There are reasons to object to the repository of blame in the Bhutto situation. To the charge that there was insufficient security in Rawalpindi, nothing more needs to be said than that — yes: manifestly there was insufficient security, as there was at Ford’s Theatre in 1865, Dealey Plaza in 1963, and the hundred other places in America where mayhem has been plotted. We cannot know with any confidence just what it is that the Pakistanis have to come up with to make safe the niceties of democracy about which Musharraf speaks with understandable scorn.
The scantest knowledge of Pakistani and Muslim history challenges the fatuity that this is a corner of the political world where public life can proceed with no more concern for militant interruption than would be expected in the House of Lords.
The Bush administration should announce to the waiting world that the United States cannot be charged with responsibility for maintaining order in Pakistan, and does not accept responsibility for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
And Mark Steyn:
One way to look at what’s happened over the last five years is simply that Afghanistan and Pakistan have swapped roles. . . .
No people are immutable. It’s worth noting that Muslims next door in India are antipathetic to jihad. Yet they are ethnically and religiously indistinguishable from the fellows in Islamabad wiring up one-year old babies as unwitting suicide bombers. The only reason one’s an Indian and the other’s a Pakistani is because of where some British cartographer decided to draw the line in 1947. Since then, Indian Muslims have been functioning members of a modern pluralist democracy, while Pakistani Muslims have been mired in incompetence, backwardness and dictatorship, and embraced jihadism as the most viable escape route. Reversing that pathology would have been beyond Benazir Bhutto’s pretty face. . . .