I harbor no illusions about Benazir Bhutto, but she doesn’t – Pakistan doesn’t – deserve this:

[T]wo blasts in Benazir Bhutto’s motorcade were suicide hits and have killed more than 52 people while injuring close to 80 [it has since reportedly risen to 85 dead]. The dead and the injured include security personnel and PPP supporters who had come to welcome Benzair from across the country including those from Lahore.

The motorcade was on its way to visit the mausoleum of the father of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah:

Jinnah Mausoleum

Would that everyone involved had paid more attention to Jinnah’s words and principles.

Update: NYTimes puts the dead at over 100.

Further update: I’m going to post my take on Pakistan’s current political situation here because it’s as good a place as any to post it. That said, there are far more informed and interesting places for a real discussion to take place (not that I’m going to point you to any of them. If you think partisanship makes discussion hard in the US . . . ). So, that said, here’s my take as distilled for a comment over at dKos:


Both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif are crooks. Pervez Musharraf‘s a strongman who may have had the right intentions, but found that he quite likes being a dictator. The imams hover in the background (and while serious, they are not the enormous threat some would like everyone to think). And the other options are mostly political unknowns (hi, Imran!).

So, all in all, a real mess. But it’s a mess mainly of Pakistan’s making, and I don’t think that the US ought to get involved in picking a winner in this battle (not that it really could, if it wanted to).

Bhutto’s recent reemergence in Western political circles can be ascribed to 1) a general assumption that a woman in Pakistan has to be a good thing (thus they overlook what a crook she was/is), and 2) an incredibly well orchestrated (and funded) PR and lobbying effort of late. She’s got (a lot of) supporters, to be sure, but she’s no Second Coming (so to speak).

The picture above is from a rather peaceful day.  To see the awfulness of today, click here.  And imagine that that is your city.