Monday, December 31, 2007

No way out

The Telegraph reports that although Benazir Bhutto wanted to hire foreign bodyguards, she wasn't allowed to. Who exactly did she want to hire?

Ms Bhutto's entourage discussed deals with the American Blackwater operation, this newspaper has learnt. ... A Blackwater spokesman confirmed the negotiations. "We were approached to provide prime minister Bhutto's security, but an agreement was unfortunately never reached," she said. She declined to go into the precise details.

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and former National Security Council director for South Asia [said] "She made it very clear privately and publicly that she did not have enough security. That was abundantly clear after the attack on her return. I can't explain why the Bush administration didn't pressure Musharraf to do more. Her death leaves the US with a Pakistan policy that is completely bankrupt."

The aftermath of the Bhutto assassination demonstrates why public criticism is the unavoidable consequence of being perceived as "responsible" for the world. The implied criticism in the article above is that "the Bush administration didn't pressure Musharraf" to let Bhutto hire Blackwater. But isn't Blackwater the diabolical "mercenary" company that is the root of all evil in the world? But if Blackwater had been hired to protect Bhutto and shot the gunman before he could kill Bhutto, there would still be no out. The headlines would probably read "mercenary company indiscriminately fires at Pakistani crowd just as in Iraq." And if he missed the headlines would read "incompetent American bodyguard fails to spot assassin. Was Cheney involved in plot to kill Bhutto?"

The next the time the world needs saving they should call Greenpeace.


Blogger Kent's Imperative said...

...Given this backdrop, one can only imagine the consequences of a successful attack should a Blackwater PSD have been engaged to protect Ms. Bhutto. The conspiracy minded would have a field day – and such suggestions have a way of turning to riots in the global Street. Belmont Club has a few of the headlines that we might have seen run in the past few days in such an alternative history.

Any PMC which might take on such a high visibility, high threat contract in the future must be prepared for this kind of aftermath from the start....

12/31/2007 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Ferris said...

Blackwater guards would have likely saved her from being killed, for the simple reason that, unlike her other guards, they wouldn't be working for the guy who was trying to have her killed.

Not that I was ever a fan of Benazir Bhutto and her nepotistic party. But Musharraf is a real turd.

12/31/2007 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger tckurd said...

"they wouldn't be working for the guy who was trying to have her killed."

No doubt they also remember the lessons learned in Dealey Plaza that day...

Suffice it to say, clutching the hands of your countrymen when you know someone is trying to kill you is shamefully dangerous, and stupid. Western society has long moved away from that sort of thing.

12/31/2007 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...


It is only Bush's problem, not America's, not the West's, not the World's. Here's how the NYT put it on the front page yesterday:

The expansion of Pakistan’s own militants, with their fortified links to Al Qaeda, presents a deeply troubling development for the Bush administration and its efforts to stabilize this volatile nuclear-armed country.

12/31/2007 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Alaska Paul said...

Benazir Bhutto's security problems go beyond that one incident. Those that want her killed would have kept trying until they succeeded.

The bigger issue is IMHO that the whole voting process this time is not appropriate. There are too many jihadi and/or criminal/renegade elements in the country that will sabotage or negate the voting process. Any candidate not seriously tainted by terrorist elements is going to be murdered.

Contrary to the situation in Iraq, elements of al Qaeda or their sympathizers are gaining strength. I would think that a Blackwater security operation could also be a magnet for terrorist elements, who could stage an operation that would cause massive civilian casualties. Benazir would then be portrayed further as tool of the US, and Blackwater would again become a chew toy of the NYT.

12/31/2007 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

A South African I met in Dubai told me this story over bourbons.

A SA general left his HQ to attend a meeting in some other location. He got to the location, the PMC from the States asked the general to present his ID, the general protested he did not have the paperwork and it didn't matter everyone knew who he was. The guard refused to back down and eventually pulled his sidearm and informed the general if he tried to enter w/o proper ID he would be exiting in a body bag (in different terms I would guess).

The general relented and went back to retrieve his ID.

12/31/2007 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Condoleeza Rice approved new restrictive rules of engagement for Blackwater in Iraq.

Condoleeza Rice pressured Bhutto into returning to Pakistan.

Condoleeza Rice's State Department did not pressure Musharref to provide adequate security for Bhutto.

Just whose side is Dr. Rice working for these days, any way?

12/31/2007 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


I used to be a big fan of Condeleeza Rice.

However, her tenure at State and her rumored stands on other topics have me long off of her bandwagon.

12/31/2007 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Christopher Jamison said...

Simply amazing how many posts are blaming the US or representatives thereof. Mrs Bhutto made this choice knowing full well it was most likely a one-way trip-- and a short one at that. IMHO Blackwater involvement, in any outcome, was a liability not just for Bush & Co., but for the US. The Al Queda problem in Pakistan can not be solved politically, it will take military action on someone's part. I have no wish to have the US fix Pakistan the same way we fixed Iraq, (yes, we have so far. And don't waste your time arguing with me- I will not respond to trolls and I have been there twice), but we may have no choice considering the alternatives (nukes on the black market anyone?).

Give the "blame Bush" campaign a rest and try some real discussion. How about this for starters: "What would Hillary do?"

(shudder at the thought)

12/31/2007 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


Just in case it wasn't obvious, I was kidding.

The NYT ran Abu Ghraib on their front page for 37 days in a row, but don't question their patriotism. That paper has become a foul blot upon common sense, and serves as the broadest pillar of intentional ignorance in America.

As for what Hillary would do, it would be only one of two things:
1. Whatever brings her the most cash;
2. Whatever the snap-polls say she could get away with while maintaining power.

Happy New Year!

12/31/2007 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I think Hillary would send Bill to Pakistan to ride through crowds in various sorts of cars and see whether he could survive.

12/31/2007 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger glacierbear said...

If I could be sure she would do that, I would vote for her.

12/31/2007 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Defense Contracts Announced Monday
CNN - This action will provide Foreign Military Sales of F-16C/D new aircraft for the ( Pakistan ) program for F-16 Block 52 aircraft. ...
Sorry, boys:
These are our ALLIES!
Arm em up, so they can move out.
(I'd think an F-16 would be a more reliable delivery vehicle for a precious Nuke than some Paki Missile)

12/31/2007 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

Nahncee: Just whose side is Dr. Rice working for these days, any way?

Two words: NOT OURS.

12/31/2007 08:05:00 PM  

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