Bhutto’s death creates ripples in US presidential campaignDecember 28th, 2007 - 10:05 pm ICT by admin
Washington, Dec 28 (ANI): The assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi on Thursday has already created ripples hundreds of miles away, as Presidential hopefuls in the US tried to use the shocking incident to bolster their own arguments.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, who had hosted Bhutto in Washington when the former was the first lady of the country, added a personal touch by recounting her experiences of her meetings with Bhutto.
“I came to know Mrs. Bhutto over many years, during her tenures as prime minister and during her years in exile,” Hillary said in her condemnation of the suicide attack.
Bhutto’s death has brought the American foreign policy back into the realm of debate. The Republicans are facing tough questions since their supporters generally feel that America’s foreign policy has been on the right track.
Democrats, except Clinton, on the other hand find it easier as it easily reinforces their call for change.
Democrat Barack Obama stuck to a boilerplate expression of support for the Pakistani people and democracy, as well as opposition to terrorism.
He described the latest situation as “still a little dicey”, and pointed out that he had long identified Pakistan as a ‘core problem’ which demands a new approach.
“The Iraq war had distracted the United States from the real fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda on the Afghan-Pakistan border,” the Newsweek quoted him, as saying.
The Republicans stuck to the jehadi angle of Thursday’s tragic incident with most of the hopefuls terming the assassination as a proof of the “extraordinary reality of global violent radical jehadism”.
“Her death is a reminder that terrorism anywhere-whether in New York, London, Tel Aviv or Rawalpindi-is an enemy of freedom,” Rudy Giuliani said, adding, “We must redouble our efforts to win the terrorists’ war on us.”
Another Republican hopeful Mitt Romney echoed Giuliani’s opinion, contrary to the general mood in Pakistan where Musharraf is being blamed more for the charismatic leader’s death, rather than al-Qaeda or the Taliban.
What would be the impact of Bhutto’s death in the US Presidential campaign will be closely watched, monitored and evaluated.
“So does the assassination of Benazir Bhutto push foreign affairs-and an unstable world-back to the top of voters’ minds just a week before the Iowa caucuses? And if so, who benefits?” the Newsweek writes.
However, the past instances of the impact of terror attack on the domestic politics prove that voters don’t necessarily turn to incumbents or to those who portray themselves as tough on terrorists. The defeat of Aznar government in Spain just after the Madrid bombings and failure of British Prime Minister Tony Blair to push for tough antiterrorist legislation in the wake of 2005 London bombings are pointers to this argument.
It would not be easy to predict what an attack in Pakistan does to American politics as current opinion about US foreign policy is split along the party lines with 14 percent of Democrats believe that it is heading in the right direction, compared to 49 percent of Republicans, according to recent polling by the non-partisan group Public Agenda.
In that sense, Bhutto’s assassination changes nothing on the trail, the report concluded. (ANI)
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