The Blue Raccoon

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Bloody End of 2007

Via Agha Khanium's flickr photostream.

This afternoon during lunch I was browsing through USA Today's necrology, which these days, I find the most fascinating part of the media year's end wrap ups. Some I knew, some I didn't --

[Synchronicity: Yvonne de Carlo, via]

Yvonne DeCarlo's passing passed by me, as did Joey Bishop's, Dan Fogelberg. Not on the list, neither artist Jeremy Blake nor writer and bloggist Theresa Duncan. But you know: every where each day millions of innocents die and they don't get write ups in USA Today, either.

But Death wasn't done with 2007 when USA Today's pages closed -- internecine violence claimed erstwhile Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto. First I heard of it was when I checked the BBC home page late during the evening.

I confess to a lamentable U.S.-centric ignorance of that part of the world. I knew of her groundbreaking political career -- and her striking appearance always made me look; I recall in the mid-1980s during a Saturday Night Live weekend update that whoever the faux anchor was said that the newest supermodel added to the roster of John Casablancas was Benazir Bhutto. She was one of those prominent world leaders, getting on chat shows and shown in cheering crowds, or fleeing, I recall, in a limousine while wearing big sunglasses like a Hollywood star.

[Bhutto surrounded by women during a campaign stop--Can you imagine a Western politician giving up his or her zone of security like this? And what of our politicos would cause such adulation?]

I knew varying things about the vagaries of corruption charged to she and her family. Seemed courageous of her to return to Pakistan at this tempestuous time given her own personal history -- her father and two brothers were consumed in her country's cyclic violence. Some claim her arrival was sponsored by the U.S. to find a moderate pro-U.S. government there. Bhutto was the Bush administration's Plan B against the militarist Pervez Musharraf.

BushCo gave public support to his government and wheelbarrowed tons of cash into his coffers in the inexplicable naive hope that he'd use it to stabilize his fractious nation and combat Islamic extremists. Now, the ball is up in the air, elections just a dozen days away -- and Musharraf, the most unpopular man in Pakistan, as of today, running unopposed.

I am reminded of Sadat's killing at a military review, also carried out by extremists, and that upset the balance in Egypt and the Middle East.

And I was noticing and reading more about her efforts. Now this.

I can't even begin to parse out what this will mean to the region. Won't be good, I can guarantee that, and Pakistan seems quivering on the edge of nervous collapse. And unlike Iraq or Iran, they have nukes.

Round-headed exuberant newscaster Chris Matthews made a sage observation at the very end of his program tonight. "People get paid on television to make fun of politicians, but even with her flaws, the fewer Benazir Bhuttos gives us more Bin Ladens."

The blog 3 Quarks Daily is far more aware of these matters than me.


While we contemplate the wobbling axis of events, and incipient world crisis, yet another image of the curvalicious Ms. DeCarlo, via celeblegs. Who knew she was from British Columbia?

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home