|Benazir Bhutto – Murdered by the Pathocrats
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was murdered Thursday December 27th, 2007 in Rawalpindi, a city near Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. Having survived an attempted assassination in October, today under the cover of a “suicide bombing” Ms. Bhutto was shot in the neck and head from close range.
Coincidentally (or not) almost 29 years ago her father, Zulfikar Bhutto, also a former PM of Pakistan, was hung in the very same city by then Pakistan dictator General Zia Ul-Haq. In 2003, alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was arrested in Rawalpindi. The evidence for Khalid’s involvement came largely from the now destroyed CIA torture tapes. Small world. It should come as no surprise therefore that, while separated by decades, the untimely deaths of Ms. Bhutto and her father are, in the context of the American-led war on terror, inextricably linked. Suffice to say, the fingerprints of the Pathocrats are everywhere.
The Arrogant Empire
To fully understand the forces that have shaped our modern world and brought it to the socio-political precipice upon which it now sits, we cannot speak of “America” or even “the US government” in terms of a single isolated nation and group of political leaders. America today is a long and well-established empire whose seat of power extends far beyond Washington D.C. With military bases in at least 121 of 187 world countries and an economic footprint that is global in scope, “America” today is a world-wide phenomenon rather than a single Western nation.
Like dozens of similar cases around the world over the past 100 years, the ousting in 1977, and murder 18 months later, of the democratically elected Zulfikar Bhutto could not have happened without the support of the then US government and CIA. Former US attorney general and outspoken critic of US foreign policy Ramsey Clark was directly involved in attempting to have Zulfikar Bhutto’s sentence commuted, although he was ultimately prevented from representing him at trial by General Zia. Clark has pointed directly at CIA involvement:
“the similarities in the staging of riots in Chile (where the CIA helped overthrow President Salvador Allende in 1973) and in Pakistan [in 1977] are just too close.”
Up until 1989 and the “fall” of Soviet Russia, Pakistan sat on Russia’s southern border and represented Russia’s only access to the warm trading waters of the Persian Gulf. From a strategic point of view and in the context of the “cold war”, it made perfect sense for the empire to attempt to expand its global influence and at the same time deal a significant economic blow to the Russians. Both Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan were therefore firmly in the empire’s sights.
The empire’s problem with Zulfikar Bhutto was an ideological one. He, like all truly humane political leaders was not inclined to allow the Pakistani people to become fodder for the relentless march of the American empire. In a speech in October 1966 Bhutto proclaimed: “Islam is our faith, democracy is our policy, socialism is our economy. All power to the people.”
In terms of the empire’s designs on South Asia, (which included the longer term goal of setting up a future phony “clash of civilisations” between Islam and the “Christian West”) Bhutto could not be allowed to establish a largely secular, socialist Pakistan and simply had to go. Indeed, over the past 60 years, no quarter has been given to any leader of a Muslim nation who was not either naturally fascistically-inclined or prepared to bow down before the empire.
General Zia then was given the necessary support and assurances by the representatives of the US empire in order to feel confident to force Bhutto from office and later hang him on trumped-up charges of corruption. He then went about establishing strict Islamic law and a brutal penal code. Zia changed the punishment for damage against property from a fine or imprisonment (or both) to the amputation of the right hand of the offender. For robbery, the right hand and left foot of the offender was the price. For adultery the new punishment was flogging (100 lashes) for both men and women, if unmarried and, if married, the culprit was stoned to death. Zia also promoted military officers on the basis of religious devotion. The Koran and other religious material becomes compulsory reading material in army training courses and according to journalist Kathy Gannon “Radical Islamist ideology began to permeate the military and the influence of the most extreme groups crept into the army.” The BBC also acknowledged that Zia’s self-declared “Islamization” policies created a “culture of jihad” within Pakistan that continues until present day. And all of it rubber-stamped by the “greatest democracy on earth”.
General Zia also created tens of thousands of madrassas, or religious boarding schools, the very same madrasses referred to by Donald Rumsfeld when he said:
“Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?”
