Friday, December 28, 2007

She Rests Now in Peace; Will the Rest of Us Know Peace?

Photo of Benazir Bhutto taken by NYT photographer John Moore
minutes before she was assassinated at a rally on December 27, 2007.

At the end of a year full of sad and shocking events, yesterday we were profoundly saddened and utterly shocked, yet again, this time by the brutal assassination of Pakistan's former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto.

I commend to you this superb post by The Dark Wraith, who wonders why the United States invaded Iraq when clearly it was the roiling marketplace of WMD's and their attendant parts furiously bubbling away in Pakistan, right under our noses--particularly, at least until she was deliberately outed, the trained nose of CIA counter-proliferation specialist Valerie Plame--that represented an actual and real nuclear threat in the Middle East (emphasis mine):

In 2003, the United States attacked Iraq despite the fact that it was Pakistan, through the long-term, ongoing efforts of nuclear scientist and entrepreneur Dr. A.Q. Khan, which was the principal wellspring from which not only the technology of nuclear weapons was spreading, but the actual parts to build the bombs, themselves, was flowing to countries like North Korea, Iran, and Libya; but instead of crushing the operation, arresting the participants, and punishing Pakistan and its leaders for their support of this global bazaar of weapons of mass destruction, the Bush Administration, through its very own top-level officials, outed a CIA non-official cover spy, Valerie Plame, and thereby destroyed her network that was tasked to tracking these very WMD proliferators. Moreover, the Bush Administration, which now expresses outrage at the assassination of the best hope for Pakistan to emerge from years of authoritarian rule, has poured billions of dollars of aid at the corruption-riddled Pakistani leaders, even as the junta-led Pakistani armed forces have been entirely ineffective in preventing the country's western frontier from falling solidly into the hands of Taliban forces and their sympathizers, who have pumped combatants, war material, and ideological strength into the debilitating war of attrition being waged against U.S. and other NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Yet, despite the fact that terrorist organizations are alive and well in Pakistan, feeding allied groups and assorted malcontents that foment trouble and kill locals and American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, George W. Bush is able to keep a straight face and express outrage at one more consequence of a failed war on terrorism, which commenced with tens of billions of dollars in property damage to the largest city in the continental United States and thousands of lives lost, and now proceeds across the Middle East and into Asia Minor, western Asia and the Indian sub-continent, billowing forth with American military casualties by the thousands, deaths and injuries to indigenous peoples of the region in the hundreds of thousands, the utter collapse of moral and financial leadership by the U.S., and political instability that ripples across vast swaths of the world.

Today, that death-swollen legacy of disastrously incompetent policies made a brief stop in Pakistan for the assassination of a once and future leader, a champion who died a martyred heroine even as our own President will live on as a catastrophic failure.

Well said, sir.

Also at Cogitamus.

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