Said to have presided over something of a kleptocracy during her two terms as prime minister, Bhutto also, for all her railing against the mullahs, cut her deals with the religious parties and supported the Taliban's rise to power in neighboring Afghanistan. But during her tenure, she embraced the Taliban as the best hope of stabilizing Afghanistan and ending the Afghan civil war. She had written much of it herself. During Bhutto's second term, Pakistan was one of only three nations in the world to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate rulers of Afghanistan. To American women, Bhutto spoke the language of feminism , filling a void left by the absence of a female American counterpart to mirror her ascent to power in Pakistan. Time will tell whether Bhutto the icon comes to represent great courage or foolhardiness. Just two months ago, prompted by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Bhutto said of Pakistan's Islamist groups, "[T]hey don't believe in women governing nations, so they will try to plot against me, but these are risks that must be taken. Some suggest it was a bravery born of arrogance; that she believed she had been chosen for greatness. In her willingness to meet a violent death, Bhutto may give courage to other women, and convince them that it's worth risking their lives for the sake of future generations.
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