The critical assessment of what to make of the assassination of Benazir Bhotto is not to be found in the specifics of who facilitated this tragedy but rather in what facilitated this atrocity of warped behavior.
Aside from whatever flaws are attributed to her past, Ms. Bhutto was a charismatic, brave political leader, dedicated to a more democratic Pakistan. The price of her death is but the latest link in a long chain of abominations unwittingly launched by President George W. Bush and his gang of neo-cons who shared (and catered to) his arrogance, hubris and tunnel vision.
When this cynical cabal chose to abandon the real "war" on terrorism (Osama binLadin) to pursue a war of opportunity, using lies and deceit as justification—the dye was cast for a travesty of shameful and tragic events. Am I saying, or even implying that there is a direct line from the Bush gang’s actions to the specific death of Ms. Bhutto? Absolutely not!!
Rather the time-tragedy line is like a pinball lunched onto the slope of the game machine:
Ca Ching! No weapons of mass destruction. Ca Ching! No Al Quaida connection to Iraq. Ca Ching! Massive influx of Al Quaida and Islamic fanatics into Iraq as a result of the Bush invasion! Ca Ching! Four thousand Americans dead! Ca Ching! Over one million Iraqis dead. Ca Ching! Dramatic surge in global terrorist actions! Ca Ching! Osama binLaden, Taliban and Al Quaida preach with impunity from the safe haven of the Afghan-Pakistan border.
While the majority of the Pakistan population is moderately secular in orientation, there has developed a minority of hardcore Islamic fanatics who stalk the secular model of their country like a tiger who has caught the scent of blood. Can anyone seriously argue that the influence, aid and comfort given them by their philosophical brothers-in-fanaticism on the border has no influence on these local groups?
What difference does it make, whether it was home grown fanatics or foreign fanatics who shed Benazir Bhutto’s blood? They all drink from the same poisoned well of religious zealotry!
The question is:
A- would events have played out differently if the Bush gang had been really serious about going after the real terrorists—and , with adequate troops and zeal, taken the head of the Al Quaida viper?
B- would it have played out differently if Bush, et al had denied the Taliban sanctuary in the mountains of the Pakistan border?
One might argue that we have no crystal ball—and cannot know what might have happened. True. On the other hand, without A and B, we know what did happen!