I'm not altogether sure how to react to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
Murder is awful, of course, but this death probably does not significantly alter the prospects for democracy in Pakistan. In her previous terms as prime minister, she was NOT known for great achievement. She kept the military at bay, temporarily, but did not apparently slow Pakistan's nuclear program. Moreover, the prospects for genuine democracy in Pakistan seem fairly bleak with or without Bhutto.
The former head of the Oxford Union was a member of a powerful political family and democrats should not be eager to celebrate dynasties. Many of her family members died violently -- including two brothers killed under mysterious (and perhaps murderous) circumstances. The family expatriated great wealth and faced numerous accusations of corruption.
This murder may destabilize Pakistan -- conceivably, it could topple Musharraf -- but Bhutto herself was a flawed vessel from which to deliver better governance.
The world may never know if the killing was instigated by the government, the Taliban, or some other violent extremists. Which would be worse?
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