POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE GUARDIAN
It is a simple fact that Bhutto was following, at least to a considerable extent, an "American agenda."
I'm sure her doing this was not deliberate, but good people do sometimes end up serving bad purposes inadvertently.
She genuinely thought she understood what was best for Pakistan, but there is considerable reason to believe she was seriously mistaken.
From the American (read: Bush/Cheney) point of view, she was a tool, not a savior of democracy, but a contributor to more effective American policy in the region.
America wants Pakistan reduced to a quasi-occupied country, one where there is no effective objection to its policies in the region. Those policies include the free run of American special forces through large parts of the country, spreading insensitive brutality in countless villages.
Right now the only thing standing between Pakistan and this status is Musharraf.
As for democracy, a meaningful version of it is a long way off in such a backward economy married to backward ways.
Bhutto offered only the gloss of democracy to a situation inherently uncomfortable with it.
Musharraf is trying to do something along the lines of Ataturk in Turkey, while keeping the country's integrity, a mighty battle when you have the full force of Washington's propaganda and influence attacking and undermining you.
I wish Pakistan nothing but the best, and I'm pretty sure that doesn't include America's special forces thugs ranging over the landscape terrorizing people.