Benazir Bhutto is dead.
That was not the breaking news headline that greeted me at 8:30 this morning. Instead it was "Suicide Bomber kills 2o at Bhutto rally ... more details to come." It was only as I was pulling into the parking lot of my office that I heard the announcer on our local NPR station say that the blast also took Bhutto. I felt a welling sadness sink into my stomach and my eyes began to wet.
I liked Benazir Bhutto and I'm not really sure why. Like most Americans, I don't keep up with Pakistani politics, other than knowing they get into nuclear pissing contests with India every few years. I know that Bhutto was controversial and probably marginally better than other Pakistani leaders, at best, if that. I don't know if her human rights record was any better than anyone else's. Nonetheless, she seemed to be modern and unashamed. She seemed to be exactly the kind of female the Muslim world needs in a leadership position. (Hell, in a visible position at all.) My God: she didn't marry until she was 34! And she really only did it because she knew her political career needed it. Maybe she was otherwise happy being single. She did not demure, publicly, once she was a wife. Her marital status did not subject her to being a submissive piece of property. Hell no! And though she wore a veil when in office, she made it look good, girlfriend! How I WISH the Muslim world produced more women like her! Now that she's gone, what Muslim women carry the banner of Strong, Public and visible at all? Queens Noor and Rania are the only ones I can think of. Bhutto was a kind of hero in my book. ... of course, it doesn't hurt that she at least gave the impression of being pro-American during my lifetime.
And now she's dead.
Another bloody idiot with a bomb strapped to his chest sent her, and 20 innocent human beings, to their deaths! I am so angry and sick and tired of these self-hating, self-righteous morons who feel that other people should have to suffer - AND DIE - for their own pain. Your life sucks. I get it. So if you're not going to get help, kill your own self. Don't barge into a classroom and knock out a couple dozen students before you spray your own brains; don't go park-and-pop next to a group of job applicants trying to feed their families after a botched to hell invasion; ; don't barge into church or a mosque and take out some worshippers and the clergy because your wife hates you or whatever; don't brood-and-boom on a public bus because the ruling class in your country is treating you like shit; don't hijack a plane and crash it into heavily populated buildings because the owner of the building is an imperial prick. The adage of "if you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem" is not only true, it should have an extra line for suicide bombers: "you make the problem worse for everybody - and 1,000 times worse for everybody you think you're helping."
Of course, I can't help thinking Musharraf might be behind this. He may have been helpful to us post-9/11, but seriously, this is dude who took over his country in a military coup. I can never tell what to make of him. Sometimes I want to like him, and others ... not so much. Especially in the last year or so. I don't envy his position. But I don't take him off the hook for this one. ... Pervez, you'd better not be behind this one. Jon Stewart gave you a Twinkie, for God's sake!