The Murder of Benazir Bhutto - A Great Tragedy and Defeat


The brutal assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, 54, in Rawalpindi, was tragic and heart rending not just for her many supporters in Pakistan but for anyone that admired her grace and elegance, and saw in her a momentous opportunity for Pakistan, the second largest Muslim nation in the world, to move forward into the 21st century.  

With Jihadists engaged in their murderous enterprise throughout the Arab and Muslim world, in the Palestinian territories, in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, and in Thailand, Europe, and elsewhere, seeking to impose their cruel vision of medieval Islamic fundamentalism on the rest of us, Benazir Bhutto was not just a breath of fresh air but a complete break with a destructive pattern that has metastasized throughout the Muslim world.  To have had this powerful nuclear-armed Muslim nation headed by a woman, a popularly elected, pro -Western, Harvard trained woman no less, would have been singularly devastating to the Islamists and undercut their pathologic movement enormously. 

But that victory was torn from us by those very same terrorists.  

In one signature action, they removed the most reform minded and progressive leader in the Muslim world, an eloquent and charismatic leader who would have been a compelling icon and role model - for Moslem women especially, but for everyone, really.  

And what a powerful symbol she would have been in a region riven by conflict, fanaticism, and oppression. 

A democratically elected, secular, pro US Bhutto would have also been the perfect antidote not only to the virulent ideology of the extremists but to the various and sundry despots and potentates that rule virtually all of the many Muslim and Arab nations (with the notable exception of Turkey and, perhaps, Bangladesh).

Yes, there were the charges of corruption that surrounded her previous years as Prime Minister, but in the context of third world nations that are almost universally crooked, it seemed less than consequential.  Yes, she was flawed, in many ways just another shady and unscrupulous politician; but what was more important was her devotion to liberal secular democracy and her will to fight terror.

The radical Islamists despise freedom and democracy.  They will not accept Muslims freely choosing liberty and human rights and consider those that do as traitors.  Nor can they envision a separation of mosque and state, which Muslim nations need in order to progress. 

They are threatened by it and for good reason. 

If Muslims freely choose to secularize and embrace democracy and treat religion as a personal, private matter, it delegitimizes and marginalizes them.  It demonstrates for the entire world to see, and especially the Muslim world, that Jihadism is not a popularly based crusade, but a fringe group of violent fanatics that would impose a cruel and intolerant doctrine upon the rest of us.  Bhutto's ascendancy in Pakistan, with overwhelming popular support, would have effectively undermined their effort, which is itself now based in the mountainous regions of her country.

And so their victory here was not insignificant. 

It will embolden them.  It will aid their efforts to recruit and spread their poisonous message.  It has removed a convincing voice of freedom whose mere presence intimidated them.  It has destabilized nuclear armed Pakistan.  It has weakened US efforts dramatically in the region as well.  If Iraq and Afghanistan were moving toward legitimate, representative, consensual governance, how much more powerful a trend would it have been if Pakistan too had joined them?

But they have not won the war.  And perhaps there will come some unanticipated, as yet unknown, good from this: some other compelling figure, perhaps, that will emerge from the ashes of her death who will captivate the country, and, in her memory, move the broken nation of Pakistan forward into a new age of freedom and liberty while wrecking the Jihadist cause.

It is worthwhile though to ponder the utter lack of honor among the murdering jackals. 

Do they think nothing of killing women?

No, they are happy to include women in their grisly schemes, along with children and all innocents who wander in their path.  

The terrorists are deadly spores of immorality.  They dishonor not just themselves and their religion but the universe itself.  They emerge from a maelstrom of unthinking, primitive impulses with no recourse to light or compassion or dignity. They are bent by subhuman urges and know not the glory of creation or bliss but only the eternity of night and pitiless hate.  They are the offspring of fear with blackened souls who befoul all they touch.  They languish in obscenity, loving that which is profane, yet foolishly imagining themselves among the chosen.  

And for this reason, they are dangerous. 

Although there are many, particularly on the left, who still do, no one should doubt the merciless, bloodletting intentions of these demons who will not abandon their quest for death and domination. 

May Benazir Bhutto rest in peace and the free world and its allies, such as they are, not pause until her killers are brought to justice and the noxious Jihadist ideology crushed forever.



  • nate

    January 23, 2008

    Bravo Rick The lowest of savage acts killing an inocent woman! It broke my heart she was so brave.

  • dr moss

    January 24, 2008

    Hey Nate. Thanks for taking a look. Take care, Rick.

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