On Benazir Bhutto's Assassination

The details are still emerging of this horrific event, but we can make some significant conclusions.

How will this effect the PPP, Bhutto's political party? They no longer have a leader. There are leaders within the party who could take over (their names escape me), but I don't know if they have international democratic recognition.

What about Nawaz Sharif, the other internationally recognized democracy activist and political candidate? This will certainly boost his popularity. Also, this is likely to fracture voters in Pakistan, who were mostly united behind Bhutto.

Will this boost the chance of democracy? Bhutto's been martyred, and is likely, at least for the short term, to boost the calls for reform in Pakistan

Then again, one could look at this the opposite way. The attack could give President Musharraf an excuse to call for martial law.

The other question to ask: Who carried out the assassination?
Was it Islamists?
Was it the Pakistani Intelligence Service?
Was it one of her political rivals?
Was it Musharraf?

We can definitely say this: This will complicate the U.S.'s work in the Middle East.