In case you hadn’t heard, the Bush administration is thinking about intervening in the investigation of Benazir Bhutto’s death. Why? Condoleeza Rice says, “I don’t think the Pakistani government at this time under President Musharraf has any credibility at all.”
Are ya kiddin’ me? To even inkle that BushGov should be viewed as credible is a study in breathtaking arrogance. There are few nations on earth whose “leaders” have less credibility than ours. Colombia, maybe. Sudan. It’s a short list. Bush and Musharraf have almost identical disapproval ratings.
Even as the euphemism “laid to rest” dominates news of the burial of Bhutto’s body, I wonder if that’s actually possible. I know. Dead is dead. But given her passionate involvement in that tortured country, how can her spirit possibly rest?
The current version of Bhutto’s death (sans autopsy) is that as she tried to duck back into her car, the force of the explosion(s) knocked her into a sunroof mechanism, fatally fracturing her skull.
There’s a lot of chatter about how “foolish” was Bhutto’s habit of exposing herself to mortal danger each time she popped up through the sunroof of the vehicle transporting her. But I think it was not foolish. I think it was brave and, to some degree, necessary. A hard case to make in light of what just happened, I suppose.
Bhutto must have known every hour of her life in Pakistan that she was at risk. Had she been elected, that wouldn’t have changed. But perhaps she reasoned that you cannot make much of a case for being a leader of the people at a remove. You have to be out among them, visible, accessible.
Benazir Bhutto was a canny politician. And like some canny politicians in this country, she was apparently flawed. Charges of corruption dogged her heels throughout her years of public service in Pakistan. Even so, I believe she was the right person for this time. She embodied hope in a nation that has had precious little of same for so long a time.
And let’s not be so quick to castigate Pakistan for its savage acts. Historically, we’ve been tidier here with our assassinations, but the end result is the same. In modern time, think JFK, MLK, RFK for starters, plus the unsuccessful assassination attempts—most notably on Ronald Reagan.
Whatever unfolds, the only thing that scares me more than rampaging Pakistanis is stumbling, bumbling, secretive BushCo. How can individuals who ought to be tried for high crimes and misdemeanors insert themselves as facilitators of due diligence and justice? The hypocrisy is stunning. But then, with BushCo, it always is.