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Bhutto's American Friends

11:21 AM, Dec 28, 2007 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Arianna Huffington has posted a rather moving elegy for her late and long-time friend Benazir Bhutto:

The world is debating the political fallout from Benazir Bhutto's assassination -- from fear of chaos in Pakistan to the impact of her death in Iowa. There is already no shortage of analysis about the national security implications of her death, but I want to write about the young woman I met in England before she became a player on the world stage.

She was at Oxford. I was at Cambridge. And by a strange coincidence I became president of the Cambridge Union and she became president of the Oxford Union. The anomaly of two foreign women heading the two unions meant that we ended up debating each other around England on topics ranging from British politics to broad generalities about the impact of technological advance on mankind.

I'm struck by how many Americans have offered these kind of personal anecdotes as a testament to Bhutto's character. She had written a diary at Slate, a blog at the Huffington Post, and apparently kept a correspondence with Mark Siegel--and this is the tip of the iceberg I'm sure. Christopher Hitchens offers a more even account, but he's no less troubled by her death (he, too, had personal history with Bhutto). Of course, not everyone is sad to see her go, but for all her faults, she was right on what mattered most--she was an ally in the war against Islamic extremism.