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The Bhutto Assassination [Dec. 29th, 2007|05:07 am]
This is one of the most worrying moments since the 'War on Terror' begun.  The Bhutto assassination, which apparently involved a sniper attack as well as a suicide bombing, is part of a worrying string of increasingly professional 'hits' that have been placed on leading democratic figures in Pakistan.  This professionalism is fairly worrying, because it indicates that the Musharraf government is actually behind the attacks on key opposition parties and leaders.  Some of the methods used in recent attacks - snipers and multi-prong, coordinated attacks with built-in redundancy - are much more reminiscent of the work of professional special ops or intelligence operatives than the sort of haphazard plans more typical of the al Qaeda types.  If this is the work of the government, it would only confirm what many of us already suspect: Pervez Musharraf is a violent, pragmatic autocrat, interested only in maintaining his own position of power (in other words, precisely the sort of man who will sell out his 'allies' in the 'War on Terror' the second it is in his own personal interest to do so).

But there's a second possibility that I find even more frightening.  In this scenario, Musharraf is innocent of any complicity in the attacks, and the increasing professionalism of the jihadists' tactics is instead the result of defections to militants by members (or former members) of the Pakistani military or intelligence services.  Now that is a real nightmare, because it would indicate that Musharraf is losing control of Pakistan's security apparatus.  I can't think of anything more terrifying right now than a rogue military with jihadist ties in a nuclear armed state.  Congratulations Dubs, while you were concentrating on Iran's non-existent nuclear program and breaking the US military on the rock of Iraqi resistance (instead of, you know, hunting down and destroying bin Laden and the Taliban holdouts, many of whom are unquestionably providing key leadership support to Pakistani militants), a country that already has nukes is slowly (or is that rapidly?) slipping into the hands of al-Qaeda. Great job, Brownie!