T Nation

Obama on Pakistan

I don’t understand the criticisms Obama has drawn because of his latest declaration. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6926663.stm

I mean, isn’t obvious by now that the “war on terror” should take place in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (and not Iraq)? We were told that Saddam had WMDs and that terrorists could get a hold of them, none of which were true. There were neither WMDs nor terrorists in Iraq. On the other hand, Pakistan has active nuclear heads and terrorists by the boatload. Matter of fact, most intelligence agencies think Ben Laden is in Pakistan

Moreover, Musharraf is every bit as evil as Saddam when it comes to dealing with political opponents. He bombs entire villages, kidnaps, tortures and jails everyone who disagrees with him. Yet, I don’t hear much outrage from Washington about “democracy” (or the lack thereof) in Karachi.

I think Obama’s statement was spot-on. Pakistan is a nest for terrorists of all kind. But there’s no focus on that unequivocal threat. Rather, there’s much talk about how Iran is filled with terrorists and how they’re close to acquiring nukes when that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Who agrees with Obama’s statements that Pakistan should be confronted? Personally, I believe pressure on Musharraf (and the Al-Sauds) would have made the world a lot safer than invading Iraq. Thoughts?

Some of the criticism is due to the fact that it seems to be disingenuous armchair quarterbacking.

Somehow I think he would be much more circumspect in his statements with regard to violating other nations’ sovereignty were he to actually have executive authority.

Pressure on Musharraf is not enough. Washington has been pressuring him and giving him money and weapons. None of this will do any good if the political will in Pakistan is not there. He is riding a fence trying to please both Washington and radicals in his own country.

[quote]Gkhan wrote:
Washington has been pressuring him and giving him money and weapons. [/quote]

What kind of pressure is that when you’re giving him money and weapons? Doesn’t that strike you as odd?

For pressure to work, you need consistency.

The primary criticism is coming from none other than his adversary Hillary Clinton. She sounds a lot like a neo-con doesn’t she?

[quote]lixy wrote:
Gkhan wrote:
Washington