Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Bad Day

This morning we heard that Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan and current candidate for the post again, was assassinated in Rawalpindi. This is bad, bad news for Pakistan and for the world.

Bhutto was no saint. Her administrations were marred by widespread corruption. It appears that she herself wasn't involved, but her administrators certainly were, from the top down to the local levels. This is what galvanized Musharaf to seize power in his coup. He believed that an imposed dictatorship was better than democratically-elected corruption. And unfortunately, that's about the only choice that the people of Pakistan have. But even though Bhutto was no saint, she was at least trying to make a difference.

This assassination only serves the ends of the Islamic extremists. It is an act typical of their beliefs: kill anyone who disagrees with you, and the more violently, the better. I just can't understand it. There is absolutely no redeeming value in this sort of extreme intolerance. None. It's a cancer to the life of this entire world.

I encountered death today on a more personal level. I stopped in at the veterinarian to pick up some HeartGuard for my dogs and overheard the doctor explaining to a distressed couple that their beloved dog was dying. The dog's kidneys had failed and there was nothing he could do about it except make her as comfortable as possible.

It's one thing to hear about the death of a person you've never met halfway around the world. It's another to hear somebody tell of their pet's passing. And it's still another to actually hear it happen.

Not a good day.

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