Friday, December 28, 2007

Bhutto assassinated

On the day that Benazir Bhutto was assassinated; David Broder was republished in the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington. His editorial lashed out at the inept Democrats (barely in control) of Congress. And seemed particularly dismissive of two points: for Democrats to get 50 or better GOP to vote their way in the House of Representatives is a big deal indeed, given the polarization and partisanship currently locking up Congress. And while GW has routinely taunted Congress for failing to do their jobs, he has also engaged in partisanship to prevent legislation from passing that personally gives him heartburn. While Broder took note of the polls, GW faces a 36% approval rating, the GOP of Congress has an approval rating in the upper 20s, the Dems fare somewhat better, having an approval rating of 40%. Broder sees this as a glass 3/4 empty, for the Dems, anyway. Never mind the voters recognizing that if the business of the people isn't getting done in Washington, DC, they aren't solely blaming the Dems.

On the day that Bhutto's killer was linked to Al Qaeda (source: CNN International); GW was signing the Alternate Minimum Tax fix into law and publicly lashing out at the Dems (actually the GOP were as much to blame) for larding the 2008 budget full of pork. (Source: S-R article of 27 December 2007) When the GOP were in charge of Congress, GW never met a pork that he didn't like. A curious time to suddenly engage in "fiscal responsibility." Given an editorial in the 28 December 2007 edition of the S-R, an editorial recounting GW's lack of fiscal restraint in all of the last 7 years. And the AMT fix threatens to increase the budget deficit because GW doesn't like the idea of pay-go. As established, if you decrease federal revenues in one area, you have to off-set them in other ways. In short, when Democrats handed GW the makings of fiscal responsibility, he didn't like it. Especially if it meant tax hikes for the people who bought his office for him. GW's real legacy on this day of tragedy will have been to put a debtor nation in hock to foreign creditors.

On the day after Benazir Bhutto died, Trudy Rubin has a republished, very current editorial about the day of tragedy for all of Pakistan. A tragedy in which people grieve and worse riot. Worse still, begin destroying property, and the worst of all worlds, make their nation so unstable that Al Qaeda could indeed make Pakistan the new breeding ground for terrorists to hatch. One catch, Pakistan is a nuclear country. In Ms. Rubin's editorial, she made no bones about GW's continuing to support President Musharref. Even though Musharref has been tepid at best in fighting any war on terror. Musharref has done a better job fighting his own people in his zany need to hold onto power. The case of the people v Musharref, it proved quite convenient for Bhutto to have died yesterday. Certainly, it would be convenient to Musharref to have her out of the way. The very fact that we can assume that Al Qaeda was behind it has to mean Musharref made a deal with the devil. Former Prime Minister Bhutto (according to Rubin) would have made a personal commitment to the war on terror. Given the fact that religious jihadists have in fact engaged in attacks on their fellow Muslims in a state that has a sometime (and questionable) alliance with the U.S. It would come as no surprise that these violent extremists would go after anyone who strengthened any alliance with the U.S. in a conflict with themselves as a target.

Bhutto died yesterday. What are the world wide implications of a successful resolution for this war on terror? And is GW to return to partisan sniping at the opposition party; or will he recognize that his foreign policies may be partially at fault for why (not just how) Bhutto died? As noted by Rubin, GW financially supports a man who is more afraid of a stable democracy than he is of religious extremists populating the borders of his country. Bhutto could have died because of GW's wrongful set of priorities.

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