The assassination of Benazir Bhutto, I confess, caught me off guard. I found myself deeply disturbed.
Undoubtedly, Benazir had her flaws — her own time as prime minister was marked by corruption and by the mysterious death of one of her own brothers. Yet, she had emerged, since her return to Pakistan in the fall, as a leading voice of freedom over against the repressive, US-sponsored dictatorship of Pervez Musharraf.*
And now she is dead. Her return to Pakistan was, granted, engineered with the backing of the Bush administration, in keeping with the rhetoric of “freedom and democracy” that all too easily falls from the lips of the President. In truth, however, Benazir was never more than a pawn in America’s foreign policy games. Through a thousand sins of omission, through a Pakistani policy that has made no effort to make contacts beyond Gen. Musharraf or the late Ms. Bhutto, some of the blame for her death must lie at the feet of the United States.
*In keeping with the alliance that we maintain with Uzbek dictator Islam Karimov, our willingness to look the other way regarding Russian suppression of Chechen independence and our less-than-vigorous denunciation of the regime of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.