The NY Times has a good, quick glance time line of Bhutto’s life – and since I’m pretty sure none of us know a terribly large amount about Pakistani history, I suggest taking a look. The BBC also has her life in pictures as well as reporters’ logs from around Pakistan today.
For our immediate global concerns, the ramifications of the assassination are stark. Pakistan is a nuclear power – unlike hopefuls like Iran or the sham of Iraq – and a descent into further turmoil could actually endanger the region.
My personal knowledge of the Mideast and its history is spotty at best, and I’m not comfortable speculating on Pakistan’s future. Chris Dodd had some interesting things to say on Olbermann last night.
I really hate that I can’t just show the damned clip on my blog, but they don’t have a video embed available. Boo MSNBC.
What I’ve been thinking about in light of Bhutto’s assassination are two things. First, I wonder what it takes to know you have a real chance of being murdered – that you have to make yourself visible, put yourself in situations where you’re exposed when there are people who want to kill you – and you put yourself out there anyway.
I am in awe of those people. Bhutto’s father had been hung, her brothers murdered, and she knew it was entirely possible, if not likely, that she would suffer a similar fate if she went back to Pakistan. And yet…
There is something about people who are drawn to leadership, particularly the very public leadership of high office. I think they’re mostly egotistical and conceited, but I also think they hold a truly rare perspective – that each of them can actually, as an individual, influence the larger world. Whatever the reasons or the goals may be, they seem to actually believe this.
It’s different from rallying together as a group – they are the people around whom we rally. If nothing else, they believe in their power to bring us together to effect the change they believe in and that is something astounding.
In order for Bhutto to return to Pakistan, to risk her life, she had to believe that her presence in the country could change things. That her leadership could change things. And that’s what she risked her life for. To me, this is a pretty amazing. And I say that in a good way.
As a side note, I’d like to also play the “shame on the US game.” It’s not related to the assassination. But I’m really sick of people asking if the US is ready for a female leader. It’s as if it’s never happened before anywhere else. Sigh. Argh.