Friday, December 28, 2007

Media Reaction to Bhutto Assassination

So many professional thinkers are covering the story, and what emerges is that nobody has any idea what is going to happen but they think that the election should go ahead. I can’t agree more. On the other hand, I have no idea if it can be done.

A few obvious points, though: Al Qaeda and homegrown fundamentalist militants are not going to take over Pakistan, and the nuclear arsenal is safe. So talk of chaos and the like is merely a reflection of the confusion in the pundits’ minds. Christopher Hitchens avoids that nonsense and writes an obituary for Benazir Bhutto.

Few people write well in rage, and Mr. Hitchens is one of them. Then there’s Camille Paglia.


ampontan said...

I usually enjoy reading Christopher Hitchens, but I'm disappointed in that column. I think he soft-pedals the problems both with Ms. Bhutto and with Pakistan. He knows better.

It might well turn out that the Taliban elements do not gain control of the country, but I am not as certain of that as you are.

I recommend this transcript of a radio dialog for a different view.

They are both men of the Right, but not of the type that the people who are not can so easily dismiss their concerns.

Elsewhere, one of them, Mark Steyn writes:

"Since her last spell in power, Pakistan has changed, profoundly. Its sovereignty is meaningless in increasingly significant chunks of its territory, and, within the portions Musharraf is just about holding together, to an ever more radicalized generation of young Muslim men Miss Bhutto was entirely unacceptable as the leader of their nation.... Miss Bhutto could never have been a viable leader of a post-Musharraf settlement, and the delusion that she could have been sent her to her death. Earlier this year, I had an argument with an old (infidel) boyfriend of Benazir's, who swatted my concerns aside with the sweeping claim that "the whole of the western world" was behind her. On the streets of Islamabad, that and a dime'll get you a cup of coffee."

Jun Okumura said...


Thank you for your comments. I think that Mr. Hitchens, the Romantic, decided (wisely, I think, in this case) only to go there as the homage, actually, of the larger-than-life figure, required. Otherwise, let us agree to disagree. I will read the Hewitt transcript, though, since I find him marginally less prone than Mr. Steyn to the typical shortcoming of the ideological polemicist (I’m sure that you’ll disagree with this description of the two men), i.e. failure to see things or see them in ways that do not fit their world view.

Jun Okumura said...

The transcript is further proof that Mr. Steyn is consistent with his world view, less so with reality.

For American liberals: Ultimately, the interview is about presidential politics. You have been forewarned.