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OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated

John MacKenzie 27 Dec 07 - 08:32 AM
Jeri 27 Dec 07 - 08:37 AM
artbrooks 27 Dec 07 - 08:40 AM
skipy 27 Dec 07 - 08:40 AM
Jeri 27 Dec 07 - 08:41 AM
Dave Hanson 27 Dec 07 - 08:41 AM
autolycus 27 Dec 07 - 08:57 AM
maeve 27 Dec 07 - 08:58 AM
katlaughing 27 Dec 07 - 09:59 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 27 Dec 07 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,LTS pretending to work 27 Dec 07 - 10:08 AM
Riginslinger 27 Dec 07 - 10:13 AM
alanabit 27 Dec 07 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,LTS pretending to work 27 Dec 07 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Dec 07 - 10:24 AM
alanabit 27 Dec 07 - 10:25 AM
Megan L 27 Dec 07 - 10:27 AM
gnu 27 Dec 07 - 10:35 AM
topical tom 27 Dec 07 - 11:01 AM
black walnut 27 Dec 07 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 27 Dec 07 - 11:25 AM
Riginslinger 27 Dec 07 - 11:29 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Dec 07 - 11:40 AM
Rog Peek 27 Dec 07 - 12:00 PM
john f weldon 27 Dec 07 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,cy 27 Dec 07 - 12:24 PM
Tweed 27 Dec 07 - 02:01 PM
autolycus 27 Dec 07 - 02:21 PM
Riginslinger 27 Dec 07 - 02:28 PM
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Subject: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 08:32 AM

Once again it appears that violence takes the place of democracy in Pakistan.
I feared this would happen when she went back from her self imposed exile.
It's a sad day for democracy.
G


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated?
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 08:37 AM

Bhutto Unhurt in Suicide Bomb Attack at Pakistan Election Rally

...unless you have information I can't find on the web.


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated?
From: artbrooks
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 08:40 AM

Mixed reports so far. CNN, BBC and ABC say she was killed, AP feed says she was 'only" injured". More to follow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated?
From: skipy
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 08:40 AM

http://news.bbc.co.uk/
Skipy


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated?
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 08:41 AM

Then again, the Independent has reported her death: Benazir Bhutto dies


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 08:41 AM

Confirmed on the BBC lunchtime news, she has died from her injuries.

eric


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated?
From: autolycus
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 08:57 AM

And BBC Radio got confirmation from Pakistan, too.

Fundamentalists who are opposed to democracy,are being fingered. oh, former Foreign Office minister Dennis McShane suggests the taliban (who are descendants of the mujehadin(?) that Reagan and Thatcher created to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan.)

P. not developed into a familiar democracy.

I'm only qualified to pass on.

   Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated?
From: maeve
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 08:58 AM

I'm sorry to hear of it, although not at all surprised. Thanks for posting the news, Giok.

maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 09:59 AM

Dammit. I really liked and respected her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 10:00 AM

Tragic for her, Pakistan and the World.

For the US admin and the UK govt, just another case of reaping what they've sown in that ill-starred country. With the Musharraf-Bhutto plan now kaput, I wonder if they've got a plan B?

Next step: indulge the Kosov separatists regardless of the legalities.

Happy new year folks.


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Subject: Obit: Benazir Bhutto killed by suicide bomber
From: GUEST,LTS pretending to work
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 10:08 AM

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Ms Benazir Bhutto has been killed by a suicide bomber at an election rally.

For some reason my work computer won't allow me to make blickies but hopefully someone will make this link to the BBC News site work.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/2228796.stm

An incredible woman, she fought against terrorism all her political life.

LTS


Threads combined.


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 10:13 AM

There's no force on the face of the planet more destructive than religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: alanabit
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 10:15 AM

I liked and respected her too, but I can't easily overlook the fact that her ill advised return had already cost the lives of 120 innocent people in October. Another 20 died today. I am not the only person to fear that more will soon follow.
Murder is always wrong, but Bhutto's demise was predictable from the day she returned.
When the very unlamented Zia Al Huq died in a suspicious plane crash a few years back, it was all swept under the carpet with indecent haste. The people, who murdered Bhutto were wrong. However, until a culture prevails, in which all murder is spurned (of the bad as well as the good), the Rajiv Ghandis and Benazir Bhuttos of this world will always be seen as legitimate targets by their opponents. That is a hard truth to speak - and it will shock and anger many. There is no such thing as a good murder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,LTS pretending to work
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 10:15 AM

Thanks Clone, I did check but neglected to refresh first - didn't realise I'd been working that long without checking in! And by the time I'd asked someone to combine, it had already been closed.

I must stop working so hard...

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 10:24 AM

'There's no force on the face of the planet more destructive than religion.'

===
People have been covering up evil motives with noble motives for centuries. It's called hypocrisy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: alanabit
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 10:25 AM

I'll agree with you there Leenia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Megan L
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 10:27 AM

The most destructive force on earth is mankind they dont need any other excuse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: gnu
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 10:35 AM

It's a sad day for democracy indeed, Giok.


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: topical tom
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 11:01 AM

Truly a sad day for Pakistan and the world.She was a bright light in a sea of darkness, another martyr for democracy.God bless her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: black walnut
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 11:05 AM

Horrendous!!!!!

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 11:25 AM

Benazir Bhutto's death is a loss for all of us. In a country and region rife with religious zealotry and rage, it is not a surprise.

Sadly, any religion is only what humans make of it, however noble its intent and how exhalted and revered its founding figure(s). Tyrants and megalomaniacs have used religion and blind adherents thereto for untold centuries as a means to achieve their ends. Whatever your core beliefs, religion-based or secular, if you count the individual human life as precious and valuable, you must not only reject murder and those who advocate and use it for political or personal gain - you must be willing to stand up to them.

There is always the possibility of peace. Only intransigence and the lack of willingness to compromise for the greater good precludes the manifestation of it. If you wish to see hope, look into the eyes of a child. We should be better than this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 11:29 AM

"Benazir Bhutto's death is a loss for all of us."


                      I would certainly agree with that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 11:40 AM

Musharraf's "house arrest" of Bhutto was seen as restrictive at the time, but he did buy her a few more weeks. Ironic, perhaps, and he won't get past this event easily. I am of the view that sometimes removing the "strong man" who dominates a nation is a mistake because of the power vacuum (i.e., Iran and Iraq) that erupts. These are, in the most dangerous sense, "interesting times."

SRS

From the New York Times

Benazir Bhutto, 54, Lived in Eye of Pakistan Storm

The daughter of one of Pakistan's most flamboyant and democratically inclined prime ministers, Benazir Bhutto, 54, served two turbulent tenures of her own in that post. A deeply polarizing figure, she lived in exile in London for years with corruption charges hanging over her head before returning home this fall to present herself as the answer to her nation's trouble.

She was killed on Thursday in a combined shooting and bombing attack at a rally in Rawalpindi, one of a series of open rallies she had insisted on holding since her return to Pakistan this fall, after years in self-imposed exile.

A woman of grand ambitions and a taste for complex political maneuvering, Ms. Bhutto, 54, was long the leader of the country's largest opposition political party, founded by her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Even from exile, her leadership was firm, and when she returned, she proclaimed herself a tribune of democracy, leading rallies in opposition to Mr. Musharraf, like the one at which she died.

In a foreshadowing of the attack that killed her, a triumphal parade that celebrated her return to Pakistan in her home city of Karachi killed at least 134 of her supporters and wounded more than 400. Ms. Bhutto herself narrowly escaped harm.

Her political plans were also sidetracked: she had been negotiating for months with the country's military leader, President Pervez Musharraf, over a power-sharing arrangement, only to see General Musharraf declare emergency rule instead.

