this just in: former pakistani prime minister benazir bhutto assassinated.

now, pervez musharraf must go down.

god, i hate authoritarian leaders who think no one else can rule their country and who'd stop at nothing, not even killing their opponents or muzzling the press, to preserve their regime.

yes, i'm pointing my fingers without evidence. it's gut feel.

i can't believe there's another marcos on this planet. god take them all away please.

i apologize for that erratic post. that was only gut feel.

the pakistani government is pointing its fingers at terrorist groups and several of them have claimed responsibility for the attack. it's a valid point because bhutto has been very clear about her plans to rid pakistan of islamic extremists once she gets elected. and some sectors are saying these extremists do not want a woman for a leader.

however, what have these extremist groups really have to gain by her death? she isn't prime minister yet. some are saying that these groups wanted to kill her because she would have been a key ally of the us and the west in the war against terror. but isn't president musharraf also a key ally of the us? why not attack him instead since he is the one currently in power anyway. wouldn't that have made their statement much more powerful?

consider the situation: bhutto was killed in rawalpindi, an area where pres. musharraf is staying and where the pakistani military is headquartered. don't you think such a place would have been a secure area?

assuming without conceding that musharraf did not have a hand in the attack, he would nonetheless be responsible for not providing adequate security befitting a former prime minister, considering that bhutto had been complaining about the lack of security ever since she returned to pakistan and ever since another suicide bombing attempt directed against her in october (she was attacked the day after her return).

but it makes more sense to me if musharraf or the military had a hand in the assassination. for a long time, pakistan had been under military rule. it was only recently that musharraf agreed to give up his military post to become a civilian president, but it was a move that was largely due to pressure from the west. the power-sharing deal between bhutto and musharraf was to provide stability in the region, to give the beleaguered president enough popularity with the common people.

come to think of it, since when has a dictator agreed to share power with an opponent? my theory is that the power-sharing deal was just a show, some sort of a machiavellian move, to appease the west. but to really ensure keeping the power in his hands, all musharraf had to do was to have bhutto assassinated, blame islamic extremists groups, and make it impossible for an election to take place. that way, the west has no one to cling to in its war against terror but musharaff. with the us and the military on his back, how can musharraf ever lose his post?

for all we know, it could have been the military. bhutto has once voiced out her intention to return the military to the barracks and to pave the way for a truly democratic pakistan. it must be remembered that bhutto had a troubled relationship with the military. it was the military who ousted her father as pakistan's first civilian president and later ordered him executed. she herself was ousted as prime minister largely also because of the military. bhutto's popularity and inevitable victory at the polls would have signaled trouble for the military.

or who knows, it might have been another opposition leader, former prime minister nawaz sharif, whose supporters were allegedly also attacked prior to the bhutto assassination. interestingly, the attack wasn't directed against him, and he rushed immediately to bhutto's side at the hospital. hmmm...classic machiavellian move.

but really, i'm no expert. it was just gut feel. ever since musharraf declared emergency rule, muzzled the press, and ordered opposition leaders arrested (including house arrest for bhutto), i've lost trust in him. he is one desperate man, clinging foolishly to power.

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