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Being Benazir Bhutto

 We'll be hearing more from TNR special corresponded Joshua Kurlantzick about Benazir Bhutto shortly, but in the meantime his piece from November, "Being Benzir Bhutto" is worth another read.

[B]ecause she's a creature of the past, she also embodies Pakistan's worst, most embedded vices. Since independence, the country's politics have been run by dynasties, like the Bhutto family, who also tend to be the country's feudal landowners. And like feudal lords, they treat democracy as a kind of imperial system, in which they provide voters with minor spoils--some money on Election Day, or infrastructure projects--and once in power, act like they own the state. When she was prime minister between 1988 and 1990 and again between 1993 and 1996, Bhutto was no different: She presided over massive graft scandals and watched her husband allegedly build an empire on foreign investment contracts. As a result, if Bhutto were to assume power again, it should only be seen as a short-term solution--for her country and for the United States.

Update: Kurlantzick's piece assessing post-assassination Pakistan can be found here.

--Ben Wasserstein