Weekday Squib: Benazir takes a leaf out of Osama’s book

Tapeworms and TV shows

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Benazir Bhutto reveals her campaign strategy in the wake of last week’s bomb blasts at her Karachi parade:

But we do not want to be reckless. We do not want to endanger our leadership unnecessarily, and we certainly don’t want to risk potential mass murder of my supporters. If we don’t campaign, the terrorists have won and democracy is set back further. If we do campaign, we risk violence. It is an extraordinary dilemma.

We are now focusing on hybrid techniques that combine individual and mass voter contact with sharp security constraints. Where people have telephones, we can experiment with taped voice messages from me describing my issue positions and urging them to vote. In rural areas we are contemplating taped messages from me played regularly on boom boxes set up in village centers. Instead of the traditional mass caravans of Pakistani politics, we are discussing the feasibility of “virtual caravans” and “virtual mass rallies” where I would deliver important campaign addresses to large audiences all over the four provinces of Pakistan. [WSJ]

Doesn’t this sound suspiciously like how Bin Laden and Zawahiri have been campaigning over the last few years? Similar dilemmas call for similar strategies. And ironies are delicious. But it’s Musharraf who is best placed in these matters—not content with using his control of the airwaves to ‘take the nation into confidence’ every now and then, not content with being a regular guest on a talk show featuring—what else?—him, he is planning to even host his own show.