Is Bush responsible for Benazir Bhuttos death, in part?
By Sam Johns
ISLAMABAD (BNW) Sometimes your friends can get you killed! I think that is an appropriate and fair analysis about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. All due respect to Bhutto for her courageous attempt to seek democracy in Pakistan. From the beginning, she was setup to fail by the Bush administration. She, like most of Bush supporters in the War On Terror have given a lot in their support for Bush and have gotten nothing in return. Unfortunately for Bhutto, she paid ultimate price by gaving her life for Stupid Bush. Most of Bushs allies in the War Against Terror have abandoned him or the people of their countries have kicked Bush supporters out of office.
Even his main boy, Toney Blair lost is job for being Bushs lap dog in the minds of the British people. Blair was relegated by the British people as a lap dog of Bush and was kicked out of office. In Spain, the ouster of the center-right party in Spain, only days after a terrorist bombing that may be linked to Al Qaeda, was the first electoral rebuke of one of Stupid Bush's most steadfast allies in the Iraq war.
After France and Germany questioned supporting the war on Iraq, the Spanish prime minister, José María Aznar, stood publicly by Bush at a summit meeting in the Azores a year ago this week, and just days before the war began. Now voters have elected the opposition Socialists, although the center right was leading in the polls until the terrorist attack.
The Bush administration must now fight the perception, accurate or not, that acts of terror against America's allies can sway nations into rethinking the wisdom of standing too closely with Bush.
Time after time, President Bush has responded to critics who say he has alienated America's closest allies by pointing to Mr. Aznar as a courageous example of a leader who ignored poll numbers upward of 90 percent of Spaniards opposed the war and who acted in Spain's best interests.
Conservative Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat this year at the hands of the left-leaning opposition, whose leader has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and withdraw Australia's combat troops from Iraq.
Labor Party head Kevin Rudd's pledges on global warming and Iraq move Australia sharply away from policies that had made Howard one of President Bush's staunchest allies.
Now, Benazir Bhutto who tried to bring democracy to Pakistan is dead. In her assassination, she was trapped, capped, snapped and wrapped in less than 24-hours. Her party has challenged the Pakistani government's version of the opposition leader's assassination as fresh violence on Saturday stoked fears that January 8 elections could be put off.
Its there a Pox on Bushs house?
Al Qaeda-linked militants denied being behind the killing of the 54-year-old former prime minister although the government of nuclear-armed Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in fighting terrorism, had said on Friday it had proof of their involvement.
Bhutto's party dismissed the government account, saying there was no hard evidence and President Pervez Musharraf's embattled administration was trying to cover up its failure to protect her. But, everything else is under control; sometimes you need a strong man.
In renewed violence, three Bhutto supporters were shot dead bringing the death toll to 42 since her assassination in a gun and bomb attack on last week.
A close aide who prepared Bhutto's body for burial dismissed as "ludicrous" a government theory that she died after hitting her head on a sunroof during the suicide attack.
Sherry Rehman, a spokeswoman for Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP), said Bhutto was shot in the head. But the government stuck to its version, saying Bhutto's party was welcome to exhume her corpse to check.
Pakistanis remained on edge on Saturday after protesters torched shops, lorries, welfare centers and ambulances overnight.
"There's a lot of rioting going on in my neighborhood, Clifton. Everything has been burned up. Shops have been looted," Ali Khan, 36, country manager for Audi Pakistan, told Reuters as he stood outside his Audi garage in Karachi's business district. Masked gunmen in the city shot dead a 27-year-old man wearing a tunic made from the PPP flag on Saturday. He had just shouted "Bhutto is great" while returning from the mausoleum where Bhutto was buried on Friday, police said.
Security forces shot dead two others among 400 PPP activists trying to break into an oilfield facility near Hyderabad.
Late on Friday, Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema told a news conference: "We have intelligence intercepts indicating that al Qaeda leader Baitullah Mehsud is behind (Bhutto's) assassination."
However, a spokesman for Mehsud denied the claim.
"I strongly deny it. Tribal people have their own customs. We don't strike women," Maulvi Omar said by telephone from an undisclosed location.
A PPP spokesman said the government must show hard evidence.
"The government is nervous," he said. "They are trying to cover up their failure" to provide adequate security.
Tens of thousands of Bhutto's supporters wept and beat their heads as she was laid to rest on Friday. Troops were called out to quell protests in her home province of Sindh, where she had huge support, particularly among the rural poor. Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, told the BBC her will would be read out to a meeting of the PPP by her son on Sunday.
Asked if he wanted to lead the party, Zardari replied: "It depends on the party and it depends on the will."
Bhutto returned home from self-imposed exile in October, hoping to become prime minister for a third time. She escaped unhurt from a suicide attack then that killed about 140 people. The government said al Qaeda was also behind that attack.
Washington had encouraged Bhutto, relatively liberal by Pakistan standards and an outspoken opponent of Islamic militancy and violence. Her death wrecked U.S. hopes of a power-sharing agreement between her and Musharraf.
Musharraf seized power in a military coup in 1999 but left the army last month to become a civilian president.
President George W. Bush has urged Pakistanis to honor Bhutto's memory by going ahead with the election.
So far the government has not announced any decision to call off or postpone the vote, but the Election Commission says it is planning an emergency meeting on Monday.
The opposition party led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has said it would boycott the election if it goes ahead. A spokesman said on Saturday Sharif was trying to convince Bhutto's PPP to do likewise.
Musharraf imposed a state of emergency in November in what was seen as an attempt to stop the judiciary from vetoing his re-election as president. He lifted emergency rule this month.
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