Friday, December 28, 2007

Ron Paul is Right: US to Blame for Bhutto Assassination

Benazir Bhutto, despite how you feel about her politics, was a brave woman who did not deserve to die. The current atmosphere of hatred and distrust in Pakistan has been generated largely by the world's only superpower, the United States of America, who thinks that it can get its fingers in everyone else's pie any time it damn well pleases. The result? The assassination of a great woman, and a country in turmoil.

Update 12/30/2007: On-scene reporter: Pakistanis are partially blaming US for the death.

Following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, the United States was again unnecessarily scrambling:
On Thursday, officials at the American Embassy in Islamabad reached out to members of the political party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, according to a senior administration official. The very fact that officials are even talking to backers of Sharif, a man those officials have long mistrusted and whose return to Pakistan they discouraged because they believe he has too many ties to Islamist parties, suggests how hard it will be to find a partner the United States fully trusts.
Why do we have to worry about trusting anybody there? Why do we even have to even be there? Why are we not just protecting America? Our foreign policy, particularly as it regards the Middle East, has been a travesty for the past 60 years. And Ron Paul is spot on when he points out that fact as it relates to the Bhutto murder.

The Associated Press reports that
...the assassination of former Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto pushed terrorism to the forefront in voters' minds and highlighted the candidacies of presidential hopefuls with long records on national security.
Ron Paul correctly observed that American foreign policy has inflamed the divisions among the various parties in Pakistan (as well as throughout the Middle East) and indirectly caused the death of Bhutto.

Somebody tell me why we are supporting a military dictator (Pervez Musharraf)? Oh, that's right--because we helped them destabilize themselves and the world by acquiring nuclear weapons, and because we don't want al Qaeda to get their hands on them. Somebody also tell me why we continue to involve ourselves in the politics and self-determination of other countries?

The readers of Little Green Footballs betrayed their erudition and culture (not) by their "kind" words about Ron Paul's accurate observation of the negative, blowback effect of American foreign policy.
  • "Where's a chimp with a spear when we need one?"
  • "Leave our country, Congressman, at once."
  • "Jiminy freakin jumped up Xmas this guy is an a%&hat's a$%hat."
  • "Consummate dip^&#$."
  • And my favorite: "F&%^ing Oblivious"
What is interesting is that the real "dipsticks" and "freaking oblivious"--the bulk of the commenters at Little Green Footballs--have not one iota of understanding as to America's history of foreign policy blunders.

In his recent book, A Foreign Policy of Freedom Ron Paul says:
The Muslim world is not fooled... The evidence is too overwhelming that we do not hesitate to support dictators and install puppet governments when it serves our interests. When democratic elections result in the elevation of a leader or party not to our liking, we do not hesitate for a minute to undermine that government.
The most tragic part of it all is that
[t]his hypocrisy is rarely recognized by the American people. (p. 344)
Especially those who frequent Little Green Footballs.

Pervez Musharraf became president in Pakistan through a military coup d'etat in 1999. The United States cavorts with him, despite his having not been elected and having suspended the Pakistani constitution twice.

Tell me how the United States isn't responsible for Bhutto's death?



Benazir Bhutto was twice popularly elected as Prime Minister of Pakistan. Now she is dead, and a military dictator, supported by United States foreign policy, is in office by force.



Tell me how the United States isn't responsible for Bhutto's death?

Update 12/30/2007 Trudi Rubin of The Philadelphia Enquirer was en route to interview Bhutto when she received a phone call informing her of the murder. Subsequently she talked to Pakistanis about the killing:

Pakistanis are angry at this murder, an anger that has already led to violence and could plunge the country into chaos. And just about every Pakistani with whom I spoke blamed her death not on al-Qaida, but on their own government — and the United States.

Anger at Musharraf was already running high, and Bhutto's murder could lead to a public explosion. That anger is also heaped on the United States because the Bush administration still supports Musharraf.

Her outspoken critique of the jihadis was a risk in a country where many Pakistanis think the United States is forcing them to fight its war on al-Qaida and the Taliban. Bhutto thought differently. She said it was Pakistan's war, too, and warned that the militants wanted to undermine the Pakistani state. For that, many Pakistanis labeled her an American agent.






14 comments:

  1. Pakistan got nuclear weapons in 1998.

    Whether you like it or not, there is a real danger that Al Qaeda could get their hands on those nukes. The best hope to prevent that is engaging with their leader and not wait until they have a perfect democracy.

    Bhutto returned in part with the assistance of the State Department. In hindsight, that seems like a sure suicide trip but she wanted to return and the U.S. helped, hoping she could bring some balance and reason to the country. Didn't work.

    But how is this the fault of the U.S.?

    Who besides Islamic radicals wanted her dead?

    Was Pakistan a peaceful and stable country before the U.S. engaged Musharaff?

    If we can only deal with pure and innocent leaders of other countries what do you suggest we do?

    What would happen to Pakistan, Al-Qaeda, and their nukes if we didn't engage them and just left the Middle East completely alone?

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  2. I answer your questions below:

    But how is this the fault of the U.S.?

    It is the fault of the US for meddling. They had no reason to help Bhutto return to Pakistan. You prove my point.

    Was Pakistan a peaceful and stable country before the U.S. engaged Musharaf?

    Sometimes, sometimes not, but what is your point? My point is we have no business being involved there at all.

    Who besides Islamic radicals wanted her dead?

    I don't know, but the US certainly didn't do anything positive to remove the vitriol that crippled Pakistan, and that is much worse now.


