Friday, December 28, 2007

Funny feeling

Not in a "ha-ha" way. In a my-gut-feels-wrong way.

In early September, 2001, the radio reported that Ahmad Shah Massoud had been assassinated by two men posing as reporters. While I wasn't exactly current on Afghan's government ministers - I was the mother of one-year-old twins at the time - the way the news report talked about him made it seem like this wasn't just a "routine" murder.

He was killed on September 9, 2001. We all know what happened two days later.

According to Wikipedia:

"In April 2001, Nicole Fontaine invited Massoud to address the European Parliament. In his speech, he warned that the Taliban had connections with Al-Qaeda, and that an important terrorist attack was imminent. The US and European governments paid no attention to these warnings."
When I heard the conflicting news reports on the radio this morning about the attack on Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto I also said out loud "oh no" which lead to a flurry of questions from my now 7-year-old sons who I thought were listening to their new iPods.

I tried to explain that this woman played an important role in her country. That she was the first woman leader in a Muslim country and that she had only recently returned from exile to be part of politics again.

Benazir Bhutto, 54, did die on Thursday, December 27th from an attack at a rally. She sustained injuries from gun shots and a suicide bomb. She was a complicated and at times controversial leader and both times left the presidency under suspicion of corruption.

In spite of that I am incredibly sad the world lost a leader, and that Pakistan lost someone who was challenging the military regime. I also have a funny feeling that something is brewing.

I hope my gut is wrong.


Flower Child said...

from a mutual friend "I'm in utter shock and feeling low . . .not because I was her supporter but I did have a lot of hope when she came into power and because this marks the dysfunctionality of a country I am desperate to see some good human development and institution building in. . . .so sad."

Heather said...

It is so sad. But I wasn't surprised since they've been trying to assassinate her since she returned.

I hope your gut is wrong too.

Jan said...

I am sad for her family and country but I am not surprised it happened. I hope your gut feeling really was just indigestion. (((HUGS)))


Jenn in Holland said...

Oh, how I wish that funny feeling in your gut had no reason to be there. Unfortuanately, the reality is too strong. My gut is in a knot too.

Jenn said...

I have a bad feeling, mostly because the major opposition with an actual leader to the current govt now is fundamental Islamists. And Pakistan has nuclear weapons. Not good in a place that is ridiculously unstable.

Luckily Musharref is good friends with the US because he's allowed us to do what we want, so he in turn has been allowed to do what he wants.

Candy said...

Let's just hope "from your lips to god's ear" doesn't work this time. I don't know for sure her politics - I've heard some interviews with Pakistani's who said she was corrupt - who the heck knows! But she seemed to be fighting hard for her country, so it is sad to lose such a courageous person.

Wholly Burble said...

There is so much going on right now in the world, and it's long been said we here in the U.S.A. are poorly informed by our news sources. I really am not sure what this person's loss will mean to her country or her people, or to the world--but anything that brutal cannot be good--could not possibly assist stability in that country.

Goofball said...

I am fairly pessimistic about Pakistan right now as well and the stability of the region. Our journalists say that the taliban was/is regrouping in Pakistan so they'd benefit from a very unstable regime.

It doesn't have to be true but you refer to the murder on Massoud and the horror that followed...I had to think of the murder of the Rwandan president Habyarimana just before the genocide there started. and the murder of the crown prince in Sarajevo in 1914 flashes by as well.
Let's hope this murder isn't the start of a new world tragedy!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I really hope your gut is wrong, too. I'm feeling a lot of shock over the whole situation. And you're right - she was a very complicated leader.

Suzanne said...

Funny you should say you had a funny feeling in your gut...because it was in mine, too. It still is.

At first, I tried to poo-poo it away, telling myself that it was because it was the first thing I saw/heard that morning upon waking.

You see, I've been without Internet since December 9th until last night, and I SO DON'T watch TV, but once our electric was restored on the 16th, TV has been my only way to keep in touch with the world unless I wanted to pack up my laptop and go find a wi-fi hot spot somewhere, which I've done a lot of, but not nearly to the level of being online that I'm used to.

So, anyway, I tried to blow off that gut reaction to things such as , "See? This is why I don't watch TV!" or "Oh God - what else have I missed living w/o my Internet?"

But, my gut's not buying any of it. It knows. Like you, I hope we're both wrong, but my gut snickers at that thought.

In addition to agreeing with Wholly Burble about us being so uninformed here in the U.S., I think it contributes to us also being insulated and a bit naive about world politics. Can you imagine living in a place where going for a coffee could get you killed? I can't. I don't want to try.

Maybe what is bugging me so much is that I had just heard her interviewed on NPR (sometime during the ice storm this month) and now she's dead.

Life is so fragile. But in too many parts of the world, it's FRAGILE (in all CAPS.)

melissa said...

I had the same gut feeling, too. And sadly, my first thought when I read what had happened was "I'm surprised she lasted this long."

She was so brave to return knowing it was a death sentence.