Benazir Bhutto’s Frankenstein

Pakistan is now positioned, according to the nation’s elite experts on foreign policy, as the prime breeding ground for terrorist activity to be conducted against the United States. The great irony that Pakistan stands to be ground zero for the construction of a terrorist machine hellbent on causing panic throughout the streets of America lies in the fact that once upon a time a Pakistani leader warned a man named George Bush to be very wary of whom he adopted as cohorts in an undeclared war against an abstract idea. History has never come back to bite America on the butt with as much unsoothing regularity as it has under the so-called guidance of men named Bush.

The George Bush who received prescient words of advice from a Pakistani Prime Minister was not the deranged man whose absence from reality would be funny if it weren’t so tragic, but rather that man’s father. The year was 1989 and George H. W. Bush was assuming the mantle of power from his predecessor Ronald Reagan. Despite his vain attempts to portray himself as a power broker on the one hand and “out of the loop” on the other, there is no doubt that as former Director of the CIA, George Herbert Walker Bush was entirely within the loop when it came to the part America played in the greatest foreign policy practical joke of all time; that perpetrated not by the hardline Republicans but rather by that weak-willed and weak-minded peanut farmer from Georgia. It was Jimmy Carter and his band of foreign policy experts who had tricked the Soviet Union into an ill-conceived invasion of Afghanistan and it was Ronald Reagan who took that football and ran with it. The Reagan and Bush team infamously saw the Soviet Union and communism as the number one public enemy to continuing what had been over 200 years of ideological perfection known as democratic free enterprise. Anything that could be done to stop the tide of Soviet aggression was therefore deemed worthy; even if that meant jumping into bed with Islamic fundamentalists.

Those Islamic fundamentalists were known as the Mujahideen and in addition to the support of U.S. they also had the support of a rich Saudi Arabian named Osama Bin Laden. The US supported these fundamentalists in their successful effort to give the Soviets their own version of the Vietnam quagmire experienced by the United States. At the time, it may have seemed reasonable to support a ragtag army over the Soviets, but the long term effect of the Majuhideen’s victory over the Soviet raised what should have been viewed as a terrifying red flag to all involved: If these Islamic bands of roving warriors could bring down one superpower, why not any superpower?

In 1989 Pakistan’s Prime Minister was a woman. (Yes, it is true that even a Muslim country beat America to the finish line when it comes to electing a woman as their leader. How embarrassing for us.) Benazir Bhutto was a woman whose physical attributes in 1989 were such that it does give pause to wonder if a man like Pres. George H.W. Bush simply thought was too pretty to actually be intelligent. Pretty Benazir Bhutto may have been, but what she told George Bush shortly after he took office as President of the United States is proof enough that attractive need not always equal stupid. Benazir Bhutto warned George Bush about the dangers of having supported the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. Interestingly, Bhutto’s words to describe what the future might portend—and remember that this was in 1989, long before most Americans had ever heard the name Osama Bin Laden and long before even a small minority could have easily identified on a map such countries as Kuwait, Iraq or Pakistan—were not complex or politically charged. Bhutto used language so brilliantly evocative in its simplicity that even George’s firstborn son could have figured out what she was talking about in the middle of his most extreme booze-infused bender.

You are creating a veritable Frankenstein

is what Benazir Bhutto told the first President George Bush.

What Bhutto meant by that statement was that though the US had clearly achieved its short term goal of undermining the stability of the Soviet Union—and over the course of that historic year of 1989 it would become clear that Jimmy Carter and not Ronald Reagan deserved the most acclaim for bringing down the Soviet Union—it had accomplished this at the cost of a creating long term problems that America’s leaders apparently were quite comfortable in ignoring. What Benazir Bhutto was trying to tell George Bush back then was that America had succeeded in doing something that all previous Islamic fundamentalist leaders had not. They had given the Islamic terrorists working within the Mujahideen the belief that not even the mighty United States was impossible to overcome. Just as importantly, those small grassroots movements that would have been eviscerated by the might of the Soviets without US backing were now freely exporting their brand of Islamic terrorism, paid for by the massive profits being made from heroin trafficking. Just in case you aren’t paying attention: Those Just-Say-No guys inside the Reagan administration were regularly throwing their necks out of joint as they turned their heads to ignore the heroin trade because that money was going to the exact same place that your tax dollars went: the Islamic fundamentalist resistance to the big bad commies from Russia.

Frankenstein’s creature is perhaps one of the most misunderstood creations in fiction. The creature is not pure evil; in a sense his humanity outweighs his creators. Both Frankenstein and his creature commit evil acts, but which is the worst?