comments on Ralph Peters’ view of Bhutto’s assassination.
Ralph Peters wrote an op-ed piece in the NY Post a couple days ago about Benazir Bhutto’s dark side: the side that commentators with the Jimmy Carteresque foreign policy touch either don’t mention or ignored.
The assassination of the Pakistani politician was tragic, as any terrorist-caused death is, but she was not the reincarnation of George Washington as some made her out to be.
When author Marcus Wilder, who traveled and lived in Pakistan extensively, sent us the Peters piece, he wrote, “I will forward a Benazir article a Mexico City friend sent this evening.”
He wondered if we’d seen it and what we thought about it.
Since we’d made a few of the same observations that Peters makes in his article, we wondered what Marcus thought. After all, he had lived and traveled in Pakistan during much of Bhutto’s turbulent political career as prime minister.
He wrote us with several comments and it’s interesting to see where he and Peters agree and where they differ on Benazir Bhutto–the woman Peters sees as providing Pakistan a much greater service dead than she did while alive.
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.
When asked about this assessment of Bhutto, Wilder somewhat differed with Peters. “Benzair was not loved, she represented hope for the future. Though deeply flawed, she was the best hope they had.”
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