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Another Fine Mess �

Friday, Dec. 28, 2007 1:07 AM

The need for punditry on yesterday's assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has led to the amazing and insightful comment that al-Qaeda may be responsible.

Oh, you mean the irrelevant, not-worth-losing-any-sleep-over, we've-captured-their-top-leaders-and-disrupted-their-funding al-Qaeda?

Well, duh.

Our options, to put it bluntly, suck. We're effectively committed to supporting the Musharraf regime, whether or not he honors his pledge to hold elections come January, as he's the guy with the keys to the nukes. (Considering Condi Rice had her usual, 'I don't think anyone knew' moment after Hamas won the election in Palestine, I'm not confident about any prognostications they may have on Pakistan.)

The Washington Post is reporting that Bhutto's return was a deal brokered by the U.S. - she would become Prime Minister, and Musharraf would remain as President.

I'm not sure, exactly, how one can build a critical strategy on a friendly politician winning an election, but the rules never seem to bother the Bush Administration much.

It should be noted, however, that Musharraf's little State of Emergency dance secured his position as president regardless - perhaps a telling indicator of how much he trusts the United States ... and, also, possibly, why President Bush didn't say much of anything.

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