So I've been thinking about this thing for a bit. I'm not surprised that there has been rioting, after all, it is sad to say, violence seems to be the way things are handled in far too many parts of the world. Since the assasination I have been revisiting the virtues of non-violence and thinking that Ghandi and King Jr. may have really had a point. I've long been of the opinion that organizations that claim to be "revolutionary" ought to run the places in which they have control in a manner that they wish to run things. In fact I think they ought to wage war in a manner that is consistent with the ideals they wish to be about. In this regard I tip my hat to the Kurds of Northern Iraq who apparently do just this, but back to Bhutto.
In many news reports we have seen supporters of Bhutto claim that they:
a) Think the government is responsible
b) Think the government is responsible because they didn't provide security.
c) Don't trust the government.
I thought about these responses and noticed that these sentiments are pretty much universal in developing/third world nations. Citizens are completely distrustful of the governments under which they live. Even in the recent elections in Kenya we have the same thing. There are many reasons for this which I may or may not go into, but staying the course with Bhutto, The problem I have here is that no one seems to be asking "why?"
For example, reports have been out for days now that Bhutto had been warned by the Pakistani security apparatus that Al Qaeda had a death warrant out for her. They warned her to not have so many open air rallies since they are inherently insecure. It is apparent that Bhutto did not listen to this advice. Why not? I would think that given that the security apparatus in Pakistan has managed to keep Musharraf alive that their advice ought to be given a great amount of weight. But that's just my life loving self.
On the issue of the government providing security for Bhutto, well I don't think so. As far as I know Bhutto was not a member of the government so the government wouldn't be on the hook for providing her protection.
Thirdly if the people don't trust the government, which I can understand, they who do they trust? Al Qaeda? NO one asked the question. Is everyone a arbiter of trustworthiness? There are reports that some people don't believe the Al Qaeda is responsible. Never mind the tapes. Never mind the numerous death threats. Never mind that Bhutto had been vigorously denouncing suicide bombings and the like. Sure Musharraf doesn't want to lose power and he was aligned with the US against Al Qaeda, but it appears that Bhutto would have been even harder on Al Qaeda. It would appear to me that Al Qaeda has a stronger motive to off Bhutto.
That brings us to the issue I opened with: Violence. After watching Kenya and Pakistan, it is pretty clear that the use of violence to force political change is a very dangerous proposition. Once that option is on the table, anyone can detonate anything and pin it on the group that first used violence. Furthermore, once that violence materializes political gain, then it is only a matter of time before another person, sufficiently motivated, makes use of it to force their own ends and so on and so forth until, as Ghandi put it, there are no more eyes.
Ultimately though, whether one believes that the Musharraf government is involved or not, the fact is that suicide bombers have been going at the government for years now. Al Qaeda is working in that country with the full knowledge of a significant portion of the country. So in reality it is the people who are tolerating and aiding the groups who wish to bomb themselves into power who are directly to blame. Does the PPP think that even if Bhutto had been elected that somehow bombings would magically stop? Do members of any other the other opposition parties think the same for their people?
In the end it will soon dawn on everyone involved that violence will undermine everything at some point. Once it becomes clear to all parties that suicide bombings will not gain anyone anything other than a lot of dead people for whom the supposedly religious person will have to answer for (and somehow I don't think " i did it for you" is going to wash).