Whitehouse response to assassination

By Ted Belman

I listened to the press conference on the assassination. The Whitehouse was at pains to support and defend democracy against the attempts of the terrorists to destroy it.

The only problem is that democracy in the Islamic world is no defense against extremists. In fact democracy often puts Islamists in power.

Everybody is playing this tune. Wrong, wrong , wrong.

The US should focus on putting the lid on Jihadists any way possibly. Democracy will hurt not help.

The attack on Bhutto is an attack on the US. The message “Get out of the Islamic world.”




December 27, 2007 | 12 Comments »

12 Comments / 12 Comments

  1. You can’t change their motivational mindset but it is possible to reduce their ability to act and act with success. That would require and extraordinary degree of co operation among and between all non Islamic states an enormous expenditure of manpower and resources but first of all recognition of the threat is essential. pre emtion targeted killing, subversion and a whole litany of methods need to be used. actually the abandoned Bush Doctrine was not bad for starters!

  2. Gary:
    First of all one has to recognize that there is no short term “solution” regarding the Islamic world other than finding a way to survive alongside it long enough to enable Islam to fizzle out by itself (which may take centuries).

    There is no “democracy” or other political gimmick which can help modify Islam into something with which civilization can coexist in a normal way.

    Islam’s war against civilization will continue indefinitely, but the intensity of that war will depend greatly on the quality and the personal interests of the tribal chiefs in the Muslim countries who are formally responsible for waging that war, and for whom the radical jihadists represent a personal challenge.

    We cannot prevent Muslim despots from performing, or at least pretending to perform acts, or pro forma acts, of jihadism. But there is an enormous difference between the cavemen in Tora Bora who have nothing to lose, and the blustering generalissimos who rule the Muslim countries, and who care more for their shining uniforms and palaces than for actually killing Jews and other infidels.

    Therefore it is my view that keeping tough despots in absolute power is a much lesser evil than risking the cavemen to gain real power on a massive scale.

    It would have been fine if it had been possible to navigate Islam into calm waters where forms of peaceful coexistence could be negotiatet, but this is not, and will not be possible in our time on this earth.

    We must therefore chose among the few possible ways of coexistence that exist, and my choice is, I think, the least painful for all of us. The other “realistic” alternative would be to nuke Islam off the planet and get rid of it in an instant. That might, however, cost more than it is worth, and should only be considered as a final emergency option in case, for instance, the jihadists get access to nuclear arms, which they may do in Pakistan (and Iran and possibly a couple of other countries within this century) if the despotic regime doesn’t prove sufficiently tough and uncompromizing.

  3. Per, I want to understand what you are saying because it has far-reaching implications. Are you saying that Ghaddafi Duck was just foolin’ around? Was Lockerbie just a joke? Was Saddam merely a buffoon? Is Assad just joking about his hate for Israel and his WMD meant for just show?

    If what you say is true then we can all just relax and stop preparing for war. We can drop our guard and start on the path to peace, love and understanding. You make it sound like we are dealing simply with dark Peter Griffiths or Homer Simpsons who don’t really do what they say nor say what they really mean. According to you these leaders have not “started experimenting with practical jihadist Islamism.” Do you stand by those words??

  4. Gary asks:

    … if the toughest despot with the highest stakes happens to be Jew-hating terrorists, do you still agree with your own words? …

    The answe is yes, and it has more to do with Bismarkian Realpolitik than cunning Machiavellian intrigue.

    I do not even see a theoretical possibility that practicing “Jew-hating terrorists” would ever become tribal chiefs in a Muslim country. People like Saddam, Bashar and Qadaffi are/were strong despotic leaders who would immediately lose their positions in their clans and governments if they started experimenting with practical jihadist Islamism. Their “Antisemitism” is purely verbal. Jews have no problem negotiating and trading with such people.

  5. Shy Guy, Benazir was almost certainly set-up on the corruption charges, so that Zia, the Islamist could take power.

    Who killed Benazir Bhutto? The main suspects

    The main suspects in Benazir Bhutto’s assassination are the Pakistani and foreign Islamist militants who regarded her as a heretic and an American stooge and had repeatedly threatened to kill her.

    But fingers will also be pointed at Inter-Services Intelligence, the agency that has had close ties to the Islamists since the 1970s and has been used by successive Pakistani leaders to suppress political opposition.

    Ms Bhutto narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in October, when a suicide bomber killed about 140 people at a rally in the port city of Karachi to welcome her back from eight years in exile.

