Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Last Testament of Benazir Bhutto


Thomas Riggins

I don't know who killed Benazir Bhutto: the radical anti-western so-called "Islamists," the Musharraf government, or the Bush government. All three groups have shown that they don't hesitate to use murder and political assassination to gain their ends. It seems that the ideas put forth by Ms Bhutto, as presented in the New York Times review of her last book (NYT 2/19/2008), which she completed writing just before she was killed, would not please the Taliban, Al-Quaeda, Musharraf or Bush and his followers.

The reviewer, Michiko Kakutani, says she presents her view that Islam is "'an open pluralistic and tolerant religion," that has been "hijacked by extremists." She did not think a clash between religions or civilizations was at issue.

This false use of faith, many think, is similar to Bush's hijacking of modern Christianity to cover up his war mongering and attacking of other countries. Neither group of extremists has the interests of religion or humanity at heart.

Kakutani, I believe, tries to present Bush in a better light than he deserves. He says, and I emphasize it, that Ms Bhutto held "that dictatorship breeds extremism and that democracies --- and here, SHE SOUNDS A LOT LIKE PRESIDENT BUSH -- "do not go to war with democracies" and "do not become state sponsors of terrorism." Maybe this SOUNDS like President Bush, but Kakutani knows full well it doesn't accord with his ACTIONS, nor with the general foreign policy of the US.

He has waged covert "war" (supporting a coup, for instance) against the democratically elected government of Venezuela (the US has a history of overthrowing democracies) and he supports dictatorships whenever it suits him (thus he is responsible for the growth of Islamic extremism to a greater extent that bin Laden who plays the monster to his Dr. Frankenstein) -- the US also has a history of being the dictators' best friend (Indonesia, Chile, Iran under the Shah, Iraq in better days, Indonesia, etc., etc.). It is a sick joke for Bush to talk about democracy after his own taking of power was based on flawed and phony vote counts.

Ms. Bhutto points out that US actions "made generations of Muslims suspicious and cynical about Western motivations"-- she is referring to the overthrow of the democratic government in Iran (1953)-- but the US backing of Israel and its white settler policies against the occupied Palestinians is also a good example.

She also blames the US for the problems of Afghanistan and the Taliban. She says "if the United States had not used Afghanistan as merely a 'blunt instrument to trigger the implosion of the Soviet Union' and then abandoned it, history in the entire region might have been very different." Yes, and we might still have our twin towers standing.

She called Bush's war in Iraq a "colonial war" and "a quagmire for the West and a great and unfolding tragedy for the [Iraqi] people." No wonder Bush's State Department wouldn't give her extra protection when it was found out assassins were after her. She would been a democratic thorn in the side of the our war criminal president!

Her Pakistan People's Party has just won, with other opposition parties, a big mandate against the Dictator supported and sponsored by the US. We will have to wait and see if real democratic change comes about in Pakistan. Even more importantly we will see, in the coming months, if real democratic change can come about in the US. Will the undemocratic and criminal policies of the Bush administration be repudiated and replaced by pro people and pro peace policies, or will we be served up with old wine in new bottles?

1 comment:

Harold said...

Wouldn't it be nice if lived in a Marxist society in which religion would not exist because it would no longer be necessary or relevant?