Impact from Bhutto death; Hope for the Giants?

Behind The News
January 2, 2008 1:19:21 PM PST
You do not have to be a pessimist to believe that the uncertainty in Pakistan after yesterday's assassination of Benazir Bhutto could well spell disaster for that part of the world. The dire predictions don't have to play out very much to envision utter chaos. If Bhutto was the only pro-democracy alternative for Pakistanis, and she's no longer in the picture, then what happens? Does Musharaff cancel the elections and declare a state of emergency, again? Does the hunt for Bin Laden, pathetic as it's been, get called off altogether? And take a look at the map -- I'll wait for a minute - and see where Pakistan is. Go ahead.

Done? Let's see, to the north is Afghanistan, to south is India, to the east and touching Pakistan a bit is China, and look what's to the west -- Iran.

Not exactly a part of the world that you'll find under the definition of mellow yellow. It's why the U.S. was backing Bhutto - perhaps too openly. A couple of days ago Al Qaeda sent the word out - stop Bhutto because she's just a tool of the U.S. And tonight Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the assassination of Ms. Bhutto.

We'll have the latest on the Pakistan situation tonight at 11, including the new "evidence" that shows Bhutto was killed not by two bullets to the neck but by cracking her head on the sunroof of the car she was riding in - and poking her out from -- when the suicide bomb went off.

Meanwhile, there are problems with Pakistan's phone and internet lines, and it's difficult for planes to get into the country. Many reporters are now stuck on tarmacs far away, waiting to be let in and report on what's going on there.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Marvell Scott (in for Scott Clark) with the night's sports, including a preview of tomorrow's Giants football game as they try to stop the Patriots from compiling the first undefeated season since 1972. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa (in for Liz Cho) and me, tonight at 11.

And a note: this column will be dark for the next few days, until Jan. 2. Happy New Year!

BILL RITTER


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