Friday, December 28, 2007

The Role Of The Media: The Bhutto Assassination

Unless one has been in a cave the last 24 hours, we have all heard of the sad and tragic news of former Prime Minister Bhutto's demise. In light of this event, I will say it is not unexpected. Since her return to Pakistan, there has been an uneasiness and a certain level of trepidation that she was going to be killed, at some point. I felt it, many of you may have felt it, and I am sure she felt it.

During the coming days, there will be every accusation and theory as to who the responsible party is. Some of those have already surfaced. Musharraf, al Qaeda, the Taliban, will all be mentioned by the expert pundits, who will be paraded out on the news networks in the coming days (as many already have). And if you listen hard enough, search the internet long enough, you may even find someone on the fringe accuse the CIA and/or the Mossad.

The truth is, we don't know who was behind it. Almost all of those I have mentioned had a vested interest in seeing her assassinated. Their objective was two-fold: Eliminate her and create a state of chaos that will result in long-term instability in Pakistan. On these counts, both goals appear to have been met.

An even sadder truth remains, in that, we may never know the real truth. This situation is extremely complex ans murky, at best. And to think that any investigation or claim of responsibility will immediately be credible, demonstrates a naive thinking process and in some cases delusional thinking.

In the meantime, the thought of Bhutto returning to power has been set forth as an idealistic mantra and panacea that (at best) can be categorized as the same. The media has painted this picture of hope and vision, all the while it has been draped in error and miscalculation.

The build-up to her return and the possibilities it created was entirely fueled by the same media that tells us all that our soldiers are on killing rampages, targeting innocent civilians in Iraq. These are the same people who lend credibility to the thinking that the War On Terror is a bumper sticker phrase and to reporters that sit in their hotel rooms paying locals for slanted and biased accounts of events, they are too scared to cover in person.

The truth is, this woman was painted to be a saviour of sorts to her country, while ignoring how ineffective and corrupt she was while she was in power. There were elements that hated her then (and drove her out). Today, we can see there are still many that hated what she stood for, and would benefit from her death.

With all of this known, it astounds me how the media could paint her return as some bright shining moment, in the quest for the return of democracy in Pakistan. Yet, they did. I guess they wanted a story, and they got it.

So, as the expostulations and pontifications from the experts flow out of the interviews and the roundtable discussions, remember that this is not as easy to sort out, as they want us to believe. All will get their faces on TV, voices on radio, and names in the newspapers. But, Bhutto gets a funeral and the people of Pakistan get uncertainty and chaos.

Note - Here are some other views starting to emerge:

1. An excellent essay in the NT Post today about the facade of Bhutto.

2. Which goes along well, with some of what Mustang is saying in his latest post.

3. AC of Fore Left has some thoughts, some of which may differ from mine. But still, they are worth considering.

4. Interesting food for thought here at Q and O.


Greg said...

As to blaming the CIA, as soon as I heard the news, I started checking the left-wing blogs to see how quick it would be before they blamed America. Not long! One blog I saw immediately suspected the CIA. LOL! I swear, far-leftism is a mental disease - it rots your brain.

However, I disagree that "we don't know who did it." The suicide bombing tells us who did it - the islamic supremacists. And we know why they did it: they abhor democracy as they see it as un-islamic and they abhor women and couldn't bear the idea of one running an Islamic state. Our enemy that we have been fighting since 9/11 did this.

Meanwhile, the MSM and most politicians completely miss the significance of this murder. They call for Musharraf to resign. They blame the administration and ask, "What should America do now?" Here's the real significance: Pakistan is teeming with people sympathetic to the Taliban/AQ world view. It's not a "tiny minority" of Pakistanis. And while many Pakistanis are ready for democracy, the country as a whole is not. Pakistan is probably the most virulently anti-American country on the planet. We do need to change our policy on Pakistan, but not in the way most suggest. We need to stop sending them aid. We need to stop sending them weapons. And we need to stop pretending we can save Pakistan from itself. We should be clear that we give up on them, but also be clear that if an attack emanates from their country, we will indeed "bomb them into the stone age."

LASunsett said...

//The suicide bombing tells us who did it - the islamic supremacists.//

At first glance, it would appear this was the case. But which ones? Was it Al Qaida? The Taliban? Islamist elements of Musharraf's government? Or, was it someone we know little of?

