Who Was Benazir Bhutto?

The New York Post’s Ralph Peters says he knows who the real Benazir Bhutto was and that she was not the person she claimed to be. His piece is very tough on her especially since it comes only 24 hours after her assassination. He writes that she was corrupt and not at all concerned with the well-being of the average Pakistani. In fact, Peters goes so far as to argue that she had so little concern for her country that the radical Islamists who eventually killed her thrived while she was prime minister.

FOR the next several days, you’re going to read and hear a great deal of pious nonsense in the wake of the assassination of Pakistan’s former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto.

Her country’s better off without her. She may serve Pakistan better after her death than she did in life.

We need have no sympathy with her Islamist assassin and the extremists behind him to recognize that Bhutto was corrupt, divisive, dishonest and utterly devoid of genuine concern for her country.

She was a splendid con, persuading otherwise cynical Western politicians and “hardheaded” journalists that she was not only a brave woman crusading in the Islamic wilderness, but also a thoroughbred democrat.

In fact, Bhutto was a frivolously wealthy feudal landlord amid bleak poverty. The scion of a thieving political dynasty, she was always more concerned with power than with the wellbeing of the average Pakistani. Her program remained one of old-school patronage, not increased productivity or social decency.

Educated in expensive Western schools, she permitted Pakistan’s feeble education system to rot – opening the door to Islamists and their religious schools.

During her years as prime minister, Pakistan went backward, not forward. Her husband looted shamelessly and ended up fleeing the country, pursued by the courts. The Islamist threat – which she artfully played both ways – spread like cancer.

He argues that with her death, she may actually help the democratic movement in Pakistan, which, he insists, she would not have done if she had been alive.

Update: MSNBC has an interesting piece on how Washington and Bhutto brokered her return to Pakistan.

Update II: Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner writes of another side of Benazir Bhutto.

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