Sunday, December 30, 2007

Twists of the knife: Hitchens on Bhutto

Both contrarian and iconoclast, Hitchens is someone I don't always agree with, but always enjoy reading. Even as he mourns Bhutto's assassination on strategic grounds, he reaches forward and twists the knife into her character, reminding us that most of what most of us have read about her hasn't probed much further than her Oxbridge education and gender, paired with pictures of this light-skinned stylishly-dressed beauty guaranteed to enhance her mainstream Western appeal. Dark haired Diana of the East.

He notes that the moderate icon played a role in fuelling extremism. As with the CIA's support of the Mujahadeen, the following smacks of short-sighted idiocy:

"...when she was prime minister, she pursued a very active pro-Taliban policy, designed to extend and entrench Pakistani control over Afghanistan and to give Pakistan strategic depth in its long confrontation with India over Kashmir."

Someone say something about coming home to roost?

For me her obsession with righting her father's wrongs brings to mind the great lame Megawati, a bit of an icon alongside her father's memory in Suharto controlled Indonesia. Neither Megawati nor her bapak had much to offer the country in the long run, and I do end up wondering why a country of umpteen million gets stuck with the privileged children of its previous blights coming back after power like it's a private dominion.

I suspect there's truth in Hitchens' assertion that:

"...the PPP, a supposedly populist party ... never had a genuine internal election and was in fact—like quite a lot else in Pakistan—Bhutto family property."

Then there are the nukes, and the corruption allegations. And her family's gift to world peace:

"...the two main legacies of Bhutto rule—the nukes and the empowered Islamists—have moved measurably closer together."

Rest in peace m'dear, your death only slightly less tragic than those of the innocents in the crowd.

But you're no Mother Teresa. Damn, Hitchens has tarnished that icon too.


Ann O'Dyne said...

Hitchens did not tarnish Mother Teresa - she did it herself.
was she Albanian?
She did not spend the zillion dollar donations on medicines for those poor orphans, because it was God's will that they die slowly fer chrissakes. She was in new York more often than in the damn orphanage.

Anonymous said...

"Neither Megawati nor her bapak had much to offer the country in the long run" ???
Sukarnoe memberikan Indonesia kemerdekaan,
anak perempuanya memberikan silat pembelanjaan.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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