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NYP: Don’t Shed Any Tears For Ms. Bhutto

From Ralph Peters at the New York Post:

Sand artist Sudarsan Patnaik creates a sand sculpture of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, following her assassination, at a beach in Puri, close to the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneshwar, December 28, 2007.

THE BHUTTO ASSASSINATION: NOT WHAT SHE SEEMED TO BE

By RALPH PETERS

December 28, 2007 — FOR the next several days, you’re going to read and hear a great deal of pious nonsense in the wake of the assassination of Pakistan’s former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto.

Her country’s better off without her. She may serve Pakistan better after her death than she did in life.

We need have no sympathy with her Islamist assassin and the extremists behind him to recognize that Bhutto was corrupt, divisive, dishonest and utterly devoid of genuine concern for her country.

She was a splendid con, persuading otherwise cynical Western politicians and “hardheaded” journalists that she was not only a brave woman crusading in the Islamic wilderness, but also a thoroughbred democrat.

In fact, Bhutto was a frivolously wealthy feudal landlord amid bleak poverty. The scion of a thieving political dynasty, she was always more concerned with power than with the wellbeing of the average Pakistani. Her program remained one of old-school patronage, not increased productivity or social decency.

Educated in expensive Western schools, she permitted Pakistan’s feeble education system to rot – opening the door to Islamists and their religious schools.

During her years as prime minister, Pakistan went backward, not forward. Her husband looted shamelessly and ended up fleeing the country, pursued by the courts. The Islamist threat – which she artfully played both ways – spread like cancer.

But she always knew how to work Westerners – unlike the hapless Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who sought the best for his tormented country but never knew how to package himself.

Military regimes are never appealing to Western sensibilities. Yet, there are desperate hours when they provide the only, slim hope for a country nearing collapse. Democracy is certainly preferable – but, unfortunately, it’s not always immediately possible. Like spoiled children, we have to have it now – and damn the consequences.

In Pakistan, the military has its own forms of graft; nonetheless, it remains the least corrupt institution in the country and the only force holding an unnatural state together. In Pakistan back in the ’90s, the only people I met who cared a whit about the common man were military officers.

Americans don’t like to hear that. But it’s the truth…

Granted Mr. Peters got a little panicky a little while back about the prospects of the “surge.” But he is largely correct in his assessment here of Ms. Bhutto.

[S]he was always more concerned with power than with the wellbeing of the average Pakistani.

Indeed, she sounds a lot like another woman politician we know.

But Mr. Peters is wrong to suggest her death will help Pakistan. For it will just be an excuse for more senseless violence from now through the rest of time. (As if these people need an excuse.)

More surprisingly, Mr. Peters neglected to mention Ms. Bhutto’s early and vital support for the Taliban.

Which makes her death at their allies hands even more ironic.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, December 28th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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