Her record in power, and the dance of veils she has deftly performed since her return — one moment standing up to General Musharraf, then next seeming to accommodate him, and never quite revealing her actual intentions — stirred as much distrust as hope among Pakistanis.

A graduate of Harvard and Oxford, she brought the backing of Washington and London, where she impressed with her political lineage and her considerable charm. She also became the first female leader of a Muslim nation when she became prime minister in 1988 at the age of 35.

But during her two stints in that job — first from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996 — she developed a reputation for acting imperiously and impulsively. She faced deep questions about her personal probity in public office, which led to corruption cases against her in Switzerland, Spain and Britain, as well as in Pakistan.

Ms. Bhutto saw herself as the inheritor of her father's mantle, often spoke of how he encouraged her to study the lives of legendary female leaders ranging from Indira Gandhi to Joan of Arc.

She grew up in the most rarefied atmosphere the country had to offer. One longtime friend and adviser, Peter W. Galbraith, a former American ambassador to Croatia, said he and Ms. Bhutto believed they first met in 1962 when they were children: he the son of John Kenneth Galbraith, the American ambassador to India; she the daughter of the future Pakistani prime minister. Mr. Galbraith's father was accompanying Jacqueline Kennedy to a horse show in Lahore.

They met again at Harvard, where Mr. Galbraith remembers Ms. Bhutto arriving as a prim 16-year-old fresh from a Karachi convent who liked to bake cakes.

After her father's death — he was hanged by another general who seized power, Zia ul-Haq — Ms. Bhutto stepped into the spotlight as his successor.

Following the idea of big ambition, Ms. Bhutto called herself chairperson for life of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, a seemingly odd title in an organization based on democratic ideals and one she has acknowledged quarreling over with her mother, Nusrat Bhutto, in the early 1990s.

She was also wont to self-aggrandize. She recently boasted that three million people came out to greet her in Karachi on her return last month, calling it Pakistan's "most historic" rally. In fact, crowd estimates were closer to 200,000, many of them provincial party members who had received small amounts of money to make the trip.

Such flourishes led questioning in Pakistan about the strength of her democratic ideals in practice, and a certain distrust, particularly amid signs of back-room deal-making with General Musharraf, the military ruler she opposed.

"She believes she is the chosen one, that she is the daughter of Bhutto and everything else is secondary," said Feisal Naqvi, a corporate lawyer in Lahore who knew Ms. Bhutto.

When Ms. Bhutto was re-elected to a second term as Prime Minister, her style of government combined both the traditional and the modern, said Zafar Rathore, a senior civil servant at the time.

But her view of the role of government differed little from the classic notion in Pakistan that the state was the preserve of the ruler who dished out favors to constituents and colleagues, he recalled.

As secretary of interior, responsible for the Pakistani police force, Mr. Rathore, who is now retired, said he tried to get an appointment with Ms. Bhutto to explain the need for accountability in the force. He was always rebuffed, he said.

Finally, when he was seated next to her in a small meeting, he said to her, "I've been waiting to see you," he recounted. "Instantaneously, she said: 'I am very busy, what do you want. I'll order it right now.' "

She could not understand that a civil servant might want to talk about policies, he said. Instead, he said, ''she understood that when all civil servants have access to the sovereign, they want to ask for something."

But until her death, Ms. Bhutto ruled the party with an iron hand, jealously guarding her position, even while leading the party in absentia for nearly a decade.

Members of her party saluted her return to Pakistan, saying she was the best choice against General Musharraf. Chief among her attributes, they said, was her sheer determination.

Ms. Bhutto's marriage to Asif Ali Zardari was arranged by her mother, a fact that Ms. Bhutto has often said was easily explained, even for a modern, highly educated Pakistani woman.

To be acceptable to the Pakistani public as a politician she could not be a single woman, and what was the difference, she would ask, between such a marriage and computer dating?

Mr. Zardari is known for his love of polo and other perquisites of the good life like fine clothes, expensive restaurants, homes in Dubai and London, and an apartment in New York.

He was minister of investment in Ms. Bhutto's second government. And it was from that perch that he made many of the deals that haunted Ms. Bhutto, and himself, in the courts.

There were accusations that the couple had illegally taken $1.5 billion from the state. It is a figure that Ms. Bhutto has vigorously contested.

Indeed, one of Ms. Bhutto's main objectives in seeking to return to power was to restore the reputation of her husband, who was jailed for eight years in Pakistan, said Abdullah Riar, a former senator in the Pakistani Parliament and a former colleague of Ms. Bhutto's.

"She told me, 'Time will prove he is the Nelson Mandela of Pakistan,' " Mr. Riar said.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Rog Peek
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 12:00 PM

Very brave lady!...very sad.

Rog


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: john f weldon
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 12:06 PM

Who dunnit?

Que bono? (Who benefits?)
Musharraf.
Either directly, or by allowing it to happen.

As Adrien Monk would say, "He's the guy."


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,cy
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 12:24 PM

my heart aches for all the peoples in the region. Is there ever to be peace ?


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Tweed
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 02:01 PM

No peace there for a while and the fire's likely to spread further fore it's over.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: autolycus
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 02:21 PM

"Is there ever to be peace ? "


    That's the beginning of a huge and deep examination of the causes.

    Most people don't (or can't) go there.


   Ivor


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 02:28 PM

"Que bono? (Who benefits?)
      Musharraf.
      Either directly, or by allowing it to happen."



                        I know it's hard to believe, but I don't think he did it.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,geopolemics.com
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 02:36 PM

I take issue with John f Weldon who points to Musharraf as responsible for Benazirs tragic death.

When he speaks of "allowing it to happen" he betrays a lack of understanding about what kind of society Pakistan is.
A significant portion of society and the prevailing religion there is homicidal, life is held cheap and the fanatics seek to turn back the clock to the seventh century. Apart from the Taleban and Al Qaeda militants, a large part of mainstream Islam in Pakistan is heavily influenced by Saudi Wahhabism. Benazir's main political rival Nawaz Sharif is a Wahhabi and during his time as prime minister ( he was unseated by Musharraf) tried to force Sharia law on Pakistan, which he narrowly failed to do.         

In short, terrorism in such a society is not down to the failure of the military or the police, rather of the Islamic "priesthood" the senior religious scholars and leaders who continually fail to issue binding fatwas against terror killings. In a fanatical climate like this violence then becomes endemic.

As to any posibility that Mushrraf was directly reponsible, in the first place he is himself the survivor of three fullscale terror attacks - he has arrested more al Qaeda suspects than in any other nation on earth; secondly nothing in his personal history would suggest he was or would in any way be complicit with cowardly assassination.Thirdly, as elected president he could have worked with Benazir as prime minister. It is highly unlikely that he could have any dealings with Nawaz Sharif whose main politiacl objective if elected would be to destroy Musharraf who deposed him eight years ago.

Musharraf with his instincts to modernise and secularise Pakistan, as Kemal Atataurk did ninety years ago in Turkey, remains the best hope for his nation, and remembering this is a nuclear armed nation,it involves the world.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 03:29 PM

    There's no force on the face of the planet more destructive than religion.
I disagree. I think I'd say the destruction is caused by hatred, or by greed for power. Hatred and greed can take many disguises, and religion seems to be a particularly effective disguise. Those who really are religious, see violence in the name of religion as blasphemy.

At one time, I was very impressed by Benazhir Bhutto, and I saw her as a long-awaited hope for a war-torn nation. I lost faith in her once she came to power, because she seemed to play the same power games all the other politicians played. Was she just another power broker, or was she the victim of bad press? I don't know.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 03:49 PM

This was fairly predictable, and I believe that even Ms. Bhutto understood that. She will be sorely missed in the region, but hopefully the right folks will respond in the right way, and bring needed change. Martyrdom is a powerful tool for change, sometime good and sometimes bad.

