When the United States aligns with dictatorships and totalitarian regimes, it compromises the basic democratic principles of its foundation -- namely, life, liberty and justice for all. Dictatorships such as Musharraf's suppress individual rights and freedoms and empower the most extreme elements of society. Oppressed citizens, unable to represent themselves through other means, often turn to extremism and religious fundamentalism.
Benazir Bhutto, A False Choice for PakistanThe claim that she died from having banged her head is a ludicrous cover story not even worthy of the Bush regime. Bhutto's considered remarks are consistent with previous articles on this blog, specifically: Terrorism is always worse under GOP regimes. Bhutto would have found FBI statistics that support her analysis: the root causes of "terrorism" are US imperialistic policies, specifically the material and diplomatic support of dictators like Musharraf and earlier, Saddam Hussein and the Shah of Iran, et al. It should be obvious that citizens of other nations resent US support of dictators who oppress them.
For too long, the international perception has been that Musharraf's regime is the only thing standing between the West and nuclear-armed fundamentalists.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Islamic parties have never garnered more than 13 percent in any free parliamentary elections in Pakistan. The notion of Musharraf's regime as the only non-Islamist option is disingenuous and the worst type of fear-mongering.
Much has been said about Pakistan being a key Western ally in the war against terrorism. It is the fifth-largest recipient of US aid -- the Bush administration proposed $785 million in its latest budget. Yet terrorism around the world has increased. Why is it that all terrorist plots -- from the Sept. 11 attacks, to Madrid, to London, to Mumbai -- seem to have roots in Islamabad?
Benazir Bhutto, A False Choice for PakistanThe policies to which Bhutto alludes are primarily those of the right wing, the GOP in particular. Democrats, however, are compromised by the US Military/Industrial Complex and have not addressed this issue adequately. The US Military/Industrial Complex is at the very heart of US imperialism and, thus, the root cause of terrorism.
Over the past year, Musharraf - known here as “Busharraf” on account of Washington's role in propping up his failing dictatorship - has presided over one of Pakistan's most turbulent periods in its 60-year history. While claiming to address extremism, he has instead eviscerated the nation's legal system, curtailed the media and hamstrung civil society, thereby destroying Pakistan's strongest (both institutional and cultural) defenses against fundamentalism. Having twice sacked the Supreme Court's popular and independent Chief Justice and jailed the leaders of the democracy movement, Musharraf has also imposed severe restrictions on the press that continue to stifle debate. In this environment, violence is all too predictable. And the enabling complicity of the U.S. should alarm all observers.
A host of competing theories attempt to explain Bhutto's assassination. The government predictably blamed al-Qaeda within a day, while offering a theory of her death described by BBC as “bizarre.”
Noting Bhutto's prior comments that “elements within the administration and security apparatuses . . . want me out of the way,” members of her family accused the government - either of killing her outright, or for complicity by notorious rogue elements within the government, or at least for offering inadequate security to her campaign - as Bhutto herself alleged before the fact. American authorities have reportedly begun investigating Pakistani special operations forces for their potential involvement.
War policies benefit a tiny elite, no-bid contractors like Halliburton, Blackwater and their stockholders. The war against Iraq is financed by America's working poor and middle classes who continue to pay for the war with their lives abroad and with their jobs, their retirement prospects, and their access to health care at home.
Because of Reagan/Bush tax cuts, this group disproportionately and unfairly picks up the tab for a war that has created for the US legions of enemies. But no friends. [See: Frankenstein the CIA created, Mujahideen trained and funded by the US are among its deadliest foes, reports Jason Burke in Peshawar, Sunday January 17, 1999, Guardian Unlimited]
The policies that oppress Americans have even worse effects for millions who must live under repressive regimes backed by Bush and his sponsors in big oil.
The National Accountability Bureau has persecuted opposition leaders for a decade on unproven corruption and mismanagement charges, hoping to grind them into submission. However, when politicians accused of corruption cross over to the regime, the charges miraculously disappear.Bhutto refers to Bush's remarks in his State of the Union address. In that address, Bush said that the great question of the day "... is whether America will help men and women in the Middle East to build free societies and share in the rights of all humanity." Benazir Bhutto was not naive. I am sure that she understood that Bush's remarks were but a sop to the audience, his base, the media, the gullible. Bush, a proven liar, must be judged only by his actions. He does not get the benefit of the doubt. Like every other GOP regime, he has made terrorism worse.
Musharraf's regime exploits the judicial system as yet another instrument of coercion and intimidation to consolidate its illegitimate power. But the politics of personal destruction will not prevent me and other party leaders from bringing our case before the people of our nation this year, even if that could lead to imprisonment.
Benazir Bhutto, A False Choice for Pakistan
The Brookings Institution had written a report based on FBI stats. It was entitled: Total Acts of Terrorism in the US 1980-98, America's Response to Terrorism. It dealt primarily with Ronald Reagan's similarly failed "War on Terrorism". Brookings, inexplicably, pulled the article. Nevermind! I have saved the chart that they prepared based on FBI stats. The conclusion now safe from a conservative memory hole is this: during the two year period in which Ronald Reagan promised "terrorists" that "you can run but you can't hide", terrorist attacks against the United States increased. There were, as I recall, about three times as many terrorist attacks against US interests as during the Clinton administration. [Source: Total Acts of Terrorism in the US 1980-98, America's Response to Terrorism, The Brookings Institution (Based on FBI Statistics)] As it was in the economic sphere, the Reagan administration was utterly ineffective against terrorism.
