Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto: A Complicated Legacy

The type of press that Benazir Bhutto will probably get over the next few days will probably tout her as a model of moderation and liberalism in the Muslim world. Certainly being a women and being relatively young when she came to power means that some of this is not without merit. Also, she appears to have stood up to bin Laden before any Westerners knew who he was.

There was another Benazir Bhutto though, one that appeared to be massively corrupt. In addition, it's no secret that her family owed its prominence to the continuation of feudalism in Pakistan. She may not have been a religious fanatic, she may not have been a military dictator yet she was surely not without her faults. If the West was pinning a great deal on Bhutto's chances at being elected, even without the tragic events of this day, there surely would have been problems. The challenges facing Pakistan were never solvable by any one person, be it Musharraf or Bhutto.

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