The Blue Raccoon

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Assassins: The More Things Change...

Scene from Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, via joecable.

Assassination had become a favored from of political protest in the
late 1800s and early 1900s. Four kings, three American presidents, the
Empress of Austria, two monarchical heirs, and assorted dukes, barons
governors, legislators, and other political figures had been gunned down
or stabbed to death by 1911. The King of Serbia died in a grisly 1903
massacre in which he, the queen, and her two brothers were shot and then
thrown out of palace windows. The estranged wife of Hapsburg Emperor
Franz Joseph, Elizabeth of Bavaria, was stabbed to death by an anarchist
in Geneva in 1898. That these assassinations seemed to change little did
not decrease their popularity.
" -- An Incomplete History of World
War I,
Edwin Kiester Jr.

"As saddened as I am to hear of this, the reality is that I wasn't the least bit surprised. The truth is that Pakistan has always been, since it's founding, a murky, dangerous and anarchic place who's short history has been littered with such assasinations [sic.] and other forms of political violence. Unfortunately, as much money and attention as the US and UK throw at this problem (which we must, given that the alternative is unacceptable), we don't fully comprehend the amorality that pervades this country's politics and society.
It's very possible that it emerges that this was the work of Musharraf, our supposed ally who will conveniently find today that the West now has no viable alternatives but to support his regime fully despite a recent tilt towards Bhutto.
And, frankly, we will have to oblige and redouble our support for him. Welcome to the dangerous and enigmatic politics of nuclear-armed, Islamist-stoked Pakistan. God help us all."
-- H Juneja, London, England Timesonline blog.

"This is it folks. The Pathocracy have pulled out all the stops; its mask is down, it stands before us nakedly terrifying for the world of normal people to see. No longer do they assassinate by stealth, covertly pulling strings and manipulating election outcomes... No sir, as of today, they're rubbing their contempt for humanity in our faces.
Go here for some real context to this harbinger of our new global psychopathic elite: here."
Agniezka, posting on The Guardian blog about Benazir Bhutto's death

"Pakistan is in crisis today after the former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, who only returned to her homeland in October after eight years of self-imposed exile, was killed in a suicide attack."
In crisis today? Pakistan is in a permanent crisis. It has failed spectacularly as a nation. The US rushes to depose Saddam Hussein in the name of spreading democracy but hands billions of dollars to a military dictator in Pakistan, who uses it to develop weapons systems against the world's largest democracy India." --Medgirl

"I love the amount of ignorance being spouted all around. And where did India collapsing come into all this, it is probably as stable as any western democracy. The US and UK have see nothing compared to the kind of turmoil that India has seen and yet it has survived and to a great extent thrived. Granted there are a lot of problems on all fronts, but the west had over 200 odd years of democracy to work for them, India's only had 60 and by my guess, its done a fairly good job.
The political scenario today is more about social and economic development. People with fundamentalists tendencies do come into power but a lot of them do because of the economic growth they have led to. Modi is a prime example, he might be a fascist pig, but lets be honest, most people would take economic development over freedom of expression anyday, if you ask them to prioritize.
But the point is that maturity of voters had made a lot of the fundamentalists shift towards a more moderate stance. And lets be honest, all democracies are flawed. Most western democracies are practically owned by corporations or by right wing Christian parties hell bent on making immigration from the third world an issue or both.
And as far as the domino effect is concerned, well the US should have thought of that before invading iraq, which quite frankly was a war for oil, because if they really wanted to handle terrorism, the would have dealt with pakistan and saudi first, the heart and soul of global terrorism.
Er and Iraq calming down, well just because the western media is more focused on the US presidential elections and the divorce drama of Britney spears doesn't mean it has settled down. Its still a mess and will remain to be for a long time.
Please don't form opinions of countries based on mainstream media reports, most of them are parachute pieces with absolutely no local or regional knowledge anyways. You have the internet, explore a little and see different points of views." -- EternalCynic

"This is just a pretext for the US to send in its forces (possibly as a UN "peacekeeping" mission) to secure the next link in the oil supply chain and surround and isolate Iran, now that the National Intelligence Estimate has meant the Attack on Iran has had to be postponed.
Bhutto is, tragically, collateral damage in the ongoing PNAC geopolitical game."
-- Voland, Caen, France, Timesonline

"This sad news is not only a blow to Pakistan, but to the whole region including India. The void created by this event, will surely give the hard line Islamists the stage to exploit the situation which can easily engulf India in the flames of religious violence in due course.
The West must make sure that the nuclear arsenal of Pakistan is well secured and India must take steps to secure its borders in order to contain the fallout from the current situation. The Pakistani military must take charge once again and postpone the elections till matters are well under control. Civil war in Pakistan is now closer than ever. God help us all."
-- mocho, St. Louis, Mo., U.S.A.

Global Voices has set up a page aggregating blogs and posts about Bhutto's assassination. There's also an RSS feed of bloggers' reactions.
Marxist blog the Red Diary reckons Bhutto was killed because "the strong possibility of the rise of a secularist Benazir into power made her a mortal threat for those in the State who harbored sympathy for Islamic Fundamentalists". -- GuardianOnline

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