    If we can only deal with pure and innocent leaders of other countries what do you suggest we do?


    That was one of the main points of my post. We should leave them alone, to a sense of their self-determination, for good or ill. And finally...


    What would happen to Pakistan, Al-Qaeda, and their nukes if we didn't engage them and just left the Middle East completely alone?


    I suspect things would be much better, but aside from oil, why should we care either way? If they have the ability to attack us with their nukes, we will know about it way in advance--except for that pesky open border problem we have that Bush doesn't want to solve.

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  3. India/Pakistan nuclear history in a nutshell:

    1. Britain, self-proclaimed savior of the world, invades and tries to cultivate India. It doesn't work. India is already cultivated, thank you.

    2. Britain inflames otherwise calm religious passions, and Pakistan (for Muslims) is split off from India (for Hindus) in 1947. They've essentially hated each other ever since.

    3. India acquires nuclear weapons because idiot Americans think they can share nuclear technology without religious hatred inflaming them to convert it into weapons against their despised neighbors.

    4. In a race against their former countrymen, Pakistan successfully tests the bomb in 1998.

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  4. There is a difference between blaming the U.S. for Bhutto's tragic assasination and recognizing that it was a mistake for her to go back to Pakistan. I think the State Department usually has things backwards but they did not kill Bhutto.

    Were you happy with U.S. policy before 9/11?

    I don't see what we did to deserve 0/11 and it still happened and we had no clue. Was that the fault of the U.S. too?

    Your claim that leaving Pakistan and the Middle East alone will solve anything and that we will know in advance of any attack seems crazy to me. September 11 proves otherwise.

    (Open borders wasn't the problem - although I agree with you that needs to be resolved)

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  5. I didn't blame the US for killing her. I blamed the US for fomenting an environment where such an act was much more likely to occur.

    I have not been happy with US policy for the 20 years that I have cared about it. It has been a travesty for at least 60.

    It was the fault of the US to not pay attention to the obvious warning signals prior to 9/11.

    If we had left the Middle East alone, says I the armchair quarterback, we would have far fewer problems in that region--and in the world--today.

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  6. "Benazir Bhutto, despite how you feel about her politics, was a brave woman who did not deserve to die.
    I didn't blame the US for killing her. I blamed the US for fomenting an environment where such an act was much more likely to occur."

    Frank - how about blaming a religion that makes women third class citizens, unworthy of holding office/dominion over men. What you and Congressman Paul forget is that ISLAM - especially as practiced by AQ et al - is a religion that can not tolerate a woman in power.

    I agree that Mrs. Bhutto did not "deserve" to die, but let us please put blame on those fanatics who killed her.

    LL

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  7. LL,

    But the tipping point was not the fact that she was an Islamic woman seeking power; it was, rather, that the US was supporting her. If the US had left well enough alone, Bhutto would still be alive.

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  8. Pakistan creates a problem for the U.S. Musharraf has been one of our few allies in the so-called "war on terror." However, how can we promote democracy in Iraq when we support military dictatorship in Pakistan? Pakistan, a country with nukes was always a greater threat to our national security than Iraq atleast based upon the possible political scenarios that could occur there. If a democratic Pakistan elects a President who despises the United States, what will be our position and reaction?

    The situation in Pakistan is difficult and complicated. Having a simpleton in the white house hasn't helped things. I think we need someone with experience and knowledge as President. That is why I support Joe Biden. However, I seem to be among a distinct minority.

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  9. Joe Biden would be a much better president than Hillary Clinton. I don't like what he did to Clarence Thomas years ago, but at least he has some sense about him--which is more than I can say for Hillary. Among Democrats, I prefer Obama, though.

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  10. "But the tipping point was not the fact that she was an Islamic woman seeking power; it was, rather, that the US was supporting her. If the US had left well enough alone, Bhutto would still be alive."

    No one forced her to leave her home in exile Frank. She could have stayed here in the US and not had a problem. However, she was an ambitious woman (nothing wrong with that mind you) who had the audacity to run for elected office in an Islamic country where the extremists are running amok.

    LL

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  11. "Joe Biden would be a much better president than Hillary Clinton."

    I like Joe however thoughtful Democrats seem to be out of favor right now. Both bases seem to favor candidates who will march in lock step to the far sides of the spectrum.

    LL

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  12. LL,

    You are correct that no one forced her. But the perception in Pakistan is that she was working in concert with the US. Even worse, Pakistanis abhor the US for propping up Musharraf.

    I agree with you that "thoughtful democrats" seem to be out of favor. I think it is the same way in the Republican party. But that's, I think, what the Establishment wants--dumb people--so it can continue unabated with its foolish foreign (and domestic) policies.

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  13. Do you agree that we should fight Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan? How do we do that without help from, and access to, Pakistan? And how do we get that help if radical Muslims take over the government?

    You criticize the US for supporting a dictator, but we've been pushing for democracy there, and that's why Musharraf no longer heads the military, and why Bhutto came back to town. She was killed because radical Islam doesn't want democracy, especially if led by a woman.

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  14. Yes, we should be fighting al Qaeda (in Pakistan when they run across the border), but the problem I'm referring to goes back much further than that.

    If we'd stayed out of the Middle East all together, the problems we are suffering in the US would be much fewer, much smaller, and much farther between. Pretty much every time we've tried to solve a problem over there, we've created at least two new ones.

    Ron Paul stated in the US house fairly recently that of the 35 times we've tried to compel democracy someplace that it has failed.

    ReplyDelete

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