Reagan's adventure in Lebanon is remembered for two things: a) the thousands of lives lost amid even more waves of refugees; b) Reagan's ignominious pull-out following the bombing of the US marine barracks. Thought cowardly at the time, it may be too charitable in retrospect to attribute to Reagan remorse for having wrongly invaded to begin with. That's too much to expect from the GOP. In this earlier invasion, Ronald Reagan supported Israel just as Bush has done more recently. [See: Reagan Orders Marines Out of Lebanon]
Bush's continuing partnership with big oil is salt in the wound. Millions disaffected by US oil imperialism understand better than do Americans the reasons a Bush regime supports the ruthless dictators who oppress them. As an Iranian diplomat told me in Houston: oil is a curse. He was not alone. Many "industry-watchers" now use the term "curse" to refer to the nature of oil exploitation that democracy, public institutions, and civil liberties are often retarded because of it. Civil liberties are most often dispensed with altogether.
Oil wealth concentrates at the top. People in Venezuela, Nigeria, and Azerbaijan enjoy few benefits of oil production in their countries. We now see in the US the unseemly spectacle that other nations have always known, that is, ruthless factions scrapping for control and riches. US policy and its fascist partnership with big oil inspires resentment among those who are left out, those who bear the brunt, those for whom oil means only oppression.
Bush's base —the nation's elite, his corporate sponsors, and the so-called defense industry —have paid nothing, risked nothing! Rather —they feed at the trough. The upper one percent of the population has gotten several tax cuts while the big oil companies report record profits rising concurrently with higher prices at the pump.
Just two days after 9/11, I learned from Congressional staffers that Republicans on Capitol Hill were already exploiting the atrocity, trying to use it to push through tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. ... We now know that from the very beginning, the Bush administration and its allies in Congress saw the terrorist threat not as a problem to be solved, but as a political opportunity to be exploited. The story of the latest terror plot makes the administration’s fecklessness and cynicism on terrorism clearer than ever.There are big profits in the death business. Go to Texas and consult the CEO of Murder, Inc., otherwise known as DynCorp.
—Hoping for Fear, by Paul Krugman, Using Fear Commentary, NY Times
The war in Iraq has boosted DynCorp's revenues, responsible for about $400 million of the company's nearly $2 billion in sales. And while the company didn't specify how much the effort has added to profits, there has certainly been an upside, Lagana said, although he added that profit margins are lower than in other private industry -- often below 10 percent.Given their miserable records, why do GOP regimes persist? I can think of two reasons off hand. 1) wars are easily exploited to stir feelings of patriotism and false pride; 2) the GOP is the official party of big oil. Big oil depends upon the GOP to wage its oil wars. You pick up the tab. In return, the GOP gets a lot of money with which to steal and/or rig elections.
For government contractors and other US-based businesses that are doing work in Iraq, the war there has continued to provide opportunity and benefits, although experts and companies alike say they are difficult to quantify. To be sure, security businesses, oil producers and defense contractors are among the biggest winners. Those who manufacture key products, from bulletproof vests to bullets themselves, and, more recently, those involved in reconstruction, have reaped the benefits, too.
--Businesses find benefits, costs in war work
In the meantime, Americans are less safe under the dictators of "Imperial America". According to the Pew Research Center, American skepticism about the war in Iraq has increased steadily from its inception. The war in Iraq, like American imperial policies cause terrorism.
Now --let's put to rest the idiotic "cover story" that Bhutto's "main death" was a bump on the head. BS!!! It was a mob style hit job and there is unambiguous video of at least two hit men/
In the meantime, consistent with US destruction of 911 evidence, "fire crews" hose down the crime scene. Evidence against Bhutto's murderers may be lost forever.
Bhutto's Assassination Evidence Destroyed
UPDATED: Mobile pictures - Benazir was defintely shot dead before the Blast
Related developments from Information Clearing House:
Iraq: At least 16 killed in another bloody day of US occupation : The bodies of three people were found in different areas of BaghdadBhutto herself urged that should she be assassinated, members of the Musharraf government be investigated.
Rioting in Pakistan continues: Nearly 50 people have been killed since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. President Musharraf vows to restore order after a third day of violence.
Pakistan TV station shows Bhutto shooter, contradicts government: The footage clearly shows Bhutto collapsing into her armoured- vehicle before the suicide blast, contradicting official government claims that she recoiled only after the blast and cracked her skull on the sunroof.
Pakistan rejects foreign help in Bhutto investigation:Pakistan rejected foreign help in investigating the assassination of Benazir Bhutto on Saturday, despite controversy over the circumstances of her death and three days of paralyzing turmoil.
Bolton: US 'helped precipitate' conditions for Bhutto's assassination: John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations, said it was a mistake to collaborate with Bhutto's "desire to get back into the game in Pakistan" and view her as an alternative to the country's current leader, Pervez Musharraf.