Friday, December 28, 2007


R.I.P., Benazir Bhutto

'Remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but, in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.'
--Mahatma Gandhi. Earlier this year, we brought you this quote from Ms. Bhutto, about the human need to venture into danger. A chillingly prophetic sentiment, given her murder yesterday. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius offers up this vivid remembrance of her. Meanwhile, The Economist does its usual job of smartly analyzing things, while the former South Asian bureau chief for the New York Times declares in this piece in The Nation that "an age of hope is over." Time was the first major outlet (at least the first I noticed) to explore the important issue of who's behind her murder. Finally, the king of Akron's blogging community, the formidable Scott Piepho (a.k.a. Pho), did a nice roundup yesterday.

8 Comments:

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Loved her "ship" quote. Thanks for sharing.

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

That was extraordinarily well put, I thought at the time. It seems even more on-target now (if also more than a little sad), of course.

 
At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Lou said...

Though I am saddened by, what I think was, the assassination of possibilties and obvious opposition, it must be tempered by not deifying someone whose family and leadership plundered the country's assets and finances. Just one person's opinion...

 
At 11:26 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

No, Lou, you're absolutely right. It's beginning to be forgotten amid all the hubbub that she was originally purged from leadership by a corruption scandal. It's more than a little ironic, because we dismiss her country's democratic institutions as backward. But our supposedly modern and mature democracy hasn't seen fit to purge our own deeply corrupt current presidential administration.

 
At 2:36 PM, Blogger Maria said...

John: Do you know details of the corruption scandal? For me, the shock of Bhutto's assassination reverberates right down to the bones...echoing other public figures in my time, assassinated because of who they were and/or what they espoused...and the deaths of some of my own ancestors, who were not public figures but who were annihilated... To me, Bhutto represented courage, the unusual path of a woman/scholar from a culture in which this is a very remote possibility...With both brothers dead, and a father dead, she persevered. I know little but I know that human life is sacred. (P.S. This is the third time I tried to post & truly hope this note is not redundant.)

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Maria, how nice to see your name back in the comments. I hope parenthood and teaching are treating you well. And sorry for the technical difficulties--you're a peach to persevere through three attempts. As to your question about the corruption charges, which are often glossed over in media accounts, I've posted below a BBC article that I think describes the situation as well as any I've seen. It nicely fleshes out why most American media accounts, at least, tends to gloss over these charges in a way that leads readers to believe they may not be true.

Many of the charges seemed to be lodged against her husband, for one thing, and for another there seemed to be evidence of political pressure brought against a judge, by her enemies, to convict her. She was never convicted on any count, and given the historic corruption in her country, and (this is key, I think) the fact that she had a Harvard pedigree-- including a stint at the student newspaper, the Harvard Crimson, which is a training ground for much of the elite American media--there is a natural tendency to give her the benefit of the doubt, especially absent any convictions. I hope that answers your question.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2228796.stm

 
At 12:31 PM, Blogger Maria said...

John: Thanks for the lead and your summary. I did follow through ... reading that link and others. When things happen on the world scene, the story behind the surface story is important. Sometimes I feel that we get the outermost reverberation. I won't blame media ... as it's just plain hard to get nuances communicated in print or electronically ... but I believe it's well worth the effort to keep trying. I did quite a bit of reading on UK sites about Bhutto's death and the views of many, including Muslims who are not extremists. (I was in London in April ... a digression ... what a cross section of the world.) Wishing you and yours and all your blog readers a peaceful new year. May we find a way to resolve personal and global differences without bloodshed and resume proper stewardship of our planet.

 
At 12:48 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

All well said, Maria. Like you and many other Americans, I try to look elsewhere around the world for journalistic takes on international events, because much of even our quality domestic media has either mostly stopped covering the world much or covers it in absurdly jingoistic fashion, or both. The web of course allows you to cast your net much further. I do think smart and nuanced coverage is always available on just about any major issue or news event. It's just a matter of knowing where to turn, and of course (even more difficult for most people) dedicating the time to reading about it. And yes, being truly informed generally means reading rather than watching, my obvious biases notwithstanding.

 

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