Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A world mourns

Benazir Bhutto
Assassinated December 27 in Pakistan

Her loss to Pakistan and other Middle Eastern nations is akin to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy November 22, 1963

She and her family worked tirelessly for Democracy in Pakistan for decades. Her father, also a former Prime Minister, was assassinated, as were two of her brothers. Tyrants and terrorists hated and feared her because of her innate popularity and adoration by the people of Pakistan.

If you are too young or haven't studied the assassination of President Kennedy, I can tell you that only those responsible for killing him did not suffer a broken heart, a broken spirit, on the day he died.

It will shock many people who know me to hear that I worked for President Kennedy because I almost never talk about my experiences when I was in the Air Force and particularly about my experiences surrounding the assassination.

I worked in his public relations office at Otis Air Force Base (Cape Cod, Massachusetts) as a photographer, reporter and PR rep. I was 18 years old and learned my trade by fire; in the military you're expected to do the job, they don't care how old - or young - you are.

Because I was 18, a "girl," and an Airman Third Class (one stripe), I didn't exist in the minds of people around me (sort of like people don't realize that servants, janitors, and food servers are real people with eyes, ears and minds), so I was witness to a number of things over the months I was assigned there that definitely influenced my knowledge and opinions of how government and the military work at the top levels.

The assassination was not only a horrific, traumatic experience for the nation, but those of us who believed he was a leader who could give us a nation of which to be proud, who could make the US live up to its image and promise. We had no idea of his extra marital activities - if we did, our hearts would have broken all over again. We believed he had integrity in every aspect of his life.

Bhutto left an email to be opened in the event she was murdered by CNN News anchor Wolf Blitzer. In it she directly blamed Pakistani "President" Pervez Musharraf She noted that the security she was provided by Musharraf, when she needed more, in fact decreased. She noted that as she requested more - she was given less, listing chapter and verse of how the security ought to have been organized - as she requested - and what had actually been provided.

Musharraf is holding a three day mourning period for Bhutto. While he says elections will go on as planned in a few days, it is doubtful if they can be carried out in light of Pakistanis being in such a state of grief and upheaval.

Here's something to consider: President Bush and Secretary of State Rice ignored direct threats of al qeda befroe 9-11. It's not *all* their fault, but had they heeded the warnings, there's a decent chance it could have been prevented.

The so-called hawks - kill all terrorists, detain all potential terrorists, pro-war US leaders somehow didn't understand one was coming our way.

The most troubling, threatening nation in the world right now is: Pakistan. Musharraf is a dictator, considered a tyrant by any civil thinker. It is a muslim nation with active nuclear weapons which can be fired (thanks to the US).

Pakistan is next to Afghanistan. It's where bin Laden is hiding - has been hiding for 7 years.

When our military was hot on his trail in the mountains bordering Pakistan, Bush and Cheney redeployed the American military from Afghanistan into Iraq - a nation that did not have weapons of mass destruction (just as the UN reported it did not), a nation with a tyrannical, sadistic leader - Saddam Hussein - who kept terrorists and Islamic extremists out of his country because they would try to form a theocratic government. Christians were free to practice their religion in that Iraq - they are not today because Islamic terrorists rushed into Iraq when the US invaded.

Meanwhile, whom did Bush befriend? Musharraf in Pakistan. Supposedly to help us find and erradicate terrorists along the Afghanistan border. Didn't happen. Terrorists have camps set up in Pakistan now. Bush calls Musharraf a friend of the US.

No, Bhutto was the real friend of the US. At least of its principals and desire for democracy and defender of the promise of being a land of laws and a Constitution.

Here's a reasonable statement: The hawks who are so pro-war, who have a kill all the terrorists mentality, are on the job NOW. And have been.

Watch for those who try to tap into your fears and make you feel like we are next - who will try to get you to vote for them next year. Understand that more of the same will. not. work.

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

But get this: because they are not only on duty now and have been before 9-11 (which, by the way was the *second* attack on New York's twin towers by al qeda and our national security folks didn't take that as a crucial warning), we must understand their efforts, their tactics and their mentality have failed. Failed.

Unless and until we understand how to interact with people around the world in a way that will inspire people within the nations that house terrorists to stop and flay them where they stand? We're in for more of these international horrific incidents.

Unless and until we find a leader who has this understanding and knowledge of how to deal directly with the people who can make the difference within their own nations?

Again, we're in for more of these international horrific incidents. The only people who benefit from these calamities are the multinational corporations, as eloquently described in Naomi Klein's book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

Unless and until we start listening to people who *predicted* this incident for the very reasons listed here - namely Senator Joe Biden - who actually spoke to Bhutto the night before she was assassinated and in fact asked Musharraf to increase her security - we're in for more of these international horrific incidents, and ultimately the US being a target once again.

I repeat: this will happen while the current shoot 'em up, try to manipulate the rest of the world mentality is allowed to rule the US diplomacy and military.

Meanwhile, in death - as with the deaths of Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Ghandi, Benazir Bhutto has found immortality.

A spiritual woman, her last word: "Allah"

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