It’s Al Qaeda… Not so Fast

Alert the media! Or at least David Axelrod. Hillary Clinton has been unofficially
cleared of killing Benazir Bhutto. Former General Wesley Clark said it beautifully
today:

“This is a time for leadership, not politics. Senator Obama’s
campaign seems to believe that Senator Clinton’s actions led to the tragic
events in Pakistan. This is an incredible and insulting charge. It politicizes
a tragic event of enormous strategic consequence to the United States and
the world, and it has no place in this campaign.”
General
Wesley Clark
(retired)

No doubt Mr. Obama will demand Axelrod apologize, right?

Look, there’s a flying pig!

Segue to everyone saying it was Al Qaeda who killed Bhutto. Maybe. But how
convenient to have a ready made scape goat. That’s why Clinton’s call for an
international investigation on the scale of Syria’s Hariri is so important. (To add: Watch earlier Clinton interview with Couric, where Hillary states the country she’s most worried about is Pakistan.) I couldn’t agree more, because it also sends a strong message, while inviting
the world to participate, which is what we need to do going forward. We may
be stuck with Musharraf for now, but that doesn’t mean we should trust him any
longer. Bush buying him off in lieu of a real Pakistan policy has gotten us
nothing.

Read Larry
Johnson
:

Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said that on Friday, the
government recorded an”intelligence intercept” in which militant
leader Baitullah Mehsud “congratulated his people for carrying out
this cowardly act.”

He also let us know that she died from hitting her head. Amazing how Pakistani
authorities could know such a thing since no autopsy was performed. Must be
the equivalent of psychic healing. Worth noting that the physician who examined
her at the hospital emergency unit appeared to indicate that she had a hole
in the side of her head.

I do not rule out Islamic radicals who are not part of the government as
possible culprits. But they are not the only folks with motive and access.
In fact, the Government of Pakistan’s rush to pin this on Al Qaeda smacks
of scape goating. … .. read
the rest of Larry’s post

I’d cast an eye towards the Taliban, which is already being done a bit, though
lumping all jihadists, including Al Qaeda and the Taliban together is hardly
helpful.

NRO
did a symposium today
on Bhutto’s assassination. While Mansour Ijaz wanted
to talk about himself, as usual, Victor Davis Hanson offered nuggets of knowledge
like this beauty: 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.
How spectacularly
obvious. So much for The Serious Ones. The others seemed at a complete loss
on what to say about it, though I did find this short section of Jonathan Foreman’s statement,
a journalist who covers Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, the closest at getting
to the bottom of it, because sometimes the root is actually the most obvious.

While Benazir had plenty of enemies, including jihadis who detested
the idea of a woman leader and who were furious at her newly robust pro-Western
antiterrorist stance… .
.

For me, someone who has been studying the region for years, the obvious is
that you can’t know the dynamics without traveling to Pakistan and the surrounding
countries. Being an armchair analyst is not only difficult but often gets you
into trouble, no matter how dedicated a researcher you are, which I pledge
to you I am. But I’m going to venture in anyway. Never before has the world
been at the fault line of cataclysmic change in ancient places still living
in the 12th century as we are today. That’s why, for me, Benazir Bhutto’s assassination is much more than a mere murder. The email she sent to Wolf Blitzer blaming
Musharraf for not being more helpful in her own security illustrates that she
wanted to live. However, she loved her country more than her own life and was
determined to bring it into the modern era, which she no doubt would have done
when elected on January 8th, which by all accounts would have happened. Knowing
the dangers and realizing the threats from the patriarchal world in which her
country remains in bondage, Bhutto walked into Pakistan challenging her enemies
that to kill or harm her would be against the Quran, because you are never to
harm a woman. Simultaneously, she dared them to show themselves out for the
extremist frauds they are at their heart, by defying and denying the law of Mohammed
by taking her life, revealing their actual disrespect for Islam. Bhutto intended to bring Pakistan into the modern era,
which these men resist with every passing decade, even if it cost her life. She was willing to sacrifice everything to bring Pakistan out of the dark ages, putting Musharraf’s power
in jeopardy by his negligence. She also revealed his own self-serving cowardice, making sure his time
would pass with her death, which she no doubt knew was likely.

Many are writing about the details of her death, missing the story of why she,
and there is no other way to see it, martyred herself. So many want to turn
this into a radical jihadist story so they can once again turn to the “war
on terror” and simply talk about dangers, which is just the first chapter
of this final book on Bhutto, leaving out the signal sent to Pakistanis, but
also the ISI, as well as Musharraf.

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is an international event, a world catastrophe,
which should inspire all nations to join together to investigate what happened
in the hopes of offering light on a dangerous area of the world that thrives
on evil deeds done in darkness and secrecy. It is the story of the assassination of a heroine, who comes complete with real human flaws; a woman who died trying to bring new life to Pakistan through the promise of change.

The biggest challenge we face in the years to come is turning military aid
into something more, especially for countries like Pakistan, but also Afghanistan
as we get back to the business of reconstructing countries instead of only sending
more bombs and weaponry to prop up thugs who have nothing to gain by embracing
modernity. Sending billions to buck up Musharraf is not a foreign policy strategy.
It’s a way of maintaining a status quo, which gives people who are not our friends
the edge.

Clinton is correct (on many things, as others are acknowledging). Benazir Bhutto’s assassination is a tragedy, but if the
world draws a line in the sand it could make her life stand for a turning point
in Pakistan’s history. It’s time to put the men in these far off backwards lands on notice. You will be held accountable. The Bush era is over.

UPDATE: Check out more from SusanUnPC at Larry Johnson’s NoQuarter, also from MyDD diary. Eriposte has two new ones up here and here.