Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto 1953-2007

Benazier Bhutto is dead. Killed by a suicide bomb. The Ex-Premier of Pakistan, who had been in exile for eight years, was getting ready to enter the political run again coming January Benazir Bhutto was killed today. I'm stunned.

What's going to happen to Pakistan, what's going to happen to that part of the world, what does it mean for our world?

On Christmas day we saw the movie Charlie Wilson's War, with the always amazing Tom Hanks in the title role.
As the story (film script) goes, socialite Joanne Herring asked her some time lover East-Texas CongressmanCharlie Wilson to help the Pakistani get the communists out of Afghanistan, and stop the Soviet attacks on the villagers.
At some point in the movie eye-lash-curling and batting, but oh so influential Joanne Herring, portrayed by Julia Roberts, introduces the Pakistani president General Zia ul-Haq (who asked for America's help with the refugees from Afghanistan who flooded the borders of his country —the Soviets had to be stopped bombing the villages) to a room filled with Houstonian upper crust saying: "President Zia did not kill Bhutto."
This introduction too blunt to even Charlie's taste, for a moment made me think: What Bhutto, what happened? Realizing the moment on the screen showed historical fiction, Herring meant Benezir Bhutto's father, the executed premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

We left the movie theater in silence, overcome by the effect of war scenes plucked from actual footage, from the news, and even the so-so scenes recreated for the movie. We were moved by the images we saw of Afghan villages torpedoed by Soviet pilots, but most of all by Charley Wilson's powerlessness when he asked the Government for money to rebuild in Afghanistan what the Soviets had ruined.

"Half the population is under fourteen," he said. They need schools, they need…"

What those fourteen-year-olds were left with however, were the arms, brought into Afghanistan on the backs of mules, by way of Pakistan… What happened with the arms in the hands of youth lead by an influential leader, is known by now.

In real life Ex-Premier Benazir Bhutto was killed today.
I can't help but think that with Charlie Wilson's war, Hollywood for once brought real life a little closer to home, even before the fact. Scary.
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