    That month, two militant warlords based in the lawless northwestern areas of Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan, had threatened to kill her on her return.

    One was Baitullah Mehsud, a top commander fighting the Pakistani army in the tribal region of South Waziristan. He has close ties to al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taleban.

    The other was Haji Omar, the “amir” or leader of the Pakistani Taleban, who is also from South Waziristan and fought against the Soviets with the Mujahidin in Afghanistan.

    After that attack Ms Bhutto revealed that she had received a letter signed by a person who claimed to be a friend of al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden threatening to slaughter her like a goat.

    She accused Pakistani authorities of not providing her with sufficient security and hinted that they may have been complicit in the bomb attack. Asif Ali Zardari, her husband, directly accused the ISI of being involved in that attempt on her life.

    Ms Bhutto stopped short of blaming the Government directly, saying that she had more to fear from unidentified members of a power structure that she described as allies of the “forces of militancy”.

    Analysts say that President Musharraf himself is unlikely to have ordered her assassination, but that elements of the army and intelligence service would have stood to lose money and power if she had become Prime Minister.

    The ISI, in particular, includes some Islamists who became radicalised while running the American-funded campaign against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and remained fiercely opposed to Ms Bhutto on principle.

    Saudi Arabia, which has strong influence in Pakistan, is also thought to frown on Ms Bhutto as being too secular and Westernised and to favour Nawaz Sharif, another former Prime Minister.

  6. Per, I might have misread your quote, “The West should therefore always go for the toughest possible despot with the highest possible private stakes in every Muslim country.” I understood the phrase “go for” as support. On second reading, I realize that you probably meant “eliminate.” Please inform.

  7. The West should therefore always go for the toughest possible despot with the highest possible private stakes in every Muslim country.

    Per, you do Machiavelli proud. However, if the toughest despot with the highest stakes happens to be Jew-hating terrorists, do you still agree with your own words? They sound like tough hollow words that have the potential to wipe out a lot of good people.

  8. The strange thing is the belief that Bhutto represented something more than her own family and clan. Democracy in the Western sense, based on the rule of law will never become possible in an Islamic country. The best we can hope for is a clan leader strong enough to be able to defend the long term interests of his own clan, and the relative stability that follows from it. The West should therefore always go for the toughest possible despot with the highest possible private stakes in every Muslim country. That is also the policy that in the long run will serve the interests of Israel. Neither Bhutto nor Sharif or Musharaf meet these requirements.

  9. Musharraf has to take his share of the blame for this absolutely diabolical assassination.

    I am no big fan of Musharraf but Musharraf was also targeted on many occasions by the same terrorists who succeeded in killing Butto.

    Let’s put the blame where it belongs – Islamic terrorism. Musharraf shared one thing in common with Bhutto: they were both targets and fighters against the same kind of terrorism that we find in Palestinian neighborhoods, the mountains of Pakistan and throughout the Muslim world.

    Islamic democracy is, after all, at this time, an oxymoron.

  10. I agree with you, Ted. There cannot be democracy in a terror-ocracy. The people have to rise up against the terrorism in unison and take it seriously. Democracy has never stamped out anarchy; it was usually the end result of a long process after anarchy and religious dictators were put in their proper place first.

    If the Pakistanis are mostly in the Islamicist camp, then there is little hope that they will thwart terrorism. At least Musharraf tried in his self-serving way to tackle elements of terrorism that had an impact on his control over the state. He ignored the majority of terrorism that had its sights on the West. He was not as evil as Saddam but he, like other leaders in the Islamic world, need to be strong if 100 Bin Ladens are not to emerge.

    The US should have used its influence and money to work with Musharraf to wipe out terrorism before urging the democratic process which paved the way for Butto to make her comeback. Also, the main event, the nukes, has been put at risk by recent US policy.

    And you are right, democracy at this stage in the development of Pakistan (or in the Pal territories or in Iraq) would likely lead to the election of terrorists of the Islamic variety (are there any other types?).

  11. From the Daily Mail:

    Aides said the government had refused to give her security equipment and protection officers.

    Musharraf has to take his share of the blame for this absolutely diabolical assassination.

    Benazir Bhutto was a great woman, who wanted to reform Pakistan. Obviously she had opposition from the government, who were supposed to work together with her and support her. They did neither, but the US has given the Pakistani government the funds which helped empower Mrs. Bhutto’s killers.

    It’s a sad day for democracy, and indeed, the world.

    May this great lady rest in everlasting peace.

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