Sunday, December 30, 2007

Yes, Extremists Killed Benazir Bhutto. But Which Extremists?

War In Iraq, December 29, 2007

Winter Patriot

Whenever there's a public death in one family or the other, the parallels between the Bhuttos in Pakistan and the Kennedys in America seem even more striking.

Start with wealth, power, public service at the national level, and violent death in the course of same. Add dashing men and gorgeous women; inspiring leadership and the most amazing cruelty; brilliance and incompetence; valor and corruption; and now, another violent public death.

But let's not overdo it. Benazir Bhutto's tale was her own, and it came to a sudden end on December 27 in Rawalpindi. Reports from Pakistan said she was leaving a rally in which she had appeared before thousands of people when she was shot twice from very close range, apparently by a suicide bomber who then detonated, killing himself as well as Benazir and another 20 or so.

Security had been described as very tight and multi-layered, so it's difficult to imagine how the attacker could have come so close to his target. Due to the nature of the attack, such questions may never be answered. It's the sort of murder that drives conspiracy theorists crazy.

The shooting-bombing has been universally ascribed to "extremists"; this scribe is too cold to argue. Nobody but an extremist would blow himself up to accomplish a political assassination. But what the press accounts universally fail to point out is that there are extremists on more than one side — indeed, in this case, there are extremists on all sides.

Continued . . .
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