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Xavier Hermosillo is the President of, a national Crisis Communications, Marketing, and Management firm he founded 23 years ago. He is a former political chief of staff, an award-winning reporter and photographer, and a former radio talk show host and TV commentator in Los Angeles. He has co-founded two publicly-traded companies where he served as a member of the Board of Directors and as the Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. He has also served as a Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission on police officer discipline cases, and holds degrees in Administration of Justice and Business and Communications. He can be reached at

December 30, 2007

The death of Benazir Bhutto is a tragedy for the entire world, and a lesson for Americans about real national leaders.

Isn't it puzzling what it takes to stir your soul and get you off the dime to do something - like writing this column again?

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto has done that. I am in mourning over her death and I want to share with you why she was one of a kind, one in a million, and why I admired her so much and now weep for her and for her loss, which affects each and everyone of us, whether you know it or not..

I have every reason in the world and plenty of excuses to explain why I have been away so long from writing these small epistles. I've had two knee replacements, I started another new company, I left a great corporate job to spread my wings yet again, and I have experienced the joys and wonders of my first grandchild.

It is the quashed potential, and now memory, of Benazir Bhutto that weighs heavy on me. She was just about everything you want to see in a world leader - bright, eloquent, charismatic, and above all - fearless! Hopefully, YOU will appreciate her willingness to die for her country and why that matters to us here in the U.S.

She represented probably the last opportunity for ending the growth of radical militants and extremists in the Pakistan region of the world. Saving Pakistan was her cause and it would have made America's life a lot easier in hunting down and killing those who want to come here and kill us on our own precious soil.

Bhutto was, in the embodiment of her entire being, the one person who could change the course of human events in the world. These comments of mine, and my feelings for her, have NOTHING to do with the war in Iraq or the debate about it. People in this country need to develop some intelligence in their one-track, politically-ignorant and vacuous minds when looking at world issues that have an impact on us here in the good old USA.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharaff, in my humble opinion, has been a Jekyll and Hyde
character on which the U.S. has had to rely in the fight against terrorism in Southern Asia. He is not a completely open and honest man and his abject failures as general of the Pakistan military, in a country where coups and bloodshed have been a mainstay, constitute an on-going danger to the free world.

It seems likely the killing of Bhutto will cement the military's grip on power for the near future, give Musharaff more justification for his declared state of emergency, and further create havoc in connection with the planned January 8 national election. Any hope of having free and fair parliamentary elections, with a strong choice OTHER than Musharaff, appears to have been crushed by the assassination.

The suspicion for Bhutto's death falls on either Musharaff, the radicals who want a Muslim-run state, or the country's inept and highly questionable intelligence services. Bhutto knew she was risking her life and two months ago, she sent long-time friend Mark Siegel an email foreshadowing security problems that ultimately led to her death.

She told her friend of 25 years in the October 26th email that Musharraf had refused the extra security precautions she sought. She said security was sporadic and erratic. The frequency jammers she requested to combat improvised explosive devices never materialized, as well as her pleas for police escorts and vehicles with tinted windows.

Imagine if the major American presidential candidates had asked for, and been denied, Secret Service protection. That is exactly what has happened here and the blood of Benazir Bhutto is on Musharaff's hands.

As we all have seen, the Bush administration had been working behind the scenes since last summer to encourage Bhutto to end her exile, take a major risk by returning to Pakistan, and then seek political compromise with President Musharaff, which he ultimately rebuffed, although he still tried to appear as being a team player for America's benefit.

With Bhutto now dead, and Pakistan's instability raising serious questions about who will keep its nuclear weapons under control, there are critical concerns about our country having one less reliable partner.

For most of her life, Bhutto has been willing to sacrifice her life for her country, just like our men and women in the military have been willing to sacrifice their lives for OUR country for generations. She believed in democracy and in standing up for her people, just like brave generations of Americans have stood up for our sometimes troubled, but great nation.

It's a shame we do not have anyone in our current presidential race that possesses the strengths of Benazir Bhutto. PLEASE don't suggest Hillary Clinton just because she's a woman. None of the men on any of our political party tickets have Bhutto's attributes.

Benazir was not just a powerful woman, nor was she simply an intelligent leader, and her charisma wasn't what defined her. Unlike just about ALL of our presidential candidates, who fail to directly answer the difficult questions of our time about the economy, or health care costs, or the loss of jobs to foreign nations, Benazir was one of a kind.

We haven't had such a rare combination of "Benazirian" attributes in a national leader in this country or on the planet for a very long time. Unfortunately, I am afraid it will be yet another decade or more before we're blessed with the likes of such a strong and committed jewel of a national political leader willing to die in the streets in order to preserve democracy for millions - both afar and indirectly, on our shores.