Senator Obama burnishes his VP nomination credentials.
...well, he's certainly not going to get nominated for *President* if he keeps saying things like this.
By Moe Lane Posted in 2008 — Comments (67) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Senator Barack Obama will be making a speech today in which he will threaten a sovereign nation with preemptive, unilateral invasion if it does not act to the satisfaction of the executive branch of the government of the United States. Amazing how quickly perspective changes when it's you doing it, huh?
Obama vows to hunt down terrorists
By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Wednesday that he would possibly send troops into Pakistan to hunt down terrorists, an attempt to show strength when his chief rival has described his foreign policy skills as naive.
The Illinois senator warned Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf that he must do more to shut down terrorist operations in his country and evict foreign fighters under an Obama presidency, or Pakistan will risk a U.S. troop invasion and losing hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid.
"Let me make this clear," Obama said in a speech prepared for delivery at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. "There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al-Qaida leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will."
The speech isn't up yet, but the Obama campaign unaccountably shopped excerpts around for it, including to the AP (who promptly turned it into a subtle pro-Hillary piece). "Why 'unaccountably'?", I hear some cry? Well, let us peruse this map:
Fellow-Republicans and Scoop Jackson Democrats may excuse themselves at this point: I'm confident that all y'all grok. The rest of you, please read on. There may be a quiz later.
OK, so let's walk through this, slowly. Senator Obama has articulated a strategy for Pakistan. One that Pakistan is not going to like, as it violates their sovereignty, insults their existing institutions, and generally pushes them around. Fine. The Senator's running for President of the United States of America, not President of Pakistan: we expect him to put our interests first, no problem.
Here's where the complications arise. Look at the countries that border Afghanistan. We have:
Turkmenistan. Repressive dictatorship, according to both Freedom House and Human Rights Watch. The slight thaw in the country is just that: slight. Not nearly enough to justify putting US troops at their logistical mercy.
Uzbekistan. Even more repressive dictatorship, according to FH and HRW. We had an airbase there, but we had to leave after we asked one too many questions about the Andijan Massacre. You may remember that one, Senator Obama: it was quite the cause celebre among the progressives, at least until it could no longer be used as a weapon against the Bush administration. Not that this would stop a hypothetical Obama administration from going back there, and making a deal.
Tajikistan. Repressive. FH gives it a marginally better grade than HRW.; neither likes its treatments of religious minorities and/or women. There's also the minor detail that making a deal with Tajikistan would be pointless anyway: it's a landlocked nation, too.
The People's Republic of China. Unique. They'd be happy to accommodate us, of course. Also of course, the price would be to shaddap about Kyoto, shaddap about their factory system, shaddap about Tibet and shaddap about their ongoing "reconciliation" with Formosa. No, we'd have to stop calling it "Taiwan", actually.
Pakistan. Gee, these guys suddenly aren't looking all that bad, huh? We'll get back to them in a minute.
Iran. The people are nice; the regime they're stuck under isn't. In fact, said regime is everything that the more frothy members of the Left like to accuse the Bush administration of being: fundamentalist, apocalypse-obsessed, homophobic*, misogynistic lunatics who start to dribble when the word 'Jew' comes up. Also bear in mind that the Senator's uncritical willingness to meet with the lunatic-in-Chief who either heads or fronts for that regime is what got him into this mess in the first place.
So. Now that we've gone over the geography, let's sum up. We have significant troop strength in Afghanistan. Senator Obama thinks that we should have even more troops there. He wants them, in fact, so that he can invade Pakistan. Pakistan is the country that we are currently depending on for logistical support, because all the other choices are worse. The end result? If Pakistan withdraws that support, we're left with the following options:
1). Make a deal with another country bordering Afghanistan, all of which are run by distasteful regimes who will want very distasteful concessions;
2). Bug out of Afghanistan itself;
3). Write off the troops that are in Afghanistan;
4). Invade Pakistan.
Aren't those just fun options to have? Just the sort of choices you want to see pop up in the new decade. You know, Senator Obama, I care very little for your colleague and rival Senator Hillary Clinton - but she pegged you with that "naive" thing, but good.
I'm pretty certain that her cartography skills surpass yours, too.
*Although, oddly, it's apparently easier to be transgendered in Iran than it is to be homosexual. Not "easy"; just easier.