Famous American Crime Novelist Elmore Leonard Dies ! At the Same Time, Ex-Military Coup Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf is Sentenced to Death for the Benazir Bhutto Assassination!
How in God’s name can I, a fiction writer, connect the death of the most famous American crime writer Elmore Leonard, who died in Detroit at the age of 87 with the Pakistani Court indictment of Musharraf?
Elmore Leonard was the master of writing about American crime, murder and corruption in over 43 novels. As many of you know, some of his famous books became major movie hits, including “Get Shorty”, “52 Pick-Up” and countless others.
If Leonard still been alive he might have considered the following scenario: Wealthy daughter becomes prominent political leader of her country. She witnesses the hanging of her more famous father. The daughter, brothers and mother are placed in ten years of prison detention. Daughter leaves her native Pakistan to become cum laude at Harvard College, Harvard Law School and Oxford College. She then becomes Prime Minister of Pakistan—first woman. She then is thrown out by military coup. Her husband goes to prison for corruption for 11 years. He is released then becomes Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Btw, after having been Prime Minister twice and overthrown by military coup, she is finally assassinated.
Benazir Bhutto’s life and death is replete with corruption, military coups, internment, exile, re-emergence and then assassination.
Leonard would have loved this story line. But alas, Pakistan was not his beat.
However, I knew Benazir Bhutto quite well.
I also knew the father of the Pakistani Intelligence/military –Yaqub Kahn much better. Kahn was the man who selected and appointed all of his subsequent underlings—General Zia, General Musharraf, etc
Why then am I writing this blog?
On August 20, 2013, ex-general, ex-Prime Minister Musharraf was indicted for the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto by Musharraf’s old rival, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry.
Most people in Pakistan, consider the charge of murder, based on the testimony of a professional lobbyist, Mark Siegel, (an ex-Carter Jewish Community Liasion Officer) to be nonsense and motivated by political revenge.
History: Musharraf ruled Pakistan after overthrowing the present incompetent, corrupt leader Nawaz Sharif. He voluntarily gave up his position as leader of Pakistan and left to London and Dubai. He returned to Pakistan, on his own free will in order to clear his name. Musharraf had been warned by his senior generals, former aides, not to return to his homeland. Nevertheless, he wanted to return to Pakistan in order to save it from what he felt, and I believe, will be inevitable chaos.
Q: Why should you be interested in this long distance injustice?
A: The issue of military coups is paramount in today’s news. We just witnessed a military coup a few weeks ago in Egypt. In many minds, there is a military coup which has been ongoing in Syria. Libya was ‘freed’ by a ‘revolution’ [read USA military coup] through armed insurrection. Therefore, military coups have become the topic of the year.
Saudi Arabia, Israel, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, all support the Egyptian military coup against the ambiguous , ‘quasi-maybe-yes-maybe-no-definitive non-policy‘ of Obama. Erdogan of Turkey just jailed the Chief of the entire Turkish Military along with thirty or more senior military officers to prevent a military coup. Good luck there, Erdie.
However, the most interesting part of the Pakistani coup-counter-coup, corruption-counter –corruption “Leonardian saga” is the portrayal of Benazir Bhutto.
Throughout there is an extremely murky history of family corruption and then father hung, daughter assassinated. Then her pathetic husband was jailed for it [11 years]; after which her he, AsifAli Zardari, was ‘elected Prime Minister of Pakistan—Benazir has been portrayed as the “Daughter of Destiny”[her autobiography].
No one, including the nefarious Kennedy family [Joseph sr, Jack, Bobby, Jacqueline] nor the Clinton Clan [Hillary, Slick Willy, Brothers Rodham, Huma Abedin] can match the incredible efforts that Benazir undertook to portray herself as more virtuous than a copper penny and less corrupt than Boss Tweed.
She was political corruption personified, in all it’s manifestations.
I knew her well.
At Harvard, I had attended a Social Psychology class with her [Dr H.Kelman]. I found her to be exceedingly narcissistic, childish, uninformed about political science and international relations. She lied, manipulated and generally was what we call in psychiatry a major pain in the ass who hogged most of the time and class energy iterating the injustices committed against her ‘wonderful father’.
Needless to say, I quickly explained the facts of life, and set very tight limits on her… which of course, she resented.
What she called me in return has to be translated from Urdu.
However, I had a similar occasion, decades later, to deal with her on a more professional level after she was deposed as Prime Minister, again for a legacy of corruption that exceeded time and patience. There in front of a former partner, Dr Zalmay Khalizad, she continued her life-intermezzo of lying, vehemently denying Zal’s correct assertion that she had helped the Taliban by creating the thousands of Madrasses in Pakistan and Afghanistan in which the Taliban had trained the future ‘suicide bombers’.
She would always implore us to understand her ‘predicament’ and invoke her ‘national security naivite’ despite the fact that she had been in national security for thirty or more years. But the final injustice in the Musharraff indictment is the false testimony of Michael Siegal—a paid henchman of the Pakistani government who worked as ‘Hustler and Pimp’ for them. He would do their bidding for the ‘Pimp Price’ of $420,000 on behalf of his firm Locke Liddell Strategies.
Sidebar: Other ‘johns’ using the pimping service of Mark Siegal are Financial Planning Coalition [$100,000]; Friedkin Group [$30,000]; Houston Firefighters Relief & Retirement [$20,000]; Healthways Inc. [80,000$].
Don’t forget America , we are paying for this ‘special interest whorehouse ‘ in Washington DC. Politicians and Lobbyists—nothing more than “pimps and prostitutes’.
What do I make of this entire case?
I will say the following:
I will say the following:
Ex-NSA Director, Ex-CIA Director, General Michael Hayden, agrees with me in that Bhutto was killed during a gun and bomb attack as she left a rally in Rawalpindi. General Musharraf and General Hayden both corroborated the fact that it was Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban who had her killed.
In turn, our CIA effectively retaliated against Mehsud in a drone attack.
At that time, Musharraf was cleared of all charges, except by the corrupt judicial branch of his arch enemies –the lawyers and the Chief Justice. All of whom, were effective in pretening that civil law would prevail and forced Musharraf to leave Pakistan.
I think the lesson for us Americans is clear.
Let us get out of the way in military coups where the basic story lines don’t fit the particular dynamic of that country. For us to think that we can impose democracy or liberal ideology on South Asia or the Middle East is at best a false hope propagated by intellectual novitiates like Frank Fukuyama or malevolent neocons [Wolfowitz, Abrahms, etc.], disposable Tsarinas—Benazir Bhutto or even Mrs. Gandhi [who was killed by her Sikh bodyguard].
America must concern herself with America.
For the most part, failed states, like Pakistan and even India, want only one thing from us— money, and the chance to go to our graduate schools.
I think that the money we spend overseas should go back to our own failed states—Mississippi, Alabama, Michigan, California---and failing counties --- so that our own citizens can get a fair chance at a college education or better yet-- a decent living.
Or as Elmore Leonard would say:
"Keep your exclamation points under control!!!"
"Keep your exclamation points under control!!!"
"Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip."