Monday, December 31, 2007

Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

Assassination of Benazir Bhutto is Likely to Remain as Unresolved as the JFK Assassination
Mark Karlin, Editor and Publisher,
December 28, 2007

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

It all comes back again in a flood of sickening shock.

The despair that comes with violent political deaths -- attacks on the effort of us as humans to govern ourselves in an orderly and peaceful fashion – just breaks your heart and shatters your hopes.

Pakistan has been "Ground Zero" for the largely Saudi financed Al-Qaeda and fundamentalist Islamic terrorists. As one blogger noted, it says it all that Benazir Bhutto is being buried today in Pakistan – victim of an assassination – while Osama bin Laden (the mastermind of 9/11 that Bush swore to capture "dead or alive) is alive – and a "protected man – in the same country.

Elements of the Pakistani intelligence and military have been involved with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda since the rebel war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency has long played a role of tolerating, at a minimum, and even cooperating with and sometimes "running," the Islamic extremists.

As a Los Angeles Times article written in the wake of Bhutto’s assassination notes:

Complicating the situation is the fact that many of the extremist groups have ties to Pakistan's political establishment, including elements of the government loyal to President Pervez Musharraf, as well as close ties to the military and its intelligence agencies. Bhutto had long criticized such links, and in the wake of her killing Thursday, some of her supporters accused the government of playing a role. One senior U.S. counter-terrorism official also said Washington suspected that rogue officials within the military or intelligence agencies could have been involved, noting that though there is no evidence, they have detested Bhutto for more than a decade.

U.S. intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies, and groups such as the Sept. 11 commission, have said that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency in particular has cultivated relationships with radical groups, using them as proxies to wage war against India while protecting Pakistan's interests in Afghanistan.

Given the murky area of relationships between the Pakistani military/intelligence infrastructure and the terrorists, the assassination of Bhutto is likely to remain as unresolved as the JFK assassination.

Someone will be blamed, probably Al-Qaeda or one of its many offshoots operating in Pakistan – and one of these groups may very well have provided the shooter – but putting Musharraf in charge of finding out if his own military command was involved is like having Bush investigate the Plame leak.

All we know is that such a murder assaults us all in a way that makes us feel horribly vulnerable.

We have known so much disappointment as a nation: the promise of the civil rights era and the empowerment of women in the ‘60s was whiplashed by a wave of assassinations against liberal icons.

The killing of Harvard- and Oxford-educated Bhutto just gives us that sinking feeling that whenever there is the hope of progress, someone steps in with a gun. These are indeed shots heard round the world because they threaten the very notion that we can be self-governing.

If it can all be taken away in a hail of bullets, how can one not be broken hearted?


As always, music can provide some small measure of solace. We recommend Joan Osborne’s emotionally stirring "cover" of the Motown classic, "Tell me, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?"

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