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The True Story of Benazir Bhutto

By Paul Sheldon Foote  Posted by Paul Sheldon Foote (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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Benazir Bhutto’s assassination on December 27, 2007 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan represents a tragic continuation of assassination politics in feudal Pakistan, a country whose wealthy political families accumulated vast land holdings, wealth, or political power serving the British Raj (British colonial reign of the Indian Subcontinent from 1858 – 1947).

The major American mass media have been generating stories filled with lies or misrepresentations.  These stories omit important facts critical for understanding the true story of Benazir Bhutto. 


The following are examples of some of the topics future researchers and historians can further explore, to provide an honest and thorough treatment of my Harvard University classmate’s attempts to reconcile Islamic, democratic, and Western values.

 On December 28, 2007, “Democracy Now!” provided some honest analyses.  Tariq Ali, a British-Pakistani historian and an editor of the New Left Review, noted:

Now, when the United States decided they wanted to put her back in there, they told her, we are going to whitewash you so clean no one will even know. And this is what the global media and networks have been doing. Look, I knew her well. I’m very upset that she’s dead. But the piety being displayed on the global media networks is beyond belief. You know, it’s as if there’s no past, no history in this country or its politicians.

The Charlie Wilson Connection

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On December 21, 2007, a film about Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Soviet Union, Charlie Wilson’s War appeared in theaters (and is reviewed here). This film is based upon a book by a “60 Minutes” television program producer, George Crile:  Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. On December 22, 2007, the History Channel then televised a documentary “The True Story of Charlie Wilson”. 


Prior to the airing of the History Channel’s documentary, Nancy deWolf Smith reviewed the documentary in “The Real Charlie Wilson” (The Wall Street Journal, December 21, 2007, page W10).  Some of her major points were:   

(a) Even a two-hour documentary on such a complex subject will have many holes in the story

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(b) There will be unintended consequences.  For example, the Afghans did not want Arabs coming to Afghanistan to join in the fight.  Americans and others insisted upon sending Arabs to Afghanistan to leave the impression of a Muslim jihad against Soviet communism.


Others have been writing their own details not covered in the book, the film, or in the documentary.  This is as it should be.  We need to know all relevant details to understand history.


The following is a partial list of the characters and countries involved in true story of Charlie Wilson and the successful campaign to drive the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan:


1. “Good Time” Charles Wilson, an anti-communist Texas Democrat who was passionate about whiskey and women.  In June 1980, while sitting in a hot tub in Las Vegas with several women, Wilson watched Dan Rather on “60 Minutes” in Afghanistan explaining the plight of the Afghans. 


2. Joanne Herring, anti-communist Texas socialite who encouraged Wilson to end the Cold War by causing the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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3. General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.  In 1977, General Zia-ul-Haq overthrew Benazir Bhutto’s father, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.  Zia jailed and executed Benazir Bhutto’s father.  In 1988, Zia, some of his generals, and the American ambassador died in a suspicious airplane crash.


4. Carol Shannon, a Texas belly dancer who performed in Egypt for Field Marshal Mohammed Abu Ghazala.  Afterwards, Egypt provided Soviet weapons to be used against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.


5. Israeli-modified Chinese weapons were smuggled into Afghanistan via Pakistan.

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Professor, California State University, Fullerton

After marriage to an Iranian lady in Tehran, Iran in 1968, I returned to Tehran in the summer of 1970 to work at the American Embassy. After earning an MBA from Harvard Business School, I (more...)

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