The cold-blooded, ruthless assassination of former Pakistani prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, today will long outlive any of us. It is wrenching to think no sooner did the prime minister request that the windows of her bulletproof vehicle be opened, so she could bid farewell to the crowds, than bullets were fired into her face and neck. Generations from now, Bhutto's murder will be seen as the single most important assassination in modern world history, and one that will forever change its course.
Even more horrifying than the murder itself is the thought of an assassin lying in wait for just the right moment to strike. By not providing the former prime minister with the security she required, especially in light of the last suicide bombing, General Musharraf is, at best, guilty of criminal negligence. Just as President Bush may be viewed as being responsible for the events of 9/11 inasmuch as members of his administration ignored credible, and mounting, evidence that a bombing was imminent in the months beforehand.
Not only was this one murder which was wholly preventable, it speaks to the extraordinary lengths to which the Bush regime has gone to avoid recognizing the time bomb that is contemporary Pakistan. In their blood lust for oil, this administration's inactions will, in future, be viewed as nothing less than collaboration with the General's assault on his constitution, imposition of martial law, and now slaughter of a chief rival.
Whether one thought of Bhutto as a Western shill, or a populist folk hero, her barbaric murder can only send shockwaves up and down the spine of even the most Machiavellian as it was an egregiously politically expedient move, especially in light of Pakistani elections which are less than two weeks away.
Not coincidentally, President Musharraf's other nemesis Nawaz Sharif's return to Islamabad was quickly interrupted, in September, by money laundering charges, and Sharif was shipped off to Saudi Arabia. Musharraf has figured out the most effective way to end a state of emergency: kill off one's opponents, or drive them back into exile.
One thing is crystal clear, the Party, and leaders, who framed the foreign policy that brought Pakistan to the brink of chaos today will be the one sent packing in January, 2009 if, and when, the truth about where the billions of dollars in American aid ended up.
While, as President Kennedy once rightly observed, it is impossible to stand in the way of someone who is willing to pay the ultimate price to kill, those who provide him with bullets are essentially inseparable from the killer, and equally responsible.
Ultimately, it is you and I, the American taxpayer, who have Mrs. Bhutto's blood on our hands as we have been financing that thug in Pakistan whose handiwork is all over this assassination. Among the many insidious legacies of this gnomic White House will be the instability, and carnage that will result from a foreign policy that reeks of greed, irreverence for human life. and gaping irrelevancy.
It's time to give marching orders to the same thugs who have held Washington, D.C. in a state of emergency since 9/11, send Pervez Musharraf packing, and Mr. Bush with him.
Not only does Congress need to investigate the mysterious disappearance of 5 million White House emails, as well as the wanton, and criminal destruction of interrogation videotapes, back in 2005, in defiance of a court order, but now, more than ever, there needs to be a thorough, independent examination into where $11 billion of our money went, and who, here in the States, is also profiting from this Pakistani thug who boasts of being in bed with the Taliban, and whose fingerprints are all over this morning's shocking, but not surprising, assassination. Anything less than a thorough investigation will be viewed, by posterity, as complicity in Bhutto's murder.
After this tragic event, the question now becomes not who's packing in Pakistan, but who will soon be packing in Washington.D.C.