Pakistan after Bhutto links

by Chris Bertram on December 31, 2007

Just an update with links to the discussions and articles that have struck me as most interesting. First up, Tariq Ali, who often spouts nonsense concerning geopolitics but is here writing about something he knows and cares about. “In today’s Independent he deplores the dynastification of Pakistan with the naming of Bhutto fils as PPP leader”: . He also had an interesting piece in the Guardian which “has been republished”: by International Viewpoint. Second, Jemima Khan, who comes across as “well-informed and perceptive in the Telegraph”:;jsessionid=JVEB3HN4QLUATQFIQMGSFFWAVCBQWIV0?xml=/opinion/2007/12/30/do3003.xml . And finally, “a whole raft of discussions at The Immanent Frame”: . Feel free to add more links in comments.

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Noli Irritare Leones » Blog Archive » Coming to bury Benazir Bhutto, not to praise her
12.31.07 at 4:46 pm



P O'Neill 12.31.07 at 3:20 pm

I thought Roger Cohen was doing a decent job in the NYT until his last sentences —

Bhutto’s loss is devastating, comparable with Yitzhak Rabin’s. Her Kennedylike family tragedy leaves the fathomless void of what might have been.

I met her more than 30 years ago when we were at Oxford. Arriving late one night at Balliol College, I saw a solitary light in the quadrangle. On a whim, a fellow student and I went to the room. There was Bhutto deep in earnest talk about politics. She was gracious at the intrusion, memorably so.

While he thankfully didn’t segue into “and surely never lighted on this orb” etc, there is the problem of the pool of pundits containing so many people who know her mainly from Oxford or Harvard.


DB 12.31.07 at 3:30 pm

Tariq Ali also published a review of Bhutto’s career earlier this month in LRB — link is

Sadly, it ends with a couple of sentences may turn out to be prescient:

“….Pakistan will oscillate between these two forms of rule for the foreseeable future. The people who feel they have tried everything and failed will return to a state of semi-sleep, unless something unpredictable rouses them again. This is always possible.”


jim jay 12.31.07 at 5:07 pm

I’ve produced this monster link list at The Daily (Maybe) which may be interesting.


Anthony 12.31.07 at 5:16 pm

Hitchens had an interesting piece published some time ago, that you may like.


Christmas 12.31.07 at 5:47 pm

Tariq Ali, who often spouts nonsense concerning geopolitics

Care to add any substantive criticism to that random shot?


Cian 12.31.07 at 7:10 pm

I often disagree with Tariq Ali, but he spouts a lot less nonsense than the US foreign policy pundits/class.

By far the best piece that I’ve seen is this piece by William Dalrymple,,2233261,00.html
He gets the contradictions, and points out something which only Tariq Ali has pointed out: she was no democrat, and was a terrible leader (even if you ignore her grotesque plundering of the country, murder of her brother, etc).


albertchampion 01.01.08 at 5:34 am

something i put up on another site on 29/12/07…

let’s just consider a few aspects concerning the bhuttos and pakistan…

1. pakistan is an “official” organized crime state. and it is an organized crime state with nuclear weapons[that the usa allowed to be developed].

2. pakistan is/has been a vassal of the usa’s organized crime state. musharraf is the current capo regime for the planet’s capo di tutti capi[potus].

3. if you adopt a sicilian or a neapolitan overlay for pakistan, you should notice that the bhutto family is/has been one of the pakistan “families”[think genovese, luchese, et alia].

consider that the shooter may have been standing next to pinky.

4. some may think that a 7.62 round has to come from a rifle. it doesn’t. i think that the standard issue soviet sidearm was a tokaraev, using a 7.62 round[but i could be mistaken. it has been many years since i paid any attention to weapons].

5. that the bhutto family may have been involved in the “hit” would seem to be confirmed by the fact that her husband[sic] prohibited an autopsy. not unlike the kennedy family preventing a real autopsy of jfk.

6. this obstruction, combined with the dictatorship’s refusal to secure the site as a crime scene, to sequester all the immediate bystanders, informs me that the paki military and members of the bhutto family conspired to make the “hit”.

7. pinky, a member of a paki organized crime family, recently became allied to the bush organized crime family. the bush ocf might have betrayed her. on the other hand, that alliance could have marked her for a “hit”.


9. if this bhutto hit causes us troops to be officially operating in pakistan, then you also have to consider mossad as a major player in this event.

the great game continues.


ali 01.01.08 at 6:28 am

Rahul Mahajan:

“…The fact that Benazir’s assassination was a terrible thing for Pakistan does not somehow mean that she herself was some prize. The response from virtually every political quarter in the United States, from Dennis Kucinich to George Bush, has been that somehow the shining light of Pakistani democracy has gone out.

The queen of democracy is dead, but fortunately the Dauphin of democracy has emerged from Oxford to take her place. A 19-year-old boy is now the titular head of the Pakistan Peoples Party simply because of who his mother was (and she, in turn, rose to her position of prominence because her father had been Prime Minister).

To top it all off, at the press conference after his elevation, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had the audacity to say, “My mother always told me democracy is the best revenge.”

Apparently, democracy equals corrupt feudal autocracy combined with dynastic succession….”


Anthony 01.01.08 at 12:09 pm

No 6. In November 2003 Tariq Ali described the terrorists in Iraq in The Guardian as a “resistance” of which Iraqis “can be proud and of which British and US citizens should be envious”. That nonsense enough?


abb1 01.01.08 at 1:25 pm

“resistance” of which Iraqis “can be proud and of which British and US citizens should be envious”

That’s a standard anti-imperialist position, not Tariq Ali-specific. It follows naturally from the premise that the occupation of Iraq is an imperialist enterprise. The premise definitely is not prima facia nonsense (feels more like a sound judgment, actually), and thus the conclusion doesn’t qualify as nonsense either. That’s assuming that you’re an opponent of imperialism, of course; but that’s pretty common and usually is not considered nonsensical.


Cian 01.01.08 at 3:53 pm

“resistance” of which Iraqis “can be proud and of which British and US citizens should be envious”

Ah, conflating resistance with terrorism. Classic. And actually he said they have “an opposition”, something of which British and US citizens should be proud. A subtle, but important difference. Thanks for playing and all…


Cian 01.01.08 at 3:55 pm

About half of your post is incredibly clueless and paranoid. The crime family thing in particular is just dumb. And no, mr ten percent didn’t have her killed. Grow up and learn something about the region.


Martin G. 01.01.08 at 11:47 pm

I thought that “this article by Dalrymple in the Guardian”:,,2233334,00.html was balanced and interesting.


albertchampion 01.02.08 at 8:23 am


i would tell you, grow up and learn something about the region.

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