What might happen next in Pakistan
However, if al-Qaida was really responsible for Bhutto's murder and the subsequent suicide bombing that killed 20 other Pakistanis, then we in the USA have more to worry about than Israel's existance. "Death to America" has been Bin Ladin's war cry for years, and I think that it would be blindly ridiculous to assume he wouldn't use the nuclear weapons that might become a part of his arsenal if he gains power within Pakistan. The only question as Americans that we have is 'Which City will he aim the weapons at first?' My bet is Washington DC, but then again he's already shown a deep hatred for NYC, so who really knows. If he bombed NYC, the world's financial markets would be in total chaos. If he bombed DC, the world's governments would be in chaos. What about both cities at the same time? He's gone that route before.
By now you know what a worrier I am. This is the kind of scenario that keeps me from my bed at night. I start pondering just where would be safe. In the film "I am Legend" (which I haven't seen, but both my kids have) Vermont looks pretty damn good. I like Vermont. Yes, it's cold, but if you go far enough north, you can settle for very little money on a gorgeous Lake Champlain. And you're so close to Canada! Close enough to sneak over the border if need be. You see, I think about this stuff. I'm petrified of nuclear war. I'm not alone, and I think we all need to realize that if Bin Ladin and his band of merry terrorists come to grab the power in Pakistan, we're going to be seriously burnt toast here on the eastern seaboard. Maybe we can move into the Pioneer Woman's guest barracks. They're huge and could hold a lot of people! Oklahoma is OK by me.
I'm not trying to be glib. We are in deep doo-doo with al-Qaida gaining a stronghold in Pakistan, which they've been doing for the past 5 years. These aren't rational folks. You can't reason with fanatics. They believe that the Koran tells then to kill all the infidels, and as Americans, we're at the top of the list. By killing their former friend Bhutto (and yes, she was a strong supporter of al-Qaida during her second term as Prime Minister of Pakistan), they have made it even more plausable that Musharraf will maintain his leadership of Pakistan. Let's face it, this guy is a weasel and a puppet of Bin Ladin's. He is not good news for the Western world. Not at all. But who else is there to lead this Godforsaken country? Sharif, who government Musharraf ousted in order to bring himself to power, announced that he was boycotting the upcoming elections, which doesn't bode well for anyone other than Musharraf.
The next few days and weeks are critical for the country of Pakistan. If Mushsrraf declares the constitution null and void, and brings back curfews, civil unrest is going to burst forth and will be almost impossible to control. This is a country that is seething with misery. The people are either poor, or just begging to be allowed to don western ways like their neighbors in India have done. They are tired of remaining underdogs because of faulty governments and a band of terrorists that have taken root and thrived in their country. As Pakistani society becomes more and more intolerant of anyone other than Muslim extremists, it's urgent to find and support moderate candidates that can tone down the civil unrest. That's what Bhutto was supposed to do, but she knew she was a marked woman even before she came back from her exile in Dubai.
If you haven't yet read her obituary, you might be amazed to find out that she was a working mother who saw her 2 brothers and her father murdered by extremists. You'll learn about her exile after being ousted twice as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the first woman leader in the entire middle east. She was a student at Radcliffe/Harvard, and then at Oxford in England. She was imprisoned and spend 5 years in solitary confinement. Although corruption accusations dogged both her terms as PM, and her husband's continued involvement with 'curious' financial dealings led to prison time, Bhutto remained as a stalwart supporter of Pakistan. Her death marks a terrible period of unrest in the Middle East, and could be the beginning of civil war within her country.
Whatever you think of Bhutto, as Americans we need to start thinking of the future with Bin Ladin and al-Quada featured as prominent world leaders. It's a frightening though, especially knowing that these extremists have no compunction against killing thousands of innocent civilians in order to get their message across.
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