Friday, January 4, 2008

Meet The U2 Of Pakistan

I was saddened by the murder of Benazir Bhutto, even though the first time I saw her interviewed on Al Jazeera a few months ago, before I knew anything at all about her, I didn't like her. It was an emotional decision, but I felt like her words were patronizing and fake. She said something about "my people love me, and I am humbled by that." Blush, blush. False humility covering arrogance. Blech.

Then I began to watch the process of her pushing Musharraf into a coalition government, wondering, how the hell is that going to work? "Hey baby, take off your uniform and I'll be right lead Pakistan out of all of its troubles. You can sit on the couch and eat bonbons while I do it, k?" I didn't know at the time, that Condi Rice was directly behind Benazir, pushing her.

Of course, Condi is as delicate as a freight train, and lookie what she created by pissing off the asshole dictator that our conservative non-tax-n-spend government has been overpaying by bazillions of dollars for so many years. He managed a grimacing smile and then got rid of all the judges and lawyers and, uh, government, and declared martial law. Luv-er-ly. Condi, next time, go shoe shopping with Benazir instead.

Then Benazir was murdered (along with a bunch of other innocent people that nobody talks about), which was horrible and sad. I think that for many people, she represented hope for their country. She also was the first Arab woman to rule an Arab country. That's a big, big deal.

Too bad she also had to be corrupt. Now, I will say that I have only read about 30 articles about her. And I am still unsure as to whether the corruption charges against she and her husband were trumped up, as she and her husband and party say they are, or they are legitimate, as people like, well, the Swiss government say they are. I dunno. The jury is still out on that one.

Meanwhile, today I ran across a great article on the Huffington Post about the amazing Sufi-rock band named Junoon. Here's a little excerpt:

Dubbed the "Bono of South Asia," Salman Ahmad is a musician and founder of the Sufi-rock band, Junoon (Urdu for "obsessive passion"); an activist, who is a UN-appointed HIV/AIDS ambassador for South Asia, a medical doctor; a teacher, as an artist-in-residence at Queens College; a husband/father and a Muslim. I talked with Salman just after his performance at the Nobel Peace Prize concert and as tragedy struck in his homeland of Pakistan with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. What started out as a conversation about his life and social activism, turned into a need to talk about the current political situation and the lessons we can learn.
If you are at all interested in this story of a Pakistani, educated in America, moved back to Pakistan to be come a star, then wanted his sons to have the same educational experience he had in the US, so he moved back to the US, then please read this article and listen to the very personal experience he had with Benazir Bhutto, and his thoughts about her death, and the future of Pakistan.