Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sad Day in Pakistan

I have been battling a cold over the past two days. Despite taking meds, it was a very restless night for me.

I happened to be up very early this morning, turned on the news and heard about the terrible assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

She was a beacon of hope for the Pakistani people. She was pro-Democracy reform in Pakistan. The people will be mourning her loss. There are statements of martyrdom.

There will be glee from those who hated her and were glad she was murdered. There will be prideful announcements regarding "who is responsible" for her death. This is the way, unfortunately, of radical Islam.

She was an ally of the United States. We can't help but admire her character, her decency and her brave attempts to bring Democratic reform and freedom to Pakistan.

She had many attempts on her life over the years. Unfortunately, this time the murderers succeeded.

This is all a part of the global war on terrorism. This murderous suicide attack on the former Pakistani leader (and more recently, former opposition leader) just demonstrates how important it is to keep after terrorists; whenever, and wherever they may strike.

Fox facts: Benazir Bhutto

Michele Malkin: Benazir Bhutto Assassinated

Hot Air: Breaking: Benazir Bhutto Killed in Bomb Attack

LGF: Bhutto Assassinated


Update: Republican Presidential Candidates statements about Bhutto's Murder.

News Release: Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee Issues Statement On Breaking News From Pakistan
December 27, 2007
Little Rock, AR – Former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee issued the following statement this morning after a campaign event in Florida:

“I am deeply troubled by the news accounts this morning of Pakistani opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in a suicide attack. This is devastating news for the people of Pakistan, and my prayers go out to them as we follow developments regarding this dire situation.

”The terrible violence surrounding Pakistan’s upcoming election stands in stark contrast to the peaceful transition of power that we embrace in our country through our Constitution. On this sad day, we are reminded that while our democracy has flaws, it stands as a shining beacon of hope for nations and people around the world who seek peace and opportunity through self-government.”

Governor Mitt Romney On Today's Events In Pakistan
Thursday, Dec 27, 2007

Boston, MA – Today, Governor Mitt Romney issued the following statement on today's tragic events in Pakistan:

"We are still learning the details of today's tragic events in Pakistan, but this is a stark reminder that America must not only stay on high alert, but remain actively engaged across the globe. Pakistan has long been a key part in the war against extremism and radical jihadists. For those who think Iraq is the sole front in the War on Terror, one must look no further than what has happened today. America must show its commitment to stand with all moderate forces across the Islamic world and together face the defining challenge of our generation – the struggle against violent, radical jihadists.

"At this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers go to the family of Benazir Bhutto, and to all the people of Pakistan who are fighting against extremist forces that would commit such heinous acts as the whole world has witnessed today."

Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Statement on the Assassination of Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
Mayor Rudy Giuliani released the following statement on the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto:

“The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is a tragic event for Pakistan and for democracy in Pakistan. Her murderers must be brought to justice and Pakistan must continue the path back to democracy and the rule of law. Her death is a reminder that terrorism anywhere — whether in New York, London, Tel-Aviv or Rawalpindi — is an enemy of freedom. We must redouble our efforts to win the Terrorists’ War on Us.”


Update @ 9:44 a.m. PT

Email that I received from Joel C. Rosenberg

By Joel C. Rosenberg (Washington, D.C., December 27, 2007) -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday by Islamic radicals. A leading pro-democracy and pro-Westerner political reformer in the Muslim world, Bhutto had just finished addressing a campaign rally of supporters in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi. Jihadists opened fire on the once and possibly future premier using automatic weapons, hitting her in the neck and chest. A suicide bomber then blew himself up at site, leaving Bhutto dead and killing at least 20 others.

The attack is certainly another tragedy for Bhutto's family (her father, who was premier in the late 1970s, was hanged by radicals in 1979) and we should be praying for their peace and comfort during this difficult time. But why else does Bhutto's death matter?

To be blunt: Pakistan and her nuclear weapons are in danger of falling into the hands of Islamic radicals. Such radicals have attempted to assassinate Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf multiple times in the last few years, hoping to seize control of the government and impose sharia law. Today's attack is a sobering reminder that Pakistan is just one coup d'etat away from Osama bin Laden or one of his fanatical, murderous allies suddenly gaining control. It is difficult to imagine a more nightmarish scenario than al-Qaeda in possession of Pakistan's nuclear arsensal, but this is not an impossibility.

For several years, and certainly throughout 2007, Musharraf has been severely criticized by Western leaders -- including those here in Washington, D.C. -- for imposing martial law and employing other heavy-handed tactics in an attempt to crush the radicals and safeguard the country from their control. He has deserved some of this criticism, but we must also keep things in perspective.

While we all want Pakistan to become a fully-developed democracy -- peaceful, prosperous and healthy in all respects -- we must be very careful never to underestimate the danger that Musharraf and his colleagues are in from the radicals. They are in a battle not just for the soul but the very survival of their country. I personally have serious concerns about how truly committed Musharraf is to Jeffersonian democracy. But I do not believe that he is the worst-case scenario for Pakistan. Bin Laden (or bid Laden-ism) is the worst case scenario.

Let us, therefore, take great pains not repeat the mistakes that President Jimmy Carter made in the late-1970s when he pressed so hard for democracy and human rights in Iran that the Shah eventually was forced to flee the country and the Ayatollah Khomeini took over. As deeply flawed as the Shah was, can anyone effectively argue today that Khomeini was better for the people of Iran, the people of the epicenter, or the world at large?

FYI: Benazir Bhutto, it should be noted, became the first woman prime minister of a Muslim country on December 2, 1988 and served until August 6, 1990. She was later reelected Prime Minister, serving from October 19, 1993 through November 5, 1996.

FYI: Agence France Presse reports that "there have been more than 40 suicide attacks in Pakistan this year that have left at least 770 people dead" and notes that "the deadliest terror attack in Pakistan's history targetted her homecoming rally just hours after her return, leaving 139 people dead".

FYI: The New York Times reports that "the attack the latest blow to Pakistan's treacherous political situation. It comes just days after President Pervez Musharraf lifted a state of emergency, imposed in part because of terrorist threats. Ms. Bhutto, 54, returned from self-imposed exile to Pakistan this year to present herself as the answer to the nation's troubles: a tribune of democracy in a state that has been under military rule for eight years, and the leader of the country's largest opposition political party, founded by her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, one of Pakistan's most flamboyant and democratically inclined prime ministers. But her record in power, and the dance of veils she has deftly performed since her return -- one moment standing up to the Pakistan president, General Musharraf, then next seeming to accommodate him, and never quite revealing her actual intentions -- has stirred as much distrust as hope among Pakistanis."

To visit Joel's WEBLOG with the latest on events in the Middle East and Russia -- including TIME magazine naming Putin "Man of the Year" -- please click here.

1 comment:

Christinewjc said...

I just knew that lunatic Ron Paul would say something stupid!

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how ANYONE - who is even minutely informed about what is happening in the world, of course - could POSSIBLY support this idiot for the presidency.

Many of his supporters are young, liberal, college aged kids who have been brainwashed by their liberal-left professors. Truly unfortunate.