Hitch Obit Slams Bhutto: ‘liar’

Christmas is the time for forgiving; and it is in the spirit of Christmas that I had, well before I read his exemplary obituary of Ms. Bhutto, decided to grant Christopher a reprieve for his earlier sins as Bush cheer-leader and restore him to the ranks of scribes of wit, if not reliable common-sense.

Hitch does not disappoint. He is fulsome in his praise of Ms. Bhutto, citing her undeniable courage, before quickly moving in for the kill.

How prettily she lied to me, I remember, and with such a level gaze from those topaz eyes, about how exclusively peaceful and civilian Pakistan’s nuclear program was.

More meat below the fold…

How righteously indignant she always sounded when asked unwelcome questions about the vast corruption alleged against her and her playboy husband, Asif Ali Zardari. (The Swiss courts recently found against her in this matter; an excellent background piece was written by John Burns in the New York Times in 1998.)

I cited the same House of Graft piece by Burns in numerous threads yesterday. I was gratified and not surprised by the courage of those who decided to let fact, not emotion, determine their reaction to the death of an individual who did so little to advance our interests, and those of her people during a long, much-tainted political career.

Many here seemed indifferent to Bhutto’s unscrupulous thieving and the lies she told to the press and her supporters. Weeping for the thief, they turned  a blind eye to the Bhutto estates in Surrey and Normandy. Swayed perhaps, like Hitch, by Bhutto’s undeniable beauty, we saw folks here sanctify Bhutto as ‘another Gandhi’ who died trying to bring peace and democracy to her country, a nation she treated as a personal fief through her entire political career.

Stay the $#$&* out of Pakistan is how Matt Stoller reacted. Duncan Black links approvingly, and to Glenn Greenwald who similarly questions the wisdom of parachuting American-anointed foreign nationals into elections Americans expect to win.

No Pakistani Prime Minister did more to bring the Taliban to power during the nineties than Ms Bhutto. When pressed by the Clinton White House about the Taliban, Bhutto lied repeatedly, greatly complicating America’s ability to respond to the nascent threat from Mullah Omar. Remember him?

We learn now that Bhutto had been secretly negotiating with the Bush White House and with the current military dictator of Pakistan to return and share power in rigged elections, elections rigged to freeze anti-American politicians from the ballot box.

She got shot for her troubles yesterday. Fifteen others died in the same attack. 184 more died the night she arrived back in Pakistan. Nationalists hostile to the US and clearly unhappy to see a proven criminal chosen by the White House return to seize power took the radical, indefensible, but hardly surprising step of assassinating her before she could steal the elections for herself, and for the Bush White House.

All who have died and will die in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, (not to mention elsewhere) should be grieved. Benazir Bhutto is no more deserving of our grief or sympathy than any other. She was a political opportunist and thief of the first order, willing to steal from her people while they starved. Indeed, I have far more sympathy for the 2.1 million displaced Iraqis and the families of the 600,000 dead killed since the illegal US occupation of Iraq.

It’s a good obit. Go read it.


  1. Some find my own writing a bit too biting.

    If you don’t please drop by my new blog: rattlesnakepoint and say hello.

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