Timothy Noah remembers Benazir Bhutto in Slate:
I called her Pinky. She called me Pooh Bear. As Aspen Institute seminars droned on, we’d scribble anagrams of the participants’ names. “Had ingrain id,” I jotted during one particularly tedious lunch while Indira Gandhi extemporized about textile exports. “Rid hairy piranha disdaining,” Pinky replied in a flash, incorporating Mrs. Gandhi’s middle name, “Priyadarshini.” Had the press attaché seen, it could have been war.
We met freshman week at the Hayes-Bick in Harvard Square. Or perhaps during Michaelmas term at All Souls. No, it was a reception for the Shah at Harold Pratt House. I know we were thick as thieves at Davos, because I was her date to Sir Richard Branson’s river blindness buffet.
Of course, it’s satire. He’s poking fun — quite rightly — at the cacophony of chattering Oxford and Harvard-educated ‘elites’ who have lined up to bask in the reflected ‘glory’ of this woman many people see as some kind of matryr.
(With apologies to Peter Galbraith, Roger Cohen, Robert Novak, David Ignatius, Arnaud deBorchgrave, Arianna Huffington, Harry Shearer, Molly Moore, and Mark Steyn.)
For a somewhat more realistic take on the matter, one should look perhaps to David Warren’s article in the Ottawa Citizen:
The queen is dead, long live the king. This is the message from Pakistan’s “People’s Party,” founded 40 years ago by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto as the machine to advance his own political career. At his death by judicial murder, the machine was inherited by his daughter — with competition from his sons until both had died mysteriously. And at Benazir Bhutto’s death, it is now inherited by her 19-year-old son, Bilawal, under the guardianship of his corrupt father. The many prize idiots in the western media who presented Ms. Bhutto as a beacon of democracy are now perhaps beginning to grasp what path she was lighting.
The creed of the PPP — “Islam is our faith, democracy is our politics, socialism is our economy, all power to the people” — consists of three calculated lies followed by a howler. A more honest creed might be, “Government of the Bhutto, by the Bhutto, and for the Bhutto.”
Or this piece by The Age’s Michael Backman:
That one shouldn’t speak ill of the dead is conventional wisdom but conventional wisdom usually turns out to be an oxymoron. And so the dead Benazir Bhutto is now the “former prime minister of Pakistan” rather than “the fugitive facing corruption investigations in Spain, Britain and Switzerland” that she was a fortnight ago.