"I am what the Terrorists Most Fear"
On the Democratic side, we have Chris Dodd:
"It reflects once again the misdirection in my view of the (Bush) Administration on focusing on Iraq and Iran. I've been saying for months that Pakistan and Afghanistan deserve more attention.
It's still the epicenter of international terrorism, of where Osama bin Laden is, here. And yet the administration continues to focus its efforts, its resources, its time and effort on Iraq and Iran."
Bill Richardson thinks President Bush should demand Musharraf to stepdown. There we go again, bullying sovereign nations to acquiesce to our demands. Consequently, if we are at war with Islamic terrorists, wouldn't a Musharraf resignation be exactly what the Islamists would love? After all, Musharraf has been targeted in failed assassination attempts, on multiple occasions (nine, I believe) by the Islamic extremists.
On the conservative front, we have presidential candidate Mike Huckabee "apologizing" for Bhutto's assassination.
Ron Paul blames U.S. foreign policy and support of Musharraf. Nevermind that Bhutto herself was pro-western, anti-Islamic terror, and a woman daring to hold a leadership position. Those offenses had nothing to do with her assassination. No, of course not! It can only be Islamic militants motivated by our foreign aid and support of the Musharraf government. It's not that they wish to sow chaos and sabotage the democratic process. No, of course not!
Some more candidate responses.
Lisa Curtis, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation specializing in Southeast Asia, says only 5% of the population in Pakistan probably fall into the extremist category of Islam; yet, according to Andrew McCarthy, a CNN poll seems to indicate that 46% of Pakistanis approve of Osama bin Laden.
Regardless of the numbers, the reach and influence of the Islamist extremists is great enough to bring down an entire country. Today was a great loss for freedom and democracy; and the world just got a bit more dangerous.
It would appear that al-Qaeda is taking credit for the assassination:
"We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen," Mustafa Abu al Yazid, al Qaeda's commander in Afghanistan, told Mr. Shahzad. The attack was reportedly ordered at the highest levels of al Qaeda.
"It is believed that the decision to kill Bhutto, who is the leader of the opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP), was made by al-Qaeda No. 2, the Egyptian doctor, Ayman al-Zawahiri in October," Mr. Shahzad also reported. "Death squads were allegedly constituted for the mission and ultimately one cell comprising a defunct Lashkar-i-Jhangvi’s Punjabi volunteer succeeded in killing Bhutto."
Also blogging the political responses: