Benazir Bhutto possessed enormous courage and an iron will. Her willingness to return to her county in the face of the certain attacks was an extraordinary display of selflessness. The terrorists knew she represented everything they could not abide, so they kept trying to kill her until they succeeded.
The lesson for the West is that the war with the Islamists is not only far, far from over but in fact may be accelerating, and that more leaders with the sort of courage, resolve and energy displayed by Bhutto are needed now more than ever.
President Musharraf must take the war to the ungoverned places of the country or see such atrocities continue. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is the most inviting goal for the al Qaeda cells, an issue which could have used a lot of attention in the presidential campaign reaching its cresendo. Rudy Giuliani has put out a statement that should be echoed by all of the candidates today:
“The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is a tragic event for Pakistan and for democracy in Pakistan. Her murderers must be brought to justice and Pakistan must continue the path back to democracy and the rule of law. Her death is a reminder that terrorism anywhere -whether in New York, London, Tel-Aviv or Rawalpindi -is an enemy of freedom. We must redouble our efforts to win the Terrorists’ War on Us.”
UPDATE: Max Boot has more:
There is a vast “silent majority” in Pakistan that abhors the militants and has come to detest military rule. They are waiting for a leader. Bhutto, for all her imperfections, could have been that leader. She won’t be now. Alas. But let us hope that she will at least become a martyr for the cause of Islamic democracy, and that her death will inspire others to carry on her brave struggle.