As to the comment, There's no force on the face of the planet more destructive than religion., it is shortsighted and biased. There are many things that folks with an agenda will use to further their point, in this case an anti-religion stance. I have found that at the root of most of these arguments, be they religious, racial, feminism, etc. lies money, power, and greed. I don't begrudge anyone their atheism, agnosticism, theism, paganism, or any other -ism they choose to practice or not practice. An example of conflict in which religion is seen as the root, when actually it is economic at its genesis, is "The Troubles". The "Orange Card" as it is called has been used for centuries to keep folks divided in order that landed or monied interests could justify their greedy actions. The latest version had a great deal to do with the workers in the North, Protestant and Catholic, starting to realize they had more in common with each other than with the monied interests among the transplanted. The card was played, and a century or so later we are still dealing with it. One can find the same thing in the USA with regard to Native Peoples, and around the world with regard to historical and contemporary slavery.

My opinion is that some folks will miss no opportunity to take shots, even if some research would show the real story. Ms. Bhutto was a change agent. In the real world these are always targets for those with the most to lose from change. Take it from one who lives it.

Mick


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 03:53 PM

Violence has always been a large part of organised religion....right back to Old Testament times, but before we start whitewashing this by calling it a religious killing, lets think.
How many leading politicians in the US have been murdered? Can we hold up "democracy" as being perfect?

Bhutto was killed not for religion but for power. Just like most other political assasinations.

She was probably even more corrupt than the vultures who squabble over who is to control the US or the UK.

Democracy as envisaged by Bush, Hillary the Hawk, Macavity Brown or Benazir Bhutto is simply a device to enslave all of us and facilitate coersion and manipulation.

Don't waste your tears, Bhutto would have done the Wests bidding regardless of the wishes of the Pakistani people.

Once again, an exercise in exporting "democracy" comes to grief.
Wonder if George will invade??...Ake


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: john f weldon
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 03:53 PM

Geo -
Your description of Musharraf make him sound like the late Shah of Iran; similar words were certainly used while that guy held power.
If that's the best we can hope for Pakistan, God help us.
-jfw


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 03:55 PM

Joe...you are of course correct, but as long as religion is USED by the greedy to incite evil in others, and to fuel and defend their evil behavior, it is difficult to separate the issues.
I have said many times that as long as people are TOLD, with little attempt to tell them otherwise, that certain types of murder gets them directly into Paradise, this will keep happening. Now, it seems, even moderate Muslims are afraid to say otherwise.
   Does no one remember that it was not that long ago that Christian 'differences of opinion' were settled in similar ways?


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: skarpi
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 03:57 PM

hmmmm I am gonna say this in Icelandic

" Þetta eru HELVÍTIS AUMINGJAR að RÁÐAST Á KONU "

AUMINGJAR,AUMINGJAR,AUMINGJAR . and they cant even say who they are .


I am afraid that now the Us and the rest of the world
are in danger of terrorists can take over the nuclear bombs.

Its not Iran that you should be worry about now.

All the best Skarpi


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: john f weldon
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 04:09 PM

Alas -
Remember the days when one heard the phrase; "It's not all black and white, just various shades of grey"?

The modern equivalent: "It is, in fact, all black, but some shades are darker than others."

Or, to be less cryptic, what we debate is... ...which version of Evil is the Least?
Ugh.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 04:11 PM

Is that Icelandic? Does it tell us that the invasion of Iraq helped in a very big was to destabilize Pakistan?


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 04:22 PM

However, until a culture prevails, in which all murder is spurned (of the bad as well as the good), the Rajiv Ghandis and Benazir Bhuttos of this world will always be seen as legitimate targets by their opponents. That is a hard truth to speak - and it will shock and anger many. There is no such thing as a good murder.

No truer words have been written, alanabit.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 04:29 PM

A Q Khan, a national hero in Pakistan because he gave them the nuclear bomb, also gave the know how to make one to Iran, and possibly other Middle East states.
Make no mistake about it, Pakistan is, unfortunately, a power broker in the region.
G


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 04:50 PM

Not only a tragedy for Pakistan but for the rest of us as well. She was Pakistan's brightest hope and would have been a stabilizing influence. Neil


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 04:54 PM

stabilising influence???


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 04:59 PM

Just another act of violence that underpins the state of society. You can blame religion all you like but politics is the sum total cause of these acts..pure politics. It is about people and acts...not about beliefs in Gods or the hereafter.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 04:59 PM

Benazir Bhutto showed commitment and courage. She waited years to come out of exile.

It was clear that "some" were determined to kill her, but she didn't deserve to die.

In the bids to assassinate her many other people have also died; very sad indeed.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 05:05 PM

We'll now never know if she was able to make things better or worse. That's the curse of the political assassination.

However, she did have the courage to try, and that in itself will be remembered.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 05:05 PM

akenaton......26nov                                                                                                                                           "Bush will soon be gone in America and they have left behind in Iraq not a "democracy"...not even the chance of a democracy, but either an Islamist republic or, if the Americans can find another Saddam, a country dominated by Sunni death squads and once again supported by the USA.
The arguments have all been won. We have ignited a fire in the Middle East that is now beyond our control.
For the next chapter watch Pakistan!!......Ake"


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Jim Lad
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 05:26 PM

"There's no force on the face of the planet more destructive than religion."

It seems that there is no sadness so great, no tragedy so horrendous that some atheist or malcontent will not exploit it.

Religion, whether you follow a faith or not, was invariably formed, in all cases, out of respect and care for our fellow human beings.

Religion by its very nature is extremely vulnerable to exploitation but is not the evil.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Greg F.
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 05:52 PM

Your description of Musharraf make him sound like the late Shah of Iran ...

Exactly. Spot on.

Or Noriega, or Pinochet or any of the other dozens of tinpot dictators created/supported/bankrolled by the good old U. S. of A., the "Best Country On Earth".

Which country is obviously incapable of learning from its myriad mistakes.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 06:05 PM

Joe is right to allude to major concerns that sullied Benazir's two tints as prime ministet, not the least of which was the behaviour of her husband "Mr Ten Percent," subsequently jailed for his part in the corruption that ran unchecked under her leadership. None of this makes me any less shocked and appalled by her murder.

Where Joe is on less certain ground is in his defence of religion (seemingly ALL religions). No doubt a case can be argued by the deeply committed faith-merchants, but the point to which they have no answer is that once human-beings attach greater loyalty to their gods than to their fellow human-beings they are a threat to all of us. (Any justification for such loyalty is greatly undermined by the fact that they cannot even agree among themselves which gods are real.)

We don't know yet who killed Benazir, or why, but we do know that the perpetrator killed himself in the same calamity. That suggests he had been brainwashed (the most common way of acquiring faith) by promises of vestial virgins in some fantasy afterlife.

Perhaps he was remembering some lines by Rupert Brooke:

Fish (fly-replete, in depth of June,
Dawdling away their wat'ry noon)
Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
Each secret fishy hope or fear....
We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
The future is not Wholly Dry....
But somewhere, beyond Space and Time.
Is wetter water, slimier slime!
And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
Who swam ere rivers were begun....
And under that Almighty Fin,
The littlest fish may enter in....
Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
Fish say, in the Eternal Brook....
Unfading moths, immortal flies,
And the worm that never dies.
And in that Heaven of all their wish,
There shall be no more land, say fish.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,geopolemics.com
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 07:08 PM

I disagree with
John F Weldon
Greg F
in comparing Musharraf to the Shah of Iran. The shah was unquestionably a tyrant and a western stooge.

Musharraf was the country's top soldier and his rebellion against
Nawaz Sharif was a Pakistani affair not a CIA coup.