Soon thereafter, (1979-80) large quantities of American dollars began flowing into the good general’s coffers, and Zia was clearly well aware of his commanding position. What price would the empire pay for his geo-strategically positioned nation? When offered a $400 million “aid” package by US President Jimmy Carter, Zia sneered and said “peanuts”. (Carter used to be a peanut farmer).
In the end, the empire funneled $billions to Zia, on the proviso that he used most of it to fund a bunch of fuedal warlords known as the Taleban over the border in Afghanistan. Afghanistan you see, had recently taken a turn for the worse in much the same way that Pakistan had under Bhutto. In 1973 Dr. Mohammad Daoud had declared a new Republic of Afghanistan, ousting the monarch government of Mohammed Zaher Shah in a bloodless coup d’etat. Daoud was an extreme conservative and ruled as absolute dictator. In response to the oppressive policy of the new regime the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, PDPA, was formed, but in 1978 Daoud’s ordered the arrest of almost the entire leadership of the PDPA.
The progressive masses in Kabul saw the arrests as an attempt to annihilate the PDPA, just as the military junta had done to the workers’ parties in Chile in 1973 (with US backing). An uprising by the lower ranks of the military freed the popular party leader, Nur Mohammad Taraki. Within a day, Daoud was overthrown and a revolutionary government proclaimed, headed by Taraki.
According to the CIA’s own casebook in Afghanistan:
Before the revolution, 5 percent of Afghanistan’s rural landowners owned more than 45 percent of the arable land. A third of the rural people were landless laborers, sharecroppers or tenants.
Debts to the landlords and to money lenders “were a regular feature of rural life”. An indebted farmer turned over half his crop each year to the money lender.
“When the PDPA took power, it quickly moved to remove both landownership inequalities and usury.” Decree number six of the revolution canceled mortgage debts of agricultural laborers, tenants and small landowners.
The revolutionary regime set up extensive literacy programs, especially for women. It printed textbooks in many languages-Dari, Pashtu, Uzbek, Turkic and Baluchi. “The government trained many more teachers, built additional schools and kindergartens, and instituted nurseries for orphans”, says the country study.
Before the revolution, female illiteracy had been 96.3 percent in Afghanistan. Rural illiteracy of both sexes was 90.5 percent.
By 1985 there had been an 80-percent increase in hospital beds. The government initiated mobile medical units and brigades of women and young people to go to the undeveloped countryside and provide medical services to the peasants for the first time.
Among the very first decrees of the revolutionary regime were to prohibit bride-price and give women freedom of choice in marriage. “Historically, gender roles and women’s status have been tied to property relations. Women and children tend to be assimilated into the concept of property and to belong to a male.”
Before the revolution, a bride who did not exhibit signs of virginity on the wedding night could be murdered by her father and/or brothers.
After the revolution, young women in the cities, where the new government’s authority was strong, could tear off the veil, freely go out in public, attend school and get a job. They were organized in the Democratic Women’s Organization of Afghanistan, founded in 1965 by Dr. Anahita Ratebzada.
The revolution and the establishment of the social government under Taraki challenged the old fundamentalist Islamic order. Afghanistan was slowly being turned into a progressive and libertarian country with a somewhat secular government providing equal rights for all.
So, like I said, Afghanistan had taken a ‘turn for the worse’ from the point of view of the empire, and was now being led by a socialist, secular (read ‘Communist’) government. Something had to be done. So, the CIA began building a mercenary army, recruiting feudal Afghan warlords and their servants for a “holy war” against the “communists”, who had liberated “their” women and “their” peasants.
Baiting The “Commies”
But the empire has always been eager to maximise its gains, and along with correcting the growing political ‘aberration’ in Afghanistan, there was the chance to ‘stick it’ to the Commies.
Zbigniew Brzezinski served as US National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. In an interview in “Le Nouvel Observateur” Jan 15-21, 1998, p.76, he tells us:
Brzezinski: According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, closely guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
The “pro-Soviet regime” mentioned here was the socialist government of Tariki that was advocating women’s rights and education for all.
