"The assassination of Benazir Bhutto was not an attack on this brave woman alone; it was an attack upon democracy, freedom and the United States." This statement by Asa Hutchinson, former undersecretary of homeland security, was typical of the reaction of the American political and media establishments.The rest of my op-ed "Hands Off Pakistan" is at The Future of Freedom Foundation website.
The claim that the assassination was an attack on democracy and freedom is dubious because Bhutto’s two spells as prime minister of Pakistan were not notable for either one. Whether it was an attack on the United States depends on what that means. It certainly was not an attack on the American people. How could it be construed that way, unless one has such an imperialist notion of "our interests" that nothing can happen in the world without impinging on them?
But if by “United States” we mean the policies of the current administration, then indeed it was such an attack. Bhutto, after all, favored bringing U.S. military forces into Pakistan, according to Michael Scheuer, a former CIA analyst and region specialist. If that’s an option President Bush planned to exercise, the loss of Bhutto is a grave blow to his policy.