Later on, at the time of 9/11 he was told that he had two choices - to support either the US or the islamists. He chose the west. Would you have preferred he went with al Qaeda, or do you think that an Islamic state leader shouldn't also be totally opposd to Islamic terrorism, - just as much a threat to him as to the west?

Look at it another way. worldaudit.org lists the 150 biggest countries in the world in a democracy league table. Only 38 of those are full democracies. Another 38 are partly democratic. That leaves 74 which are not democratic at all. But they all are sovereign states and all have leaders. Do you think that any of those leaders who are friendly to the US are no better than the Shah? How would YOU deal with tbese unsatisfactory leaders and undemocratic states?

In that context, Musharraf who DID submit himself to election and took off his uniform to be a civilian, may not be as cleanly elected as say George W Bush in Florida 2000, but on checking the FACTS (those boring things) doesn't look at all bad. In this hour of need for his country he is probably all that stands between some kind of future and a complete breakdown (and this is a nuclear armed state). So dont shrug off the world's current best hope for these weapons remaining under firm control, by invalid parallels to the unlamented Shah.

By the way, leaving aside the Shah's unforgivable tyranny, don't you think the world might be a safer and a better place if IRAN had indeed become a secular state, like Turkey?


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 07:27 PM

She stood up for: democracy,
fair elections
secular goverment
steming the tide of hateful religious fundamentalism
changing a military controled country and economy into a civilian controled country.

THESE ARE VERY DANGEROUS BELIEFS in Pakistan despite their 60% moderate secular population...

as it is in the USA !



Her father was hanged in the same province in which she died. Her brothers and sisters have also perished in their idealistic struggles.

Her family surpasses the ill fated deeds that befell the Kennedy family in this country.

I do not blame the CIA for her death even though the CIA dearly wanted her to end her self imposed exile. She knew what she faced when she re entered Pakistan.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 07:47 PM

I hate to beat a dead horse but when the governemnt of the world's #1 Super Power, the US of A, is so influenced by zealots and extremists it is no wonder that ohters in the world emmulate the big role model...

Bottom line the US needs to be a better role model...

No, I am not placing all the balme here but there are things that the US could do better to support democracy and freedom and that would be to eductae it's own citizens about tolerance and acceptance of other folks beliefs...

Does this gloss over this woman's assasination??? No, it doesn't... But we lowered the bar in the 60's when we allowed our own leaders to be gunned down...

Like it or not, we are role models and since the end of WW II we ahven't been good role models: McCarthism, Vietnam, Corportism. Militariasm, Iraq...

In the words of the late Waylon Jennings, "We need a change"...

I don't blame this on Bush as much failed and arrogant US governemnt since WW II... We really haven't had to put in the hard work and it now shows...

That, my friends, is the way I see it...

BObert


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 07:54 PM

"Religion, whether you follow a faith or not, was invariably formed, in all cases, out of respect and care for our fellow human beings."

Oh my, Jim Lad....that is just factually not the case. Do you really think our ancestors in caves put 'respect and care' above pure fear when trying to figure out what made lightning hit them?

etc...


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 08:23 PM

It seems that there is no sadness so great, no tragedy so horrendous that some atheist or malcontent will not exploit it.
Religion, whether you follow a faith or not, was invariably formed, in all cases, out of respect and care for our fellow human beings.
Religion by its very nature is extremely vulnerable to exploitation but is not the evil.


Bill D beat me to it. Those are the lines of an apologist.

Religion may have formed to teach people how to get along, how to level a playing field in a given environment. They worked as long as they stayed local. But when they become regional (or larger) and industrialized (like christianity or judaism or muslim) then they are a power game and often a power grab.

SRS


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 08:35 PM

What Bill said...

Greedy people have used religion forever as an excuse to do some purdy messed up things...

Oh, ye masters of war...

The Crusades was a terroristic war... I mean, you can forget the movie versions... It was terrorism...

Today, we have so-called Christains who think it's okay for Israel to practice terrorism on Palestinians???

Hey, Jesus wouldn't advocate colonialism...

He told his disciples that in some cases folks werwen't gonna accept what you have to offer... He never said, "Well, if they don't like it then lets fu*c them up"...

But you have perfectly well meaning people, who just never made it past the Old Testament, who think just that... This is extreme thinking... It defies logic...

No, religion in itself isn't the problem its the folks who copntrol the churches and palces or worship... Too many have agendas based on greed and revenege...

If Jesus were to come back today, these folks would have Him arrested... And you can take that to the bail/bondsman...

B~


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Jim Lad
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 10:31 PM

Religion by its very nature is extremely vulnerable to exploitation but is not the evil.

Your anger/disdain is misdirected.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 11:29 PM

Bush faith based initiatives and the many evangelical freedom forums tightly knit to the White House has always made me feel that the Bush Rove model led this country down a path of religious fundamentalism designed to divide this country.

A military state that can rely on religious zealots to believe that to even question our numerous wars is tantamount to traitorous sedition, is a miltary state sanctified by God and beyond oversight.
Some call it jihad against the infidels and others call it a war on terror.

But to clarify my previous remarks it is true that radical positions such as standing up for the poor and fair religions and oversight over hate filled religious movements is dangerous BUT not nearly as dangerous in the USA as it is in Pakistan.

Pakistan is larger than Russia. They have more people than Russia. They have some Russian missle technology and 25+ nukes of their own.
Pakistan is no small potatos.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,TR
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 11:49 PM

Religion in itself is not destructive, it is the people who use it as a shield to hide behind that are. They are the people who need to be condemned.
It;s really unfair to say that religion causes conflict...no real religion would advocate warfare and destruction; tha's just people making up excuses not to believe in something bigger than them!
Bhutto shouldn't have been killed because np matter how corrupt anyone is-and she was! she obviously had under the table dealings with Musharaff and her ultiate objective was power and glory-no one deserves to be eliminated for political gain the way she was.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 12:14 AM

Sometimes one just never knows the people closest to them. The following is a comment by the mother of a man who just helped his girlfriend murder six family members in Washington State: She told The Seattle Times that her eldest son was a "good Christian" and she was shocked he had been arrested in the slayings.

Makes one wonder how she judged him to be a "good Christian." I KNOW there are many, many good people who are also Christian. Her statement just struck me as ironic in relation to this discussion.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,Slag
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 01:35 AM

If ever there was a person in this day where East met West it was Benazhir Bhutto. What a tragedy.

Religion, ideology, racial purity, what ever floats one's murderous little boat, the net effect is the same. Much good has been done in the name of the same, excepting "racial purity"! The answer is there and it is held by those who refrain, those who are tolerant TO A POINT! It is the imbalance which must be recognized and have an effective intervention and tight monitoring. Blanket statements such as "Religion" is responsible for the evil in the world" does nothing but inflame passions and lock people into a stance. It is as bad as stereotyping by race and just as erroneous. That is one thing the life of Benazhir Bhutto has demonstrated. What a patriot to and for Pakistan she was!


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 02:34 AM

It;s really unfair to say that religion causes conflict...no real religion would advocate warfare and destruction; tha's just people making up excuses not to believe in something bigger than them!

People don't HAVE to "believe in something bigger than them." They need to understand that religions have been used to bludgeon The Other when it grew large enough to encroach on the neighbors. Religions as a way to teach cooperation, a way to pass on traditions, a way to teach sustainable living in a given area is one thing--ritual is a good way to remember. A religion that is a template for existence in one region that is plopped down upon others who are then forced to accept it is another. Everyone is entitled to their own Origin Story without reference to the dominant religion, but the dominant religion (in many given areas) won't leave them alone. Those who must justify the existence of their religion by converting others are the problem. What is it in religions that creates this zeal in some groups, but not in others? The colonial enterprise is a really flawed system that rose from a combined politcal and religious partnership (i.e., the Conquistadors and the Catholic church).