Question: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?
Brzezinski: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to
intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
The fact is that the Russians were enticed to intervene in Afghanistan because of the aforementioned aid and weaponry that the US was supplying to the Feudal warlords who were seeking to overthrow the socialist government of Taraki – the one that had begun to reform and open up Afghan society.
Question: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?
Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, in substance: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
Question: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalists, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
So, there you have it. The American empire is currently engaged in an unending “war on terror” with “some stirred up Moslems” as the opposition, which the empire themselves “stirred up”.
Drugs For The World
But there were also the spoils of empire to be considered. With the help of President Zia, Afghanistan was deemed a country perfectly suited for the production of vast quantities of opium, the proceeds from which the empire would use to fuel its progress and at the same time flood certain population centers with narcotics and engage in a little “social engineering” (the black neigborhoods of America being a case in point).
CIA covert weapons shipments were sent by the Pakistani army and the ISI to rebel camps in the North West Frontier province near the Afghanistan border. The governor of the province, Lieutenant General Fazle Haq, who author Alfred McCoy calls Pakistani President Muhammad Zia ul-Haq’s “closest confidant and the de facto overlord of the mujaheddin guerrillas” allowed hundreds of heroin refineries to set up in his province. Beginning around 1982, Pakistani army trucks carrying CIA weapons from Karachi (Pakistan) would arrive in Haq’s province and return loaded with heroin, protected from police search by Pakistani intelligence (ISI) papers. By 1982, Haq was listed with Interpol as an international drug trafficker, not to mention a CIA asset. Despite his worsening reputation, visiting US politicians such as CIA Director William Casey and Vice President George H. W. Bush continued to meet with him when they visited Pakistan. Haq then moved his heroin money through the criminal Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). A highly placed US official later stated that Haq “was our man… everybody knew that Haq was also running the drug trade” and that “BCCI was completely involved”.
Both European and Pakistani police complained that investigations of heroin trafficking in the province were “aborted at the highest level”. In 1989, shortly after Benazir Bhutto took over as the new ruler of Pakistan, Pakistani police arrested Haq and charged him with murder. He was considered a multi-billionaire by this time was gunned down and killed in 1991 before he could be tried. Even President Zia was implicated in the drug trade. In 1985, a Norwegian government investigation led to the arrest of a Pakistani drug dealer who just happened to be President Zia’s personal finance manager. When arrested, his briefcase contained Zia’s personal banking records.
Echos Of 9/11
Washington spent billions of dollars every year in funding their proxy Russian war, with the son of a prestigious and wealthy Saudi family with close ties to the Saudi royals, Osama bin Laden, serving as the figurehead for the warlords (and Western public). During it all, the empire’s man, General Zia was tasked with overseeing the disbursement of the money, weapons and the manufacturing of heroin. With the Soviets defeated, Afghanistan in the grip of the ultra-conservative Taleban war-lords and Pakistan economically and politically impoverished under US-backed military dictators, the American empire had provided itself with both a laboratory from which to stage-manage an “Islamic terror threat” and a theatre in which to wage war upon that threat.
Interestingly, Zia died in a mysterious plane crash in August 1988. Shortly after a smooth take-off, the control tower lost contact with the aircraft with witnesses reporting that it was flying erratically. The aircraft then nosedived before exploding on impact, killing General Zia and several other senior army generals, as well as American Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphel and General Herbert Wassom, head of the American military attaché in Islamabad. For many reasons, not least of which is that there were many people who wanted Zia dead, it is highly unlikely that Zia’s the crash was an accident. Several conspiracy theories have been proposed with the most interesting being that the Israeli Mossad brought down the plane. Barbara Crossette who was the New York Times bureau chief in South Asia from 1988 to 1991 interviewed the American ambassador to India in 1988, John Gunther Dean.
