The modern-day Assassins led by their vanguard in al-Qaeda managed to murder Benazir Bhutto and roughly 20 bystanders in Rawalpindi. The Canadian Press reports:
The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto addressed thousands of supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, about 18 kilometres south of Islamabad, the capital. She was shot in the neck and chest by the attacker, who then blew himself up, said Rehman Malik, Bhutto’s security adviser.
Bob Krumm states this is the biggest news story of 2007, and claims that this could be as big a deal as the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. That would imply it would start a war as big as World War I. I don’t think it will cause that big a reaction because it will not offend Muslims the same way that any offense committed by Americans would, but would put it second, after Petraeus’ success in Iraq with the surge.
From the first day she came back to Pakistan, the Jihadists were out to kill her and she seemed to be seeking martyrdom. In that first day back she held an enormous, well publicized, rally down the middle of a main road. A Jihadist carried an infant to her, wrapped in explosives, for her to kiss. But luckily for Bhutto, she had retired beneath the top of her transport and was uninjured by the explosion that killed 140 people, including the infant bomb. Yesterday the police stopped a 15-year old suicide bomber with a bomb full of nails. She has been going out into crowds too frequently. She went to Rawalpindi, where her father was hanged to death by General Zia ul Haq, who overthrew him in a military coup.
Mark Steyn writes:
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. […]
As I said, she was everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be. We should be modest enough to acknowledge when reality conflicts with our illusions. Rest in peace, Benazir.
The best thing that might come out of this martyrdom is that al-Qaeda’s allies in Pakistani military and intelligence services finally awaken to the reality that al-Qaeda and the Taliban have overstepped, that they are not allies by any stretch of the imagination, and that Pakistan finally acts decisively to destroy al-Qaeda and the Taliban branch and root.
The second best thing that might come out of it is that NATO, the UN, the EU, and the US will finally stop fooling themselves about whether the Taliban is a reliable partner in negotiations. It is not. It never will be. Hopefully, this tragedy will open some eyes.
More on Pakistan.
Trackposted to Is It Just Me?, third world county, Right Truth, DragonLady’s World, Blue Star Chronicles, Pirate’s Cove, Cao’s Blog, Chuck Adkins, Adeline and Hazel, and Stageleft, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.