Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on yesterday at a rally in Rawalpindi. According to international political poll watchers, she was destined to be the next prime minister of Pakistan and a popular bulwark in the fight against al-Qaida. Others who have been following Middle Eastern developments were aware of the threat on Bhutto’s life, whether from inside the Pakistani government or from the terrorists themselves. Nevertheless, she defied the danger, choosing instead to be a martyr if necessary.
A martyr might be a heroine, but a martyr cannot be a leader. Someone must replace her if her political party is to have representation in the next Pakistani election- that is, if there is a next election.
What makes her death so shocking is not the assassin’s bullet, but the US presidential contenders riding the shirttail of her martyrdom. If ever there is a time for silence and self-reflection, now is the time. Let all the politicians who would honor her memory, keep silent. And please, no mention of what’s going to happen to the nuclear weapons. They haven't exploded yet. More US saber-rattling will only threaten to tilt the balance of power.