Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bhutto Goes Blammo

The battle of Iraq is over; behold, the battle of Pakistan has begun:
Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide bombing that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, a party aide and a military official said.

“At 6:16 p.m. she expired,” said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto’s party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital where she was taken after the attack.

A senior military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment, confirmed that Bhutto had died.

Her supporters at the hospital began chanting “Dog, Musharraf, dog,” referring to Pakistan’s president Pervez Musharraf. Some of them smashed the glass door at the main entrance of the emergency unit, others burst into tears.
How knee-jerkingly convenient that Mrs. Bhutto's followers blame Musharraf, whose recent actions in declaring a scarcely any less knee-jerkingly convenient state of emergency that included putting the woman under house arrest created just the soil in which such reflexive recriminations can easily take root - but which were also a nearly inescapable Hobson's choice as well.

Meanwhile, the actual perpetrators weren't shy about glomming the "credit" for their latest murder:
A spokesperson for the al-Qaeda terrorist network has claimed responsibility for the death on Thursday of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

“We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen,” Al-Qaeda’s commander and main spokesperson Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid told Adnkronos International (AKI) in a phone call from an unknown location, speaking in faltering English. Al-Yazid is the main al-Qaeda commander in Afghanistan.

It is believed that the decision to kill Bhutto, who is the leader of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), was made by al-Qaeda #2, the Egyptian doctor, Ayman al-Zawahiri in October.

Death squads were allegedly constituted for the mission and ultimately one cell comprising a defunct Lashkar-i-Jhangvi’s Punjabi volunteer succeeded in killing Bhutto.
"The Egyptian doctor". The irony reels the mind.

Still, this sure looks like an al Qaeda hit. Suicide bomber, ordered by the same man who was behind the assassination of the late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat twenty-six years ago, which also was carried out by a suicide bomber at a crowded public rally. And it's not as if the Islamists haven't been trying to blow Mrs. Bhutto to bits for the past several months.

Why this is the case is perhaps not quite as obvious as one might think. Clearly it isn't out of an Islamist fear of democracy:
A recent CNN poll showed that 46% 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%.

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.
You could look at it that al Qaeda and the Taliban were practicing the Pakistani version of "hardball politics". By eliminating the Western-palatable alternative to Pervez Musharraf and turning Bhutto's followers even more embitteredly against his embattled regime, our enemies get pretty much the best of all worlds: either Musharraf cracks down again, bringing about a Western crackdown against his regime that would do the rest of al Qaeda's dirty work for them; he sits there, paralyzed, and his country is swept into bin laden's hands; or, as New Mexico Donk Governor Bill Richardson idiotically insists, we take this assassination as an "opportunity" to overthrow Musharraf, Shah-like just because, in order to "democratize" Pakistan - because, you know, any Pakistani democracy would automatically be pro-Western, despite all evidence to the contrary, right? - after which the Islamists will be swept into power by popular demand, just as happened in Lebanon and Gaza.

Both Andy McCarthy above and Mark Steyn in the Corner make powerful arguments that the foolish delusions of Western diplomats, who believe that jaw-jaw can solve everything, were scarcely any less culpable for sending Benizir Bhutto to her death than "Dr." Zawahiri and the demonspawn with the explosives vest. The truth, brought home anew this morning in a flash and a roar, is that Pakistan is Islamicizing, if not already majority Islamicized, and the only possible way to keep it and its nuclear arsenal from falling into OBL's hands is to do whatever it takes, use whatever force, and impose whatever draconian measures necessary to eradicate Islamic Fundamentalism once and for all.

And that doesn't put democratization very high on the to-do list. Unless, of course, people like Bill Richardson want to see Barack Obama's summer-time dream come true.

What, pray tell, was President Bush's reaction to the Bhutto assassination? Well....
The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy. Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice. Mrs. Bhutto served her nation twice as Prime Minister and she knew that her return to Pakistan earlier this year put her life at risk. Yet she refused to allow assassins to dictate the course of her country.

We stand with the people of Pakistan in their struggle against the forces of terror and extremism. We urge them to honor Benazir Bhutto’s memory by continuing with the democratic process for which she so bravely gave her life.
"Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice"? Are we sure that John Kerry didn't somehow gut the real Dubya after the '04 election and put on his skin like the bug did with that redneck farmer in Men in Black? This wasn't a "crime" in any conventional sense of the term, and the remedy isn't conventional law enforcement, any more than it was after 9/11. This was another enemy offensive in the Fourth World War aimed squarely at turning a valuable Western Ally in that war into a nuclear al Qaedastan. And the counter to it isn't the Bush Administration's democracy fetish, which would only lend the enemy democratic legitimacy, but to kill every last one of them, no matter how long it takes.

Hey, it's what Mr. McCarthy concluded:
For the United States, the question is whether we learn nothing from repeated, inescapable lessons that placing democratization at the top of our foreign policy priorities is high-order folly.

The transformation from Islamic society to true democracy is a long-term project. It would take decades if it can happen at all. Meanwhile, our obsessive insistence on popular referenda is naturally strengthening — and legitimizing — the people who are popular: the jihadists. Popular elections have not reformed Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon. Neither will they reform a place where Osama bin Laden wins popular opinion polls and where the would-be reformers are bombed and shot at until they die.

We don’t have the political will to fight the war on terror every place where jihadists work feverishly to kill Americans. And, given the refusal of the richest, most spendthrift government in American history to grow our military to an appropriate war footing, we may not have the resources to do it.

But we should at least stop fooling ourselves. Jihadists are not going to be wished away, rule-of-lawed into submission, or democratized out of existence. If you really want democracy and the rule of law in places like Pakistan, you need to kill the jihadists first. Or they’ll kill you, just like, today, they killed Benazir Bhutto.
Hmmm; the "war on terror" a war of annihilation....trying to win the war on the cheap via the destruction of only two Middle East dictatorships and a "surge" of recycled Wilsonianism that is succeeding in Iraq only because we've got 150,000 troops on the ground while our enemies are left free in Iran, Syria, and now almost Pakistan to run wild dismissed as rank folly, inexcusable cowardice, and courting strategic disaster....It all sounds familiar, somehow.

Makes me feel like the ghost of Christmas to come.

Not that showing Hillary Clinton the future she's destined to destroy would change her mind, as Ebenezer Scrooge's was, of course....