Friday, December 28, 2007

Realpolitiks in Pakistan and Bhutto's Assassination

Yesterday the world was rocked by the news of the death of Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated just days before the general election, an election in which most observers predicted she would be ushered in as the next prime minister of Pakistan. The news media and politicians condemned the killers for the crime and lamented the death of the hope for a democratic Pakistan -- an elusive phantom that Bhutto promised her people should she get elected.

But, like so much on the mainstream news, most Americans who only listen to the sound bites will miss the realpolitiks about Pakistan which are covered up expertly by corporate/CIA spin masters.

Just last week I read a very interesting essay by Zahir Ebrahim called "Wakeup to the grotesque reality of the 'Grand Chessboard'!" which presents a very different dynamic about what's going on in that fractious country.

Ebrahim writes in this essay that western imperialistic forces are intent on destroying the sovereignty of Pakistan by using the fabricated "War on Terror" as an imperial doctrine to build their empire. He writes:
"In these times when the world's greatest minds, its foremost intellectuals, and its leading scholars and political-thinkers are seeding the underpinnings of the vast multi-faceted empire that very much needs this 'War on Terror' to accomplish its genocidal wet dreams of 'full spectrum dominance' of the planet, it is foolish to close ones' eyes and ones' mind to their doctrinal craftsmanship that is directly fueling the global power-plays and which is entirely crafting our own humble destiny while we are deliberately deflected into our own local petty gamesmanship! a humble student of geopolitics of the 'Grand Chessboard', the following are the rational steps, in order, that the Pakistani nation must urgently initiate in order to save the country and its peoples from imminent destruction before the despotic 'hectoring hegemons' come to really 'save' Pakistan just as they did Iraq. They are already deftly planting, spinning, and loudly singing the prelude 'unbirthday party' song to 'shock and awe' with copious unwitting help from our own 'native informants' (see “Response to Zia Mian's 'How Not to Handle Nuclear Security'”)!"

Zahir Ebrahim, "Wakeup to the grotesque reality of the 'Grand Chessboard'!", 2007
How does Bhutto fit into this global power play that Ebrahim describes in his essay? Journalist Gail Sheehy's recent article for Parade Magazine, 'A Wrong Must Be Righted,' gives the reader some useful insights into Bhutto's ascendancy:

Sheehy quotes Humayun Gauhar, a confidant of General Musharraf:
"If the Americans can have a government led by Bhutto, they will get what Musharraf has refused them. She will allow NATO boots on the ground in our tribal areas and a chance to neuter our nuclear weapons," said Gauhar. This is exactly why the American government was eager to see Bhutto gain or share power with the Musharraf's highly unpopular regime."

Gail Sheehy, Parade Magazine, 2007, "A Wrong Must Be Righted'

In an interesting op/ed piece in the Los Angele's Times Benazir's niece, Fatima Bhutto, thinks that her aunt is a great pretender when it comes to democratic reform and that her loyalties lie somewhere else. The piece titled, "Aunt Benazir's false promises" Fatima writes:
"I have personal reasons to fear the danger that Ms. Bhutto's presence in Pakistan brings, but I am not alone. The Islamists are waiting at the gate. They have been waiting for confirmation that the reforms for which the Pakistani people have been struggling have been a farce, propped up by the White House. Since Musharraf seized power in 1999, there has been an earnest grass-roots movement for democratic reform. The last thing we need is to be tied to a neocon agenda through a puppet "democrat" like Ms. Bhutto."

-- Los Angeles Times, Op/Ed., November 14, 2007
Now, is this the real story behind the continuing tragedy of Pakistan today? The pro-Western, Harvard- and Oxford-educated Bhutto had desires to bring in Western military forces into the country in order to dismantle the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence service, and Pakistan's nuclear weapons arsenal, making Pakistan a puppet government the Neocons could control? Would the ISI and others who believed in a sovereign Pakistan allow that to happen?

And, if the axiom that one is judged by the company one keeps is correct then one should be wary of Bhutto as she had a penchant for hiring the advice for those that are profiting greatly off the "War on Terror".

Sheehy gives us this interesting detail about Bhutto:
"Reflecting on the lessons of her two terms as prime minister, Bhutto tells me, “It’s only now that America has awakened to what we were already fighting—Islamic jihadis.” Fortunately for her, the West’s urgent fear of Pakistan as a breeding ground for terrorists has given Bhutto the chance to redefine herself. During most of her exile, she was considered irrelevant by Washington. Then she hired Hillary Clinton’s image-maker, Mark Penn, and began playing up to Musharraf."

Gail Sheehy, Parade Magazine, 2007, "A Wrong Must Be Righted'
For all those who have not heard of Mark Penn, he is CEO and President of the PR firm Burson-Marsteller and was Hillary Clinton's chief campaign strategist. His company helped defend the mercenary company Blackwater in hearings before Congress.

Bhutto also was a long-term client of Scribe Securities & Advisors which provided her with advice and counseling on political and media strategies. The president of Scribe, Joseph Szlavik Jr., served at the White House during the first Bush Administration as a policy analyst in the Office of Policy Development and as liaison with the Office of Cabinet Affairs and the Office of Legislative Affairs. The company also specializes in Homeland Security and Defense Consulting.

Bhutto was obviously not being propelled to government by grassroots support but by well-greased, well-connected consulting firms heavily tied to the Military Industrial Complex. With the Middle East blowing up both figuratively and literally because of the phony "War on Terror," does it surprise anybody that the very real world of realpolitiks caught up with her.

* * *

Also see:
The Destabilization of Pakistan, by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky for an excellent indepth analysis of the West's program to destabilize and balkanize Pakistan.

Bhutto tried to hire U.S. security guards Benazir tried to hire British and American security firms, including Blackwater, to protect her, but Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf refused to allow the foreign contractors to operate in Pakistan, according to aides.

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