By making an enemy of the Islamic world the West has created a rod for its own back. Rather than making the world a safer place, the West has put the world at even greater risk than ever it was during the Cold War.
The death of Benazir Bhutto has only served to increase that risk. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, the chances of this assassination having been carried out by ‘al Qaeda’ or some other ‘terrorist’ organisations are much less than the chances of it having been carried out under the auspices of Musharraf’s Western supporters, the US and the Israelis, who have a vested interest in ensuring that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons stay firmly under the control of a leader they know and trust.
Benazir Bhutto, while an extremely popular and pro-western Pakistani political leader, has a history of being weak inasmuch that she never seemed to be able to hang to power for very long. She seemed to always be being ousted from power or involved in some corruption scandal or being sent off into exile – yet again. This is not the sort of leader that the US and Israel could afford to have as the leader of Pakistan even under some power-sharing arrangement. The risk of having such power usurped from her by Islamic fundamentalist politicians and activists was just too much for the US and the Israelis to accept.
If, indeed, it were the Western powers that were behind her death, a proposition that, despite the Western propaganda and rhetoric to the contrary, seems most likely, then the upshot is likely to be success for them. Musharraf is likely to weather the storm and will do it with US help even if it means the US sending troops to Pakistan to help Musharraf maintain control. It’s telling that George Bush has called for the Pakistani elections to go ahead but carefully neglected to mention that it should stick to the 8 January 2008 timetable. The omission buys both himself and, more importantly, Musharraf, more time to reconsolidate their positions.
The turmoil following Benazir Bhutto’s death was a risk, it seems, they were willing to take. For the US and Israel the looming Pakistani election was far more of a risk than the aftermath of murdering a popular but weak political leader who could very easily have been toppled by other far more anti-US and Israeli elements within Pakistan who would then have control of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.
The mainstream media has talked up the risk of civil war in Pakistan but the reality is this; Pakistan is a nation with a massive population of some 165 million people, the vast majority of whom, while upset at what has happened, are far more concerned with just day to day survival in relatively peaceful times than trying to do the same thing while fighting each other in a civil war. There may well be considerable violence in the aftermath of her death but there is unlikely to be any civil war.
Benazir Bhutto’s death is likely to have the desired outcome for the US and Israel. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal will remain in the hands of the leader who the US and Israel have sponsored ever since 9/11. The risk of having a weak leader voted into power in a popular election has been averted. Having a strong man who would in all likelihood concede to allowing US troops on Pakistani dirt is just what the US and Israelis need.
I doubt there will be too many tearful eyes in the White House, the Knesset or the offices of the AEI over Benazir Bhutto’s death.