Bhutto was, as was mentioned above, the person who embodied "east meets west." Musharraf has made great concessions that one doesn't necessarily expect from "dictators," and he appeared willing to work with Bhutto--don't write him off. Now my greatest fear is that the dick-head in the White House is going to stick his nose in or put his hands on the situation. The Pakistani's MUST work this out for themselves without Dubya's interference. If Pakistan goes up, you will be looking at WW III. Dubya is just the fool to walk into that firework stand with a lighted match.

SRS


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 04:50 AM

Just to expand on one of Geopolitic's points. Musharraf chose the west as opposed to militant Islam.
We had all better be glad that he chose it, and hope that Pakistan continues to do so. The disciples of Al Quaeda would like nothing better than to take control of a country which possesses a nuclear arsenal.
No need to worry then about them assembling a 'dirty bomb' using bits and pieces salvaged from hospital radiology departments,or Russian nuclear power stations, because they wouldn't have to go to all that bother.
If there is the SLIGHTEST chance of the militants seizing power in Pakistan, the US and her allies will be in there quicker than lightning.
Giok


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Partridge
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 05:04 AM

This is a bad thing for Pakistan and the world. I hope that there will be no need for interference from others.
I also feel sad for her children

Pat


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: goatfell
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 06:59 AM

well I Hope that the American and British Governments are happy now.

what a sad day for us all

Tom frae Scotland


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 08:28 AM

Obviously a hideous tragedy for Pakistan and the world.

Also a shame that some people on Mudcat seem to be so petty that they are determined to tie this tragedy to their own anti-religion hobby-horse. It should be obvious to anybody who takes off blinders for just a minute that any belief can be abused--including secularism. In fact that particular phenomenon--abuse of secularism-- seems to happen fairly often on Mudcat--perhaps a reaction to perceived powerlessness off Mudcat--since religion still plays a large role, including, still, in US politics. .

Anybody who has said that that religion should be "stamped out" has no leg to stand on in criticizing terrorism--the line between advocating that a belief be "stamped out" and terrorism is very thin. I'm sure the suicide bomber who killed Bhutto was convinced she and her ideas needed to be "stamped out"--even at the cost of his own life.

I challenge anybody, however, to find justification within Islam for what the suicide bomber did.


Another, much less significant , but still noteworthy, aspect of the Pakistan disaster is that it is likely to strengthen those presidential candidates who claim "experience"--including Hillary. Though if her opponents are smart they will point out that the bulk of her "experience" was as First Lady, not exactly a first-rank foreign policy position. And as Senator, she's not been a mover and shaker in foreign policy--more like an enabler for Mr. Bush.

But we'll see.

As to whether Musharraf had a hand in the killing, he wouldn't have to have a direct hand--just not try hard to ferret out the al-Qaeda sympathizers in his own government. Remember that Bhutto herself accused Musharraf--recently, in fact, after a failed attack on her-- of not trying hard to provide security for her appearances. She may well have been right--though it's not anything we're likely to get a clear answer on any time soon.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 08:52 AM

Ron-

Very well reasoned.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 08:53 AM

Even if, as seems likely, Musharraf is totally against al-Qaeda, and would try to eliminate its sympathizers from his government, there were other sources of plots to kill Bhutto--and he no doubt was well aware she was the most likely person to take his position. So he may not have wanted to devote many resources to protecting her. His answer would no doubt be that he did not have the resources, and that keeping her under house arrest was protecting her. (With the added, unsaid, side benefit of preventing her from effective campaigning).

But at this point this is straying into the realm of pointless speculation.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,Obie
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 09:06 AM

It is sad and tragic that this happened but it is time to face reality.
The War On Terror is being hopelessly lost and another course must be
considered. Any zealot with a few bags of fertilizer or a can of gasoline can kill many as long as he doesn't value his own life. Often he is raised in hopeless poverty and ignorance and can easily be made a tool or weapon of arseholes who control him. The answer is never simple but it must start by raising the standard of living and the education of people in the third world. This may require a whole generation or more to pass, and probably reducing the wealth of some nations in order to share the world's resources with the world's people. Democracy means little to one who has never known it. An empty belly means little to one who has never known it. Religion promises a better life dead than alive so the answer for too many is an act of desperation.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 09:08 AM

Thanks, Charlie.

I'm just trying to think this through.

It will also be interesting to see if this strengthens McCain--already surging-- on the Republican side.   Or whether his position on immigration--that of a reasonable man--is still poison for the Republican true believers. (And even some Mudcatters, of the Tancredo-Lou Dobbs school).


In Pakistan it's hard to see anything for the foreseeable future but--dangerous--chaos. The prospect of which will of course strengthen Musharraf.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 09:24 AM

"..a better life dead than alive". Still the attempt to blame religion for the world's ills. Again, where is the justification within Islam for what the suicide bomber did? It is clearly an abuse of Islam. And, yet again, any belief can be abused.

As has been noted earlier on other threads, of the 3 men responsible for most deaths in human history--Stalin, Hitler and Mao--none were exactly religious firebrands. You may want to declare nationalism to be a form of religion--very convenient for your argument--but rather transparently self-serving.

And yet again, an example of a belief which in itself is not evil--but can be abused.

QED.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Donuel
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 11:44 AM

(Ron, OBL would offer a reasoned argument as to the justified murder of yet another murdered Bhutto. Sadly the neocon Bush regieme has lent much creedence to OBL's argument.)

.


____________________________________________________________________

It was 25 years ago when a young CIA recruiting agent, a few years younger than I and really just a kid told me, "if you don't join the team you will be on the low road for the rest of your life while I will take the high road and assure you stay on the low road!".

I wonder if he is still alive and prosperous and if alive how much damage he has done to our country for his prosperity. I wonder if travel has broadened his mind beyond mine without as much travel.
I wonder if I could have made any difference with internal dissent to insane policies based on perception is the only reality. When our CIA gives money and weapons to a young OBL and even now gives billions to a Pakistan military dictatorship and over a billion dollars to Iranian officials who are in Iraq clothing you should be able to see how fucked up they are. These are the same guys who just happened to miss the fact that the Soviet Union had passed on. The CIA needed a new cold war and got one while they missed the golden chance to cement relations with Russia. Now Russia has half of oil in the world along with their neighbor Iran and can step all over a USA now devoid of its treasury wasted in a 18 year war in Iraq and recently Afghanistan
I wonder if there are any good shepards on the high road have any humanity or compassion for the sheeple they believe need tending.

Mr. X if you can hear me anymore, I put it to you that your high road was cocaine for money and for a few dollars left over you bought weapons for Iran. You blew up a dozen Mosques killing 800 people and missed your singular target each time. You helped support a regime than bankrupt this country. I tell you now that hiring a bad guy to catch or kill a bad guy just made bad situations worse.
You were a hired killer for a handful of banking families and not your country or Constitution.

I put it to you that you took the lowest road of all
even if your unknown name is just a star on the wall.
Perhaps you are merely a disillusioned cubicle jockey who was sidelined for being a boy scout and speaking the truth.
Here is looking down at you kid, now matter what your Swiss bank account says.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,Obie
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 11:56 AM

"..a better life dead than alive"
I think that I was more blaming religious zealots. OBL and the Taliban are religious zealots. They seem to have a lot of support. I don't say that GWB is a zealot but he seems to have a lot of support from the "born again" christians, and some of these I would call zealots as well.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Donuel
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 12:11 PM

Unlike most phoney born again christians
Bush is a REAL bored again christian.
He has learned that trading souls for money is the business of gods.
His legacy shall only be put in true perspective after 2000 years.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 12:49 PM

"Anybody who has said that that religion should be "stamped out" has no leg to stand on in criticizing terrorism..."

