Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir's murder, a matter of when

It's tragic that Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today. There is rampant speculation about who did it and why. But largely missing from the analyses I've read is the possibility that the nation of Pakistan, the Islamic nation of Pakistan, a nation that recently gave Osama bin Laden a 46% approval rating, simply didn't want a high-born, Western-educated, secularist woman in a position of power in their country. A woman who has twice been removed from office on corruption charges and whose father was branded an enemy of Islam and executed in 1979.

We can pretend that it's an oppressive regime we oppose and that the Pakistani people are longing for freedom and equality as we've defined it. In actuality, our quarrel is with the Pakistanis themselves, at least half of whom would institutionalize Islamic fundamentalism and call it freedom. Pakistanis who would love to be free of Western influence, be it cultural or political. Pakistanis who want to practice their religion and define their values without interference from outsiders.

The world does not want our electronics, nor our cars, nor much of anything we have to offer. Why do we insist that the world want our democracy? Clearly it doesn't.


Klayton Elliot Kendall said...

Despite the propaganda from the White House, the last thing the U.S. wants is democracy in Pakistan, because, yes, Pakistan would immediately become Iran pt. 2 -- but with a bomb! That's why we will continue to pump billions of dollars into the military dictatorship there. Musharraf has the FULL backing of the U.S. and he knows it. No one stands a chance of taking his place as supreme leader of Pakistan. The official line is that radical Muslims (al-Qaeda -- the boogiemen scapegoats for everything these days) killed Bhutto, but we all know that's bullshit. The average U.S. taxpayer is just as guilty as Osama bin Laden, if not more so.

Marie said...

Klayton, I do not disagree with you in the slightest. The point I am trying to make is that it was not only the US that didn't want Benazir in power, it was every male Islamic fundamentalist in Pakistan. The US didn't have to orchestrate her was bound to happen one way or another.

Swiss Miss said...

I think the number of Islamists in Pakistan has been exaggerated. There are plenty of people in the Middle East and in that region generally who do long for democracy and who love Jimi Hendrix as much as we do, but they know that what America is exporting isn't democracy and the freedom to rock out in the slightest, but imperial capitalism. If left to their own devices, I think Pakistan would probably go the way of Iran in that Iran has a strong population of young people who want democracy and Westernization, just not American interference.

They strongly protest against Pizza Huts and IBMs for obvious reasons. The same backlash has happened in South America and Latin America. Democracy, yes.....American corporatism, no. America is trying to impose corporatism in democracy's clothing, but the people of the world aren't buying it. Of course, if we left them alone and let them sort this stuff out for themselves, we risk losing out on potential markets for Chinese-made American products, and that is what we cannot tolerate.