Personally, I am shocked and saddened by the murder of this very courageous woman, but I do find myself drawn to the question about whether or not true democracy is a viable and realistic goal in a country such as Pakistan.
This debate has been addressed by Jack's Newswatch, George Jonas and Peter Worthington among others.
How can democracy exist among the chaotic turbulence of such strong extremist factions within the country itself? Military rule may be the only path to temporary stability. Ironically, as Jonas pointed out, it was the pressure of the U.S. to end Musharraf's emergency measures that may have contributed directly or indirectly to Bhutto's assassination:
...Pressuring Pakistan to act out America's fascination with democracy is minimally naive. So is forcing Musharraf, who perches precariously at the edge of a precipice, to audition for a speaking part in a psychodrama called "elections" that Western liberals believe are therapeutically efficacious against every conceivable malady in the body politic. Democracy is strong medicine, every bit as miraculous as penicillin, but some cultures, like some patients, are allergic to it. The best medicine won't help allergic patients, and sometimes it might kill them...
What are the answers? Hard to say.
But holding up Western democracy as a panacea to the world's woes may not be a realistic solution.
At best, it is arrogantly simplistic and fails to adequately deal with the insidious cultural and religious realities.