Friday, December 28, 2007


This headline on Yahoo News leaped out at me this morning :

Bhutto assassination dashes hopes of democratic change.

This overview epitomizes for me everything that is wrong with the way that our main-stream media presents "news" to the American masses. I don't want to throw dirt on Benazir Bhutto's freshly dug grave, but the last poll numbers I saw before she was murdered showed her with 31% support . She may very well have won a 3-way race, but let's not kid ourselves and make her something she wasn't. In fact this LA Times piece penned by her niece a month ago presents Aunt Benazir in a harsh light. A sample or two:

Perhaps the most bizarre part of this circus has been the hijacking of the democratic cause by my aunt, the twice-disgraced former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. While she was hashing out a deal to share power with Gen. Pervez Musharraf last month, she repeatedly insisted that without her, democracy in Pakistan would be a lost cause. Now that the situation has changed, she's saying that she wants Musharraf to step down and that she'd like to make a deal with his opponents -- but still, she says, she's the savior of democracy.

It is widely believed that Ms. Bhutto lost both her governments on grounds of massive corruption. She and her husband, a man who came to be known in Pakistan as "Mr. 10%," have been accused of stealing more than $1 billion from Pakistan's treasury. She is appealing a money-laundering conviction by the Swiss courts involving about $11 million. Corruption cases in Britain and Spain are ongoing.

It seems to me that we Americans want to believe in a singular "great leader" to guide some of the countries we've become entangled with into societies that mimics ours. The problem is that the world is not quite as simple as we'd like it to be. This idea that we expect our leaders and government to keep us safe in an inherently unsafe world is childish at best and is leading us into more longer-term problems.

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