This article was penned BEFORE the Bhutto Assassination
Plans by President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to attack Iran have been at least temporarily derailed by the mounting crisis in Pakistan. Not only is this important South Asia nation a key US ally in its conflict with anti-western Muslim groups (aka "the war of terror"), the US also planned to use three Pakistani air bases it now controls to launch air attacks against Iran.
I’ve been in regular contact with former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. She calls the situation "grim." On Friday, she was temporarily put under house arrest, preventing her from leading a mass demonstration in Islamabad. On Tuesday, she plans to lead a mass protest march from Lahore, to which she flew over the weekend, to Islamabad, mobilizing her party faithful and challenging the Musharraf regime.
Another important Pakistani party, Jamiat Islami, is also threatening mass demonstrations. Bhutto and other opposition leaders are calling on Musharraf to resign as military chief and run in fair, internationally supervised elections.