Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benizir Bhutto Assasinated.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister and opposition leader Benizir Bhutto was assassinated this morning by a lone gunman/suicide bomber. At this point (around 1:30 EST) the estimated death count is over twenty. This is shocking, and in retrospect surprising that it was so shocking. The immediate open question is not whether this will result in a chaotic, destabilized Pakistan but the extent of the damage and how far it will spread.

I fear for the world my daughters are growing up in.

A few links.

The NY Times story.

Firedoglake and Texas Liberal both have posts including lots of in-country links. Based on that and other searching, the following are recommended:

The Pakistani Spectator

All Things Pakistan

Council on Foreign Relations has a quick if obvious piece up about what's next.

Lots of blog reaction and more to come, no doubt. So far I agree most with this piece in Moderate Voice about the contributing negligence of G.W. Bush. The U.S. is locked in a partnership with Musharraff in which his relative power waxes and wanes inversely with U.S. credibility in the Middle East. Bush's entire term has been devoted to squandering American power, hard and especially soft. Whether Musharraff was directly complicit or merely incompetent in fighting the extremists in his midst may never be known. But certainly U.S. weakness has made this sort of thing far more likely.

Lots of reaction on Counterterrorism Blog, including news that NRO just concluded a symposium on the assassination. Not that the conservative punditocracy is rushing its analysis or anything.

TPM's Must Read quotes a south Asia expert who opines that the U.S. strategy is "in tatters." (h/t Yglesias).

Finally, I learned about the tragedy within an hour of the AP posting their story. By that time Bhutto's Wikipedia entry had been updated with the news. Who thinks of these things?


Boring Made Dull said...

Interesting that only the conservatives are rushing their analysis... something that The Nation, firedoglake, or TPM would never do...

Snark aside, everybody is rushing their analysis, becuase it's such a huge story.

And the tragedy of huge stories is that the immediate loss of Ms. Bhutto to her family gets tossed aside in the geo-political shuffle.

Ben said...

Any major event that happens is on Wikipedia right away. I also wonder who sits around and tries to be the first to update a particular Wikipedia entry.