    "It will also be interesting to see if this strengthens McCain--...Or whether his position on immigration...is still poison for the Republican true believers. (And even some Mudcatters, of the Tancredo-Lou Dobbs school)."

    "...of the 3 men responsible for most deaths in human history--Stalin, Hitler and Mao--none were exactly religious firebrands."



                            Ron - It looks like you're phishing!

             You seem to want to avoid the reality of the dangers of religion, but don't forget, Hitler was Catholic. And when he wanted to extend his influence over the German people, he tried to resurrect
Norse Mythology. He certainly understood the down side--or for his purposes, the up-side--of religion.

               Further, anyone discussing immigration in America who can't distinguish between the motives of Tom Tancredo and Lou Dobbs just hasn't looked very deeply into the problem, I would suggest.

                      Finally, as sad as it is, Bhutto, in the end, seems to me to have become a victim of religious followers, people who are simply incapable of thinking for themselves.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Jim Lad
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 01:06 PM

Can you just imagine the determination & conviction that this woman must have felt, knowing that she was stepping into a boiling cauldron?
At best, her chances of success versus assassination were 50/50 and yet she still went.
That my friends, is real courage.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 01:13 PM

Rig--

Sorry to say, but your arguments are getting just slightly boring--you seem to have only one note on your scale. For the n'th time, Hitler abused religion--and nationalism and a host of other things. This does not negate the value of religion-- or nationalism or the others. And you have provided precisely zero evidence to contradict this.

And if you think I am "phishing", let's have some direct quotes to back that up.

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 01:16 PM

If you have a lot of interest in learning more about Benazhir Bhutto and her family, and a lot of patience, try reading Daughter of the West by Tariq Ali, London Review of Books. Here's a link to an on-line version: Click at Your Own Risk!

The nightmare continues for Pakistan.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 01:17 PM

"Tancredo-Lou Dobbs school". If the shoe fits.....


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 01:25 PM

At the risk of egregious thread creep, however, I'd be sincerely interested in the difference between the motives of Lou Dobbs and Tancredo. Who knows, maybe others would be also. They both seem to me to be appealing to the baser instincts of fearful people--as did Hitler--and Bush. And religion is at most a bit player--except in the case of Bush.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 01:29 PM

Ron - Tom Tancredo is a right-wing-religious wakko, whose only claim to fame is he was right about illegal immigration in America.

                     Lou Dobbs bases his arguments on the plight of the lower and middle class American citizenry. He is sympathetic to what is happening to them and thinks the government should do something to help them. The most important thing the government could do would be to try to curtail the out-sourcing of jobs and stop the influx of illegal aliens.



                     None of this has anything to do with Bhutto, however, and probably doesn't belong on this thread.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 01:42 PM

Rig--

Good to hear you realize Tancredo is a wacko. That's progress.

But if Lou Dobbs is a paragon of virtue, why is he not pushing for more legal immigration? If the jobs are here, the workers will come--legally or illegally.

And if he is not pushing for more legal immigration, that raises the possibility that he is against all immigration. Why? Most immigration now is by non-whites. Is that a factor? The unjustified--and inflammatory--fear that English will be displaced in the US seems to be a feeble facade for what looks like hidden racism.

But we both agree this is egregious thread creep.

And I note you have still provided no evidence against my assertion that Hitler abused both nationalism and religion. And that his doing so does not negate the worth of either.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 01:45 PM

Ron - if you want to pursue this, you should probably start another thread.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 01:50 PM

Rig--

I have spoken to your assertion that religion and not abuse of religion is behind the assassination of Bhutto. You have provided no evidence to support your case.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 01:53 PM

She's dead! What more evidence do you need?


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 01:56 PM

I thought Pol Pot was on the list of the biggest killers of people, too.

And I wonder how many lived in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But mostly, I have always wondered about Bhutto, and have never escaped a sneaking fear that the side she was most truly always on was - her own. I also have that worry about Ken Livingstone, and Goerge Galloway, but oddly I never had it about Arthur Scargill, a man whose main failing was (IMHO) bad timing.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 02:17 PM

Rig--

There's none so blind as...

Obviously she's dead. You say religion killed her. I say abuse of religion killed her. Can you not see the difference? If not, why not?


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 02:26 PM

So you're right and he's wrong, is that it, Ron? Give it a break. The best you can do is represent your position. Stop insinuating that if he doesn't give you the kind of evidence you require that he is wrong.

SRS


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 02:34 PM

Jeez, Rig, you must be really desparate!

"She's dead! What more evidence do you need?"

That's the same kind of logic as the guy who kept snapping his fingers all the time. A fellow walked up to him and said, "You know, that's getting really annoying. Why do you keep doing that?"

"Because," said the finger-snapper, "it keeps the wild elephants away."

"Keeps the wild elephants away? But there are no wild elephants within thousands of miles of here!"

"See?" said the finger-snapper, "It really works!"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 02:47 PM

Okay, in an effort to avoid being labeled a perpetual finger snapper, I'll say this: at this point in time, we don't really know the motive of the fellow who killed her. In fact, the official story from the government at the moment is, she was never really shot, she bumped her head trying to get back in the car, and the bump on the head killed her.
                   So we'll wait and see if somebody claims credit for the killing, and if-and-when they do, we'll see if some whakked-out religious weirdo did it. If, when all that has been accomplished, we can be reasonably certain that a whakked-out religious weirdo killed her, we can conclude that religion is dangerous, and she was a victim of religion.
                   Until that time, we're only guessing and we really don't know.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 03:00 PM

In that case, to blame the religion is still doesn't follow. It's the whakked-out weirdo who killed her, not his religion, even if that's what he thought it told him to do.

The "Son of Sam" killer some years back said that God told him to kill the people he killed. The man was insane. Whatever he thought was talking to him, it sure as hell wasn't God.

You could hardly blame religion for some psycho's delusions. Or some political assassin's motives.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: robomatic
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 03:16 PM

I have a lot to say on the subject: "Religion-positive or negative?" but that is for a different thread than this.

I was a member of the international student community at my university. I remember taking an attractive Pakistani coed for her first motorcycle ride ("Please if you have an accident, make sure to kill me! I don't want to be disfigured!") We had a nice, SAFE, ride on my used but maintained 750, and during lunch we delved into politics, and in her conversation I realized that it was a matter of fact to her that political winners jailed and executed the losers, because if they didn't the same would happen to them. This was a revelation to my young ignorant self.

Much later, when ul Haq planned to execute Benazir's fater, Ali Bhutto, the student association attempted to however weakly delay the act by inviting him to be a guest speaker (he had a past affiliation with our school). The Indian Student Association quickly and decisively put the kibosh on any such action, however ineffective it would have been.

Anyhow, I had a keen sense of loss when I heard the news yesterday morning. I doubt she was perfect, but she was clearly one of "the good guys" in that environment, she showed grace, class and courage in a tough place.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 04:10 PM

Robo - Yes she was all of those things.


                  Don - Somebody in Alabama or Arizona must be snapping their fingers, because all of the elephants seem to be in Iowa scrapping for the nomination.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 04:26 PM

Rig--

You're right about Iowa (though it has nothing to do with the thread). The reason is obvious also. Something on the order of 40% of the usual Republican caucus vote in Iowa are voters who call themselves Christian conservative. As a Republican running in Iowa, to not appeal to those voters is to write off about 40%.

This is also the reason the Republicans will have big trouble if they pick Giuliani as the nominee--those true believers are also the ones who are willing to man phone banks, canvass, put up signs in their yards, drive people to the polls. etc.--and they won't do any of that for Giuliani--he's too moderate in social views for them.

The question is whether they would do it for McCain--whether having a certified national hero as the nominee--as opposed to yet another draft-dodger (Giuliani)-- would offset his moderate social views enough to make them proud to support him.