There's a good chance you are right, Greg. All had a motive. But, there was something more surreal to all of this. How did this guy know this is where Bhutto would be out of the car, exposed, at this particular moment along the route?

I have the feeling this goes much deeper than the obvious.

If that's not enough, one can ask the question whether the government could have prevented this, and chose not to? A lot of questions may go unanswered, a la the JFK phenomenon.

Obob said...

greg points out the real scary part I have touched on here and there, there is a strong support base for bin laden and his nutjob brigade. But we support the current regime because we have subscibed to the old foriegn policy of "he isn't out to kill us, only his own people." They give a venue to Afghanistan and have helped bust various al queda goons. But it is more for self-preservation of the Paki regime. What do we do? Hope the people pick the person most likely not to kill us?

LASunsett said...


//We should be clear that we give up on them, but also be clear that if an attack emanates from their country, we will indeed "bomb them into the stone age."//

Maybe its time to consider bombing the most radical of provinces, Waziristan, anyway.

LASunsett said...

//But we support the current regime because we have subscibed to the old foriegn policy of "he isn't out to kill us, only his own people."//

Reminds me why we supported the Shah before the fall of that country to Islamists. And that was 1979, things haven't changed much. Have they?

Greg said...

things haven't changed much. Have they?

Indeed. The neocons are absolutely right when then demand more morality and common sense in our foreign policy. We continue to support a very unpopular dictator in Pakistan, out of pure convenience. We allegedly needed him for Afghanistan. Even if true, we didn't have to support him 100%. Maybe Bush understood this and that's why he pushed Bhutto back to Pakistan. But that was such a naive move on his part. Who (besides Obama) was "shocked" at the news of the assasination?

There are no good choices in Pakistan right now, so we shouldn't make any. We should tell Pakistan that since they haven't taken care of AQ on their territory, we reserve the right to do the dirty work as necessary. Otherwise, our involvement in that country should be limited to supporting democratic change while not expecting it anytime soon.

Rocket said...

Bomb them into the stone age Greg? And then what? Send in ground troops. You know very well that the US armed forces are stretched to the limits. That's exactly what the US needs... a third front. Maybe the US should just daisycut the mountains down and make valleys out of them. Cut off all aid to Pakistan? Can you tell me the last time that has worked in the Islamic world? Look at Gaza. They sure as hell are embracing democracy when the money stopped flowing because of HAMAS election.

You said

"We need to stop sending them aid. We need to stop sending them weapons. And we need to stop pretending we can save Pakistan from itself. We should be clear that we give up on them, but also be clear that if an attack emanates from their country, we will indeed "bomb them into the stone age."

It's about the button Greg!

Granted Pervez is not an ideal choice and he is often looking the other way when it comes to AQ, but any type of bellicose actions such as you have described will only precipitate his fall and then what? Another Iran 1979 to be sure.

Do you really think oppressed people will embrace democracy if the US cuts the purse strings. No, but they will embrace extremists because extremists will come up behind them and cut their throats. We won't! And if the US threatens to remove Pervez, then who will take over? People who have nothing, have a much stronger tolerance level to having nothing than those who go to the malls three times a day.

Pakistan is a sovereign country and the days of the countries saying how high when the US asks them to jump are long behind us. Would our boys be welcomed with open arms? NOT!

Containment of this guy and shadow this guy 24 hours a day are the only way IMHO that some kind of long term change can come about. There are so many corrupt variables that the US is going to have to put up with, to even hope to bring about a little bit of change. China is also in the picture as they are rapidly becoming a major arms supplier (to anyone who can pay)in addition to having cornered the Toy market.

I think as Americans we need to be a little more realistic as to sometimes dining with the devil as much as it pains me to say this.

Bhutto said she was ready to let US forces cross the border into Pakistan to pursue Taliban. Pervez has said no. She is dead. it's time to move on. At all costs that damn nuclear button has to be protected. We won't get it but India sure as hell might and watch the emerging markets set back to the stone age. Yes, financial markets are a consideration also.

So much said...

Now It's the Redskins vs the Cowboys and Greg's team may go undefeated. Let's keep our armchair QBing for the game.

Who do you like? Skins or Dallas??