Hope for Iraq, yet.

December 27, 2007

And he even has the courtesy to say “thank you” to the United States.

Third time (un)lucky

December 27, 2007

This was the kind of news I didn’t want to see first thing on the Internet: Pakistan Opposition Leader Bhutto Killed.

The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto addressed thousands of supporters in the Rawalpindi, a city 8 miles south of Islamabad where the army is headquartered. She was shot in the neck and chest by the attacker, who then blew himself up, said Rehman Malik, Bhutto’s security adviser.

Sardar Qamar Hayyat, a leader from Bhutto’s party, said at the time of the attack he was standing about 10 yards away from her vehicle – a white, bulletproof SUV with a sunroof.

"She was inside the vehicle and was coming out from the gate after addressing the rally when some of the youths started chanting slogans in her favor. Then I saw a smiling Bhutto emerging from the vehicle’s roof and responding to their slogans," he said.

"Then I saw a thin, young man jumping toward her vehicle from the back and opening fire. Moments later, I saw her speeding vehicle going away," he added.

Mangled bodies lay in a pool of blood and pieces of clothing and shoes were scattered on the road. The clothing of some victims was shredded and people covered their bodies with party flags.

There was an acrid smell of explosive fumes in the air.

Police cordoned off the street and rescuers rushed to put victims in ambulances as onlookers wailed nearby.

Bhutto was rushed to the hospital and taken into emergency surgery. She died about an hour after the attack.

This is the third known attempt on Bhutto. First, they hid a bomb in a toddler’s clothing. Bhutto survived, but the baby was killed. Next, they sent a teenager to do the job. He failed. Finally, they sent an adult and that Knight of the Religion of Peace and Tolerance succeeded. At last count, about 20 other people were murdered in the same attack. Rioting broke out in several cities as Bhutto partisans attacked government offices and police stations, apparently blaming Bhutto’s rival, President Musharraf. Another opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister overthrown when Musharraf seized power years ago, immediately demanded Musharraf’s resignation and said his party would boycott forthcoming elections. (I’m sure he’s doing this out of patriotism. Care to buy a bridge, too?)

According to The Long War Journal, al-Qaeda has taken responsibility for the assassination:

Al Qaeda’s central command is taking credit for today’s successful assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. A senior al Qaeda military leader in Afghanistan has contacted Syed Saleem Shahzad, a Pakistani journalist for the Asia Times and Adnkronos International with close connections to the Taliban and al Qaeda, and bragged about killing Bhutto.

"We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen," Mustafa Abu al Yazid, al Qaeda’s commander in Afghanistan, told Mr. Shazad. The attack was reportedly ordered at the highest levels of al Qaeda.

The attack was evidently ordered by al-Qaeda’s number two religious psychopath, Ayman al Zawahiri, using elements of Pakistani Islamic fascist parties. There are long and deep connections between al-Qaeda and Islamic fundamentalist parties in Pakistan from the days of the anti-Russian war in Afghanistan, and al-Qaeda has been suspected of aiding terrorist attacks by Pakistani Islamist groups in India.

Bhutto’s murder is a serious blow to American interests in Pakistan. In recent months, fragile deals had been worked out between Musharraf, Bhutto, and Sharif to hold elections and return Pakistan to civilian rule. Pakistan faces a worsening threat from al Qaeda-allied rebel Taliban parties in the Northwest Frontier Province, which have already taken over about a fifth of the country. Musharraf needs the cooperation of the middle-class and business interests represented by Bhutto and the more "moderate" Islamists aligned with Sharif to take action against the rebels in the Northwest Frontier, a situation that’s grown dangerous thanks to his dithering and his military’s poor performance to date. This killing potentially destroys all the work done to create the needed political alliances.

There’s another aspect to this killing: Islamic misogyny. Bhutto was killed also because she was a woman who refused to submit to the barbaric strictures imposed on women under Sharia law. Refusing to wear the veil, taking an active role in public life, not submitting meekly to the men in her family, she was a threat to everything devout Muslims believe in. The Islamists couldn’t allow her to live. They had already killed one woman minister in the Pakistani government: Bhutto was just the latest to feel their wrath. There will be others. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali has pointed out, the power of totalitarian, political Islam rests on the subjugation of women.

(And it’s appalling that so-called feminist groups in the West are so silent about this.)

However events play out in the next few days, bear in mind three things: 1) unstable Pakistan has nuclear weapons; 2) we have only a limited ability to influence events there; and 3) be grateful this fatuous idiot doesn’t have a prayer of becoming president.

LINKS: Roger L. Simon, Michael Barone, Blue Crab Boulevard, Captain’s Quarters (and here),Contentions (and here), Fausta’s blog, Little Green Footballs (and here and here), Power Line (and here), The Long War Journal, and Pajamas Media. Phyllis Chesler offers a modest proposal of what to do with countries wracked with Islamic terrorism. One wonders if she would include Europe.