Thursday, December 27, 2007

Today's Reading Assignment

..from Andrew McCarthy at NRO's The Corner. Who killed Benazir Bhutto? The real Pakistan, he writes, a country where Osama bin Laden has at 46% approval rating. He compares the Pakistan of western fantasy, against the reality on the ground:

There is the Pakistan of our fantasy. The burgeoning democracy in whose vanguard are judges and lawyers and human rights activists using the “rule of law” as a cudgel to bring down a military junta. In the fantasy, Bhutto, an attractive, American-educated socialist whose prominent family made common cause with Soviets and whose tenures were rife with corruption, was somehow the second coming of James Madison.

The real Pakistan is a breeding ground of Islamic holy war where, for about half the population, the only thing more intolerable than Western democracy is the prospect of a faux democracy led by a woman — indeed, a product of feudal Pakistani privilege and secular Western breeding whose father, President Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, had been branded as an enemy of Islam by influential Muslim clerics in the early 1970s.

The real Pakistan is a place where the intelligence services are salted with Islamic fundamentalists: jihadist sympathizers who, during the 1980s, steered hundreds of millions in U.S. aid for the anti-Soviet mujahideen to the most anti-Western Afghan fighters — warlords like Gilbuddin Hekmatyar whose Arab allies included bin Laden and Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the stalwarts of today’s global jihad against America.

The real Pakistan is a place where the military, ineffective and half-hearted though it is in combating Islamic terror, is the thin line between today’s boiling pot and what tomorrow is more likely to be a jihadist nuclear power than a Western-style democracy.

In that real Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto’s murder is not shocking. There, it was a matter of when, not if.

Read the whole thing. To borrow a phrase, Mr. McCarthy speaks some rather inconvenient truths about a situation that is (typically) miscast by western elites.


El Jefe Maximo said...

This is spot-on. The whole idea of "democracy" in a place where the candidates, as a matter of life and death, need their own private household troops to attend their own political rallies because the police can't be trusted -- is just ludicrous.

Speaking of household guards, if I were investigating this deal, I'd be giving the third degree to all her surviving guards, drivers and such people. Looks like the bad guy was able to get real close.

Unknown said...

Unfortunately I believe your assessment is indeed, "spot-on".