I also thought of "Pakistan," and its "Madrassas," Islamic schools where fundamentalism is encouraged and nourished. Such schools grow in the vacuum left by an inadequate public school system. It's happening here too, where our public schools are underfunded, castigated, and displaced by a growing movement of religious institutions of various denominations. I know well the insularity and paranoia religious schools can generate, having been educated in "Catholic" schools for seventeen years.
I thought of our own assassinations of Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X. Lest we forget, "U.S." Senate candidate Mel Carnahan of Missouri died under mysterious circumstances in 2000, and defeated Bush crony John Ashcroft posthumously. Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone died in similar circumstances in 2002. His seat went to Bush criminal regime supporter Norm Coleman, who now faces reelection. His opponent is likely to be comedian and Air America founder Al Franken.
And of course I thought of Benazir Bhutto, a woman in politics that I have admired for a couple of decades. I have been inspired by her clarity, her beauty and grace, and her courage in the face of the great obstacles she faced. I had great hope that she could guide her country in its transformation to a modern society.
I also felt anger at her recklessness. A suicide bomber killed 136 people in an attack on the day she returned to "Pakistan." If the country is so inflamed, her return and campaign for the country's presidency seems to me to be extremely selfish and irresponsible. It is a disease that afflicts politicians everywhere on this planet. Blind ambition does not come close to describing this disease.
Self-delusion is more accurate. I'm not sure if there is a name for this particular delusion yet, but Savior Complex, or Messiah Syndrome would be good designations. Benazir Bhutto's crusade was to return "Pakistan" to "democracy." A cause to die for. As if by returning to "Pakistan" and winning the presidency that "democracy" would be attained.
In the milieu that exists in the world today, and in "Pakistan" in particular, I'm not sure that "democracy" should be the first step. It is more of an ongoing process, and for real "democracy" to exist, it has to be universal. Without "democracy" in the "United States of America," "the world's only superpower," it is not very likely to exist in "Pakistan."
The Bush criminal regime has stolen two presidential elections in the "United States." In its illegitimate time in power, this regime has presided over the worst attacks in the nation's history, invaded two countries, is threatening to invade another, has enabled the destruction of one of its greatest cities, and has moved the country in the direction of a police state.
The Bush criminal regime has supported the dictatorship of "Pakistan" dictator Pervez Musharraf. It has fueled resentment and inflamed tensions in the provinces that border "Afghanistan," especially among the "Pashtun" people.
Who knows what is the right thing to do? Benazir Bhutto's father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was executed, with no small influence from Henry Kissinger. She may have had a death wish, or had some kind of fixation on her father's fate. We all die anyway, so maybe she wanted to go out in a blaze of glory, a national and world hero, remembered for her sacrifice for her country. This would be the perfect way to clear her father's name, and secure both his legacy and her own.
Whatever the motivations of Benazir Bhutto, I believe it is safe to say that she has dwarfed the omnicriminal George W. Bush as a world leader. Bush, the military deserter, corporate criminal, election thief, enabler of the September 11, 2001 attacks, lying invader of two countries, enabler of the hurricane damage that destroyed New Orleans, international and domestic voyeur, kidnapper, torturer, executioner, purveyor of corruption, drunk, drug addict, intemperate oaf, incompetent, war criminal, and terrorist, will live on in infamy in world history, compared with various other sociopaths such as Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, and, ironically, Saddam Hussein.
Benazir Bhutto, in contrast, will be remembered as a martyr to democracy, a pioneer of female leaders in politics, an inspiration to Muslim men and women worldwide, and a model of courage and determination. In death, she may be just what the world needs right now. Her cowardly opposite, Bush, should be cringing in a corner, shamed by a woman whose glow shines a bright light on his mediocrity.