Dean alleges that Israel wanted to prevent Pakistan from acquiring nuclear weapons and urged the US congress to investigate the Israeli-Indian axis. As a reward for speaking his mind Dean was accused of mental imbalance and sent to Switzerland for 6 weeks to “rest” before being asked to resign. Most interesting of all however is the method used to bring down Zia’s plane. Pakistan’s official report on the crash found traces of chemicals in the wreckage of the plane, a lot of which was buried in the sandy earth or scattered around the site by the impact of the crash. Those chemicals, the Pakistanis said, were phosphorous, chlorine, potassium, antimony, and pentaaerythritol tetranitrate. Specifically, phosphorous was found on mango seeds and skins in the wreckage. Several crates of mangos had been loaded onto the plane before take off and that the fruit had been laced instead with a debilitating, possibly fatal gas. Khalid Hasan a Pakistani analyst writing in the independent Pakistani newspaper “Friday Times” in 2004, said that it was VX gas. Ambassador Dean claims that he was also told in New Delhi that there was VX gas on the plane. Those that have read our book 911: The Ultimate Truth will immediately understand why the suggestion that Israel was involved in using fatal gas to bring down passenger aircraft is particularly intriguing.
At the tender age of 24 Benazir Bhutto found herself under house arrest in the wake of her father’s imprisonment by General Zia in 1977. She was allowed to leave Pakistan for the UK in 1984 leading her father’s Socialist Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in exile. She would later become the first and youngest female prime minister of Pakistan and of any Islamic nation when she led the government from 1988-1990 and again from 1993-1996. In both cases she was ousted by false charges fabricated by the same Punjab elites and powerful landlord families that had opposed her father and prevented both from implementing the reformist, secular policies so desired by the Pakistani people.
Throughout her career the young and glamorous Benazir successfully and accurately portrayed herself as a refreshing contrast to the overwhelmingly male-dominated political establishment. In 1998 Benazir went into self-imposed exile in Dubai where she remained until she returned to Pakistan on 18 October 2007 after reaching an understanding with CIA-asset President Musharraf who took power in a military coup in 1999. Under the terms of the agreement with Musharraf she was granted amnesty and all (trumped-up) corruption charges were withdrawn. Since the expulsion order on her was lifted, Benazir had been campaigning fiercely for the PPP and was widely expected to present a serious challenge to CIA-installed dictator Musharraf in the upcoming general elections.
While en route to a rally in Karachi on 18 October 2007, two explosions occurred shortly after Bhutto had landed and left Jinnah International Airport. She was not injured but the explosions, later alleged to be a suicide-bomb attack, killed 136 people and injured at least 450. Despite the obvious threat to her life from those who had most to gain from death, including but not limited to Pakistani dictator and CIA asset Musharraf, Benazir remained true to her belief that political leadership is defined by service to the ordinary people of this world. As such she insisted on continuing to travel to public rallies around the country. She stated recently:
“I decided not to be holed up in my home, a virtual prisoner,” she wrote. “I went to my ancestral village of Larkana to pray at my father’s grave. Everywhere, the people rallied around me in a frenzy of joy. I feel humbled by their love and trust.”
But in a world such as ours, love and trust are increasingly assailed on all sides by a darkness that seeks to violently extinguish all noble ideals, and from one perspective we could say that Benazir’s bravery was foolhardy. From another perspective however, it is possible that her sacrifice will ignite in millions of others a righteous anger that may yet thwart the darkness that threatens to engulf us all. There is one thing we can say for sure, and that is that Benazir faced the psychopathic threat to her own future and that of all humanity with open eyes. In the aftermath of the first attempt on her life in October she stated:
“Soon thereafter, I was asked by authorities not to travel in cars with tinted windows – which protected me from identification by terrorists – or travel with privately armed guards. I began to feel the net was being tightened around me when police security outside my home in Karachi was reduced, even as I was told that other assassination plots were in the offing.”
As the PPP party leader announced her death, the Pakistani knew instantly where to look for the culprits as they erupted into shouts of “Musharraf is a dog”. Let’s not forget who his masters are.
Benazir Bhutto, died a sacrificial lamb but also a stark warning of what our leaders have in store for us all. The bottom line is: wake up, before it’s too late.