role in recruiting would-be Al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla) in which the men discussed “getting rid” of the late Pakistani Prime Minister — who they referred to as “Khanazir Bhutto” (“Bhutto the Pig”): “She’s done… done… she… she was finished… finished, my brother… I was reading about the life… the life of the Prophet, peace and blessing upon him… ‘Men are ruined if they are to obey women’. Praise to God.”

Hot Air Video: President Bush reacts to Benazir Bhutto’s assassination

Hot Air Video: Huck on Bhutto: This could affect the continuation of martial law in Pakistan which, er, was discontinued weeks ago

Hot Air Videos: Giuliani, McCain, Romney react to Bhutto’s assassination

Hot Air Video: Fred Thompson on Bhutto

Hot Air Video: Ron Paul reacts to Bhutto’s death by playing the same tired blame-America tune

Hugh Hewitt: In a Crisis and Throughout a Long War

India expresses shock, horror at Bhutto’s assassination – Hindustan Times

Mark Steyn on Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto’s return to Pakistan had a mad recklessness about it which give today’s events a horrible inevitability. As I always say when I’m asked about her, she was my next-door neighbor for a while – which affects a kind of intimacy, though in fact I knew her only for sidewalk pleasantries. She was beautiful and charming and sophisticated and smart and modern, and everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be – though in practice, as Pakistan’s Prime Minister, she was just another grubby wardheeler from one of the world’s most corrupt political classes.

Since her last spell in power, Pakistan has changed, profoundly. Its sovereignty is meaningless in increasingly significant chunks of its territory, and, within the portions Musharraf is just about holding together, to an ever more radicalized generation of young Muslim men Miss Bhutto was entirely unacceptable as the leader of their nation. “Everyone’s an expert on Pakistan, a faraway country of which we know everything,” I wrote last month. “It seems to me a certain humility is appropriate.” The State Department geniuses thought they had it all figured out. They’d arranged a shotgun marriage between the Bhutto and Sharif factions as a “united” “democratic” “movement” and were pushing Musharraf to reach a deal with them. That’s what diplomats do: They find guys in suits and get ’em round a table. But none of those representatives represents the rapidly evolving reality of Pakistan. Miss Bhutto could never have been a viable leader of a post-Musharraf settlement, and the delusion that she could have been sent her to her death BENAZIR BHUTTO ASSASSINATED

OpinionJournal Interview – Benazir Bhutto discusses her plans to return to Pakistan

What does all this portend for Pakistan? Ms. Bhutto is by turns hopeful and despondent. “Pakistan is still caught in a time warp, it is still the same battle lines between the modernizers and the extremists. But unfortunately the long period of military rule has emboldened the extremists. . . . I think it is just a matter of five to 10 years, if they continue building as many militant headquarters as they have in the last five years, it may be too late. They have been building and building and building.”

The remedy to all this, says Ms. Bhutto, is democracy, plain and simple. She does not believe that Pakistani society has become more illiberal in its political outlook, despite the almost metastatic growth of radical madrassas (religious schools) in recent years. On the contrary, she argues that the increasing–and increasingly unrestrained–power of militants to compel or kill ordinary people to get what they want has created a huge backlash, one that could make itself felt at the ballot box if people are given the chance to vote their consciences. Radicals and militants, she says, recalling the fate of the moderate Mensheviks at the hands of the Bolsheviks in 1917, “are not enough to tilt an election. But they are enough to unleash against the population, to rig an election, to kidnap police, to kill the army, and therefore to make it possible to take over the state.”

Ms. Bhutto plans to return to Pakistan quite soon, perhaps within a matter of weeks. She worries that Mr. Musharraf could have her arrested, or that he will declare a state of emergency (as it seems he was nearly prepared to do this week), or that he will use brazen or subtle methods to rig the elections. She is plainly confident that her party will score big at the polls if given a fair chance, and that, whether as prime minister or from behind the scenes, she will be at its helm. In a life marked by the sharpest reversals of fortune, it’s another turn of, and at, the wheel.

Pakistan: Benazir Bhutto assassinated – The Long War Journal

December 27, 2007 , 7:14PM - Posted by | al Qaeda, Benazir Bhutto, Muslims, Pakistan, Terrorism, The Long War

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the links!

    I just updated and posted links to the NYT articles on Bhutto’s corruption. Real eye-openers.

    Comment by SC&A | December 27, 2007 , 7:24PM

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