But it's just possible this is thread creep.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 04:37 PM

Ron - I know they have elephants in India, do they have them in Pakistan as well? Maybe the thread hasn't crept as far as we thought.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Greg B
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 07:10 PM

She was a flicker of civilization in a society of savages.

To say nothing of having a face that radiated light and
beauty, which probably didn't hurt.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 07:29 PM

Charley, I read that Tariq Ali piece when it was published a week or so ago. What's your problem with it? Too well informed?

Giok said: "If there is the SLIGHTEST chance of the militants seizing power in Pakistan, the US and her allies will be in there quicker than lightning." But how can America charge in anywhere, when they are already struggling to maintain troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq? And WHAT allies?


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 08:54 PM

Invade Pakistan? Not too likely - they actually do have Weapons of Mass Destruction. And an invasion would probably ensure that those were in the hands of the very people who would use them, and not just in Pakistan.

I think it more likely that the USA will do whatever it can to try to ensure there is a strong authoritarian government that can sit on things - and only too likely that this will fail, and that there will be that there might be a strong populist government swept to power, which would be strongly nationalist and probably anti-Western, at least in rhetoric. Rather akin to what happened in Iran a generation back.

And in the USA itself I can see Hilary Clinton benefiting, with some of the hate against her looking a bit too close to what was said about Benazir Bhutto by her opponents.

But they'd better ensure there is pretty good security for her and for Obama in the coming months and even years - assassinations don't just happen in Pakistan.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 09:26 PM

PeterK-

I don't have aproblem with the "Tariq Ali piece" linked above, and encourage everyone who is really interested in understanding what has happened to read it. I doubt that many Mudcatters will do that. It's much more satisfying to just react to international events with hardly a clue of what is going on. I often do that myself.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,Obie
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 09:46 PM

"assassinations don't just happen in Pakistan"
Too true McGrath!
"But they'd better ensure there is pretty good security for her and for Obama in the coming months and even years "
Too true as well! However, each stage of security removes such people from contact with the electorate. Democracy can only suffer from this as well. Bhutto accepted the threat in order to foster an understanding of democracy among her people.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 10:21 PM

100


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 11:30 PM

Mainly, Hillary will benefit because her strong suit is supposedly "experience"--if you don't look too closely.

It's really stretching it to imagine a sympathy vote for her as a woman, or because of the strong feeling against her--which on the Democratic side is due primarily to her perceived aiding of Bush's foreign adventures, and on the Republican side is totally independent of Bhutto.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 01:22 PM

'"But they'd better ensure there is pretty good security for her and for Obama in the coming months and even years "'


                      Obama won't need the protection. His middle name is Hussein.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,Cruiser
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 01:43 PM

The fact still remains, Ms. Bhutto was as corrupt as the other Pakistani leaders; she was just a bit less corrupt regarding human rights violations.

Although this will seem very callous, she was as foolishly "brave" as General Custer was. Some people cannot see past their own aggrandized self-importance and are willing to sacrifice others' lives to support their egos.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 02:08 PM

Obama won't need the protection. His middle name is Hussein.

Which if anything puts him at greater risk.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 02:22 PM

"In fact, the official story from the government at the moment is, she was never really shot, she bumped her head trying to get back in the car, and the bump on the head killed her."

The official story seems to be that either as she was attempting to avoid being shot, or that when she was trust forward by the concussion of the bomb going off, she fractured her skull by striking her head against the handle of the car's sun-roof.

But—

I heard on the news this morning (NPR) that someone (a relative, I believe) who was preparing the body for burial, said that she definitely had a bullet-wound in the back of her head.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 03:44 PM

I'd think it was immaterial whether she died from concussion from force of the blast pushing her against the lever of the sunroof--or more directly from the blast or shrapnel. If the blast had not gone off, she'd be alive. And to say, as the Pakistan regime now says, that if she had not stuck her head up out of the car she'd be alive, is saying that she had to refrain from direct campaigning--which is always more effective than staying cocooned inside your bullet-proof vehicle. Of course the regime would say that--they only wanted her to campaign enough to give legitimacy to Musharraf's planned win.

Interestingly enough, from what I now read, her death has not helped the regime's position, since many Pakistanis, like some Mudcatters, believe the regime is implicated in her death, whether through sins of commission or omission.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: 282RA
Date: 29 Dec 07 - 08:52 PM

This happened almost entirely due to Bush administration incompetence. He got us so mired down in Iraq that he neglected Afghanistan for all intents and purposes. There should be no reason the Taliban were able to stage a comeback. This was due in no small part of the Taliban have a great deal of support in outlying areas of Pakistan.

This enabled quite an anti-US sentiment to simmer and spread throughout the Pakistan-Afghanistan border which is what threatens Musharraf now. Had he not become threatened, the US wouldn't have needed to engineer a Bhutto return. Had she remained in exile, she wouldn't have been assassinated. And Pakistan wouldn't now find itself virtually crippled.

Such a "key ally" to be this incapacitated damages Middle East policy immeasurably. The US is just digging itself a deeper hole. Every time it tries to plug some leak, another just springs up somewhere else. Bush was warned that this would happen and he did not listen. And still he cannot free up troops in Iraq to concentrate on the Afghanistan-Pakistan problem. NATO seems to be loosing heart in the fight.

Bush and his circus totally underestimated the fight in Afghanistan. They thought it would be easy and that they could cencentrate the bulk of their forces in Iraq. Now Afghanistan is resurging with Pakistan pretty much out of the picture while Iraq slowly simmers down but we don't dare siphon off troops there and send them to Afghanistan and we have no new troops to send since our army is depleted.

They have bitten off way more than they can chew. We're like Nicholas Leeson who destroyed Barings Bank over a weekend of speculating the bank's assets on the Asian stock market--the more he bet, the more he lost; the more he lost, the more he bet trying to win it all back. By Monday morning, there was nothing left to bet. So goes Bush administration foreign policy. We mismanaged too many large stakes early on and lost. Now we're betting the farm trying to win it all in one fell swoop. Not going to happen. It never does.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: alanabit
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 07:46 AM

I see that Bhutto's nineteen year old son has just been handed the job of leader of the party. I don't like to be too pessimistic, but I should think his prospects of getting a decent life insurance policy have just taken a dip. It is a chilling warning to those who persist with the fantasy of Pakistan becoming a democratic state in the forseeable future.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 09:58 AM

You've got to wonder why they would do that to the boy, and to the party.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 10:04 AM

What a hell of a way to run a party, a nineteen year old son!

Of course there is our way, and participant democracy in Kenya and Russia produces curious results. Maybe rule by inheritance ain't so bad! Anyone for restoring monarchy?

One does hope for an autopsy, so as to provide some clarification of the cause of death, if not the motives of her assassins.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Greg F.
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 10:23 AM

Some people cannot see past their own aggrandized self-importance and are willing to sacrifice others' lives to support their egos.

Um.... people like George W. Bush for instance?


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,Cruiser
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 10:36 AM

Yes, but Mr. Bush is not even in the same category as the 2 people I mentioned. Bush is in his own special low-level category of religious insanity and misguided self-importance of being a "war president" an agent of "god", a christian crusader of the worst kind, and "the commander".


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 11:30 AM

Maybe rule by inheritance ain't so bad! But it isn't working too well in the White House right now, is it?


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,Cruiser
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 11:52 AM

Like her father before her, the daughter became corrupt, and so will her son with any attempt to bring a U.S.A. style of democracy to an insanely religious country like Pakistan.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 12:41 PM

Riginslinger, your post (102) is simply disgraceful.

TrollGuest, Cruiser, your apparent assumption that all Pakistanis or all Muslims (not sure which you mean) are corrupt is equally disgraceful.

But if you meant all politicians, you might, statistically, have a point (grin) - Robert Marshall-Andrews excepted.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 02:31 PM

Richard is right, Rig. Your post mentioning "Hussein" is despicable. Even if meant as humor. If it was meant to be funny, you need to get a better writer.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 02:51 PM

Look, Ron, I didn't name the guy!


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 03:21 PM

a U.S.A. style of democracy to an insanely religious country...

Takes one to know one...


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,Aristotle
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 04:29 PM

Riginslinger – the king of the non sequitur.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 04:40 PM

Actually, it follows completly. Say Obama is nominated, can you imagine what Limbaugh, Hannity, and the Swift-Boat bunch will do with his middle name?

                Keep in mind, a great many Americans still believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks. They still think there are weapons of mass destruction out there someplace, and Iraq was on the verge of developing an atomic bomb.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 04:52 PM

Rig--

"....won't need the protection".   Pray tell, what was that supposed to mean? You're a master at dodging and weaving.

Are you sure you're not related to Bush?


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 04:52 PM

Oh, and a number of the people I work with already believe Obama is Muslim. So the message is already out there.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,Cruiser
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 05:28 PM

a U.S.A. style of democracy to an insanely religious country...

"Takes one to know one..."

Yes Sir, I agree.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 06:29 PM

Rig--

"...already believe Obama is Muslim".   And why do I think you are doing nothing to disabuse them? The question is whether you know the truth or not--and whether you enjoy spreading rumors.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 06:41 PM

"...already believe Obama is Muslim" So why would that imply he was less likely to be shot rather than more likely? Two varieties of religious fundamentalist nutcases after him instead of just one...


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 07:08 PM

Okay McGrath--and Ron too--I'll concede, even people with cultural ties to Islam will need protection when traveling in Pakistan.


    '"...already believe Obama is Muslim".   And why do I think you are doing nothing to disabuse them?'

                I don't know why you would think that, Ron. Those folks get most of their information from Christian Broadcasting; I don't listen to it, and they won't listen to me.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Ron Davies
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 08:00 PM

Rig--

Hope you told them Obama is not in fact Muslim but Christian--which he is. Did you? If they told you he was Muslim, and you did not disagree, silence consents--and you are thereby helping to spread rumors. But perhaps that doesn't bother you. It's very easy to find out the truth on this--if you haven't done so already. Unless you don't care about the truth--which is certainly possible.

And just what did you mean with your "won't need the protection" remark?--which you did not preface by saying it came from Christian Radio--if it did--actually it sounds like one of yours.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 08:27 PM

Oh, I'm very sorry Charley. I missed the irony in the phrase on your blicky. Glad you appreciated the Tariq Ali article, as I did too (without agreeing with every word of it).

That was a good analysis by McG a number of posts back. Rig perhaps missed his point that assasinations are not entirely unknown in the US.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 09:13 PM

"...which you did not preface by saying it came from Christian Radio..."

                Ron - I don't think I'm making my point. If it came from Christian Broadcasting I wouldn't know because, like I said, I don't listen to those stations. And I've conceded that any American traveling in Pakistan would need protection--okay?


    "Rig perhaps missed his point that assasinations are not entirely unknown in the US."

                Peter - Yes, I'm very much aware that Timothy McVay was, if fact, Christian. I think the guy who shot Garfield was as well.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: 282RA
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 09:14 PM

To get off the subject a bit, Obama, to my knowledge, is NOT a Muslim. It would be a damned shame for America if he loses the nomination for that reason. If they just don't think he has what it takes, okay, but if people vote against him because of some stupid rumor (and even if he were Muslim with no ties to any Muslim nation, that should not be a factor anymore than Joe Lieberman being a Jew who DOES have close ties to Israel doesn't seem to rile anybody--but me) that will be yet another black mark on America.

But back on the subject--it now appears that Bhutto was shot after all. As you all know, the Pakistani govt insists that she died hitting her head on a handle. I didn't buy it when I first heard it because a surgeon had already examined her and found bulletholes. How could he be mistaken about that??

New footage, however, shows that she was shot first, collapsed INTO the car and only THEN does the bomb go off. Furthermore, the handle she allegedly hit her head on so hard that it killed her is pristine. No blood on it, not a speck.

When the assassin fires, you can see her hair and veil move or jerk from the impact of the bullets and she collapses down into the car.
I don't see how the govt can maintain that she hit her head on a handle or that the blast knocked her into it. This new footage proves conclusively that it was neither.

God knows what the reaction will be in Pakistan.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 09:28 PM

"...Joe Lieberman being a Jew who DOES have close ties to Israel doesn't seem to rile anybody--but me..."

                     Me too - 282RA


                     But why is the government trying to cover for the gunman. Didn't he die as well, and if he did, it would be just like Ruby shooting Oswald. It would cover everybody's asses.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: 282RA
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 09:35 PM

That's what remains to be seen, I guess. I don't know why they would lie and expect everyone to believe it without giving anyone a chance to examine the body.

But the footage clearly shows no bomb threw her into anything and it sure looks to me like she was shot and collapsed into the car. Meanwhile more experienced people have looked at the footage and said the same thing--that she was shot, fell down into the car and then the bomb goes off.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: GUEST,Alton
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 08:25 AM

Pakistan last week, Kenya today. When will the western world realise that the mentality of these countries is third world and no amount of talking or throwing money at them will ever relieve their problems.

Regarding Africa and India, leave them to it and let's get on with looking after our own country. Health and education are simply a disgrace in Britain while our government pours billions into countries that neither acknowledge or show gratitude for our hard earned taxes arriving daily at their doorsteps.

Charity begins at home I say.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 08:53 AM

Alton-

"Pakistan last week, Kenya today. When will the western world realise that the mentality of these countries is third world and no amount of talking or throwing money at them will ever relieve their problems."

Yes, why don't you retreat to some hole and shovel in the dirt afterwards (no easy task!).

However, I do agree that there are no simplistic solutions to what is happening in Pakistan, Kenya, and many other countries on this planet.

The Bhutto family does seem to be exercising some positioning strategy. According to the papers I've read this morning, it was the husband, Arif Ali Zardari, who was designated in Benazir's will to be her sole successor and lead the PPP party. He in turn appointed their son Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari chairman of the PPP, while presiding over day to day affairs of the Party until the son completes his education at Oxford. The Party's vice-chairman Makhdoom Amin Fahim would be the actual candidate for prime minister if they win the national elections, if and when they take place. This strategy might even work given the surge of sympathy for the Bhutto family, and criticism that would be focused on the financial manipulations alleged to have been orchestrated by Zardari might be deflected.

That's a lot of factual material, and a few assumptions, to mull over. But how about a few more remarks about Obama, just to keep things stirring?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: Riginslinger
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 10:58 AM

Well they need to get that kid back to Oxford immediately.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 11:31 AM

Kenya is all about stealing an election. Something that could never happen in the USA, of course.

Here's a bit from the story in this morning's Guardian (and note the last paragraph especially):

...A joint statement by the British Foreign Office and the Department for International Development cited "real concerns" over irregularities, while international observers refused to declare the election free and fair.

The European Union's chief observer, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, said that in one constituency his monitors saw official results for Kibaki that were 25,000 votes lower than the figure subsequently announced by the electoral commission. "Because of this and other observed irregularities, doubt remains as to the accuracy of the result of the presidential election as announced today," he said.

But the US, which cooperates closely with the Kibaki government on anti-terrorism matters, congratulated the president on his re-election and said it supported the electoral commission's decision. Robert McInturff, a state department spokesman, said: "The United States congratulates the winners and is calling for calm, and for Kenyans to abide by the results declared by the election commission..."


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Benazhir Bhutto Assassinated
From: alanabit
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 12:22 PM

I expect the US government is just happy to see the Kenyans practising "Western Democracy" - as they know it.


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