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Bhutto is dead … but how?

As time passes, more and more developments emerge to muddle what, in its early moments, seemed to be a clear-cut case.

First, al Quaeda denies involvement in the murder of Benazir Bhutto. While I would not really set stock in anything those terrorists say, the fact remains that this claim was the cornerstone of the government’s version of events. It was a neat story too, demonizing the al Quaeda further while discrediting the idea of Americans staging operations from inside Pakistan – both of which cleanly dovetails into Pervez Musharaff’s strategies.  But with the al Quaeda denial – denials are generally believed because it is conventional wisdom that terrorists do this sort of shit for attention, because attention brings in the sympathizer funds – government seems to have lost the one good peg they had to hang their story on.

Then, government investigators claim that Bhutto died from hitting her head on a sun roof lever after having been knocked back by the explosion of a suicide bomber. This is important because it provides support for government’s complementary theory: it was her own damned fault. According to government spokesmen, Bhutto was recklessly courting danger by popping her head out of the sun roof of her bullet proof car. If she hadn’t done that, they argue, she would have survived the suicide bomber’s bomb blast.

This whole line of reasoning is meant to deflect criticism that government was negligent in not providing adequate for Bhutto – a popular oppositionist who had already survived one assasination attempt.

Unfortunately for government, the absurdity of the death-by-sunroof-lever claim was highlighted by the fact that one of the very first things known for sure about the assasination was that Bhutto was sporting a bullet wound somewhere around the forehead and an exit wound in the back of her head. Now, Butto’s aide is claiming that she even saw the wound during the bathing ritual (deceased Muslims are ritualistically washed from head to toe in preparation for burial).

This leaves government with the rather lame sea-of-people excuse. About 12 hours after Bhutto died, I first heard one government spokesman saying that security had been provided, but that it was impossible to secure one person 100% considering that there was this veritable “sea of people” swirling around her. Anyone, said the spokesman, could have done the dastardly deed. Very Ghandi-esque.

While this reasoning is plausible, I don’t see how it holds up. For one thing, Bhutto was in a bullet proof car. Good security would have included a firm chaperone who would prevent her from popping her head out of the car in the first place. Also, there have been reports that the bomb supposedly shattered the windows of the car and gave the shooter a window of opportunity. Shattering windows on bulletproof cars? How can that be “adequate protection?” So, like I said, LAME.

So what does all of this mean for us?

As cvj pointed out, Pakistan has nukes and it’s natural enemy, India, has nukes too. Any trouble on the sub-continent will certainly make for interesting and potentially deadly times.  Tonio agrees. And I agree with both of them. But what does it actually mean for our country?

Do we have a lot of OFWs in India or Pakistan? Do we other kinds of interests over there? Or are we going to be affected only because of our alliance with the United States? I don’t even see a Muslim extremist takeover of Pakistan (I’m guessing that would embolden our own Muslim separatists and and extremists).  So, really. Why should we give a fuck?

Myself, I’m blogging because I find the whole sordid story interesting. But it would be nice if I could a finger on why events unfolding over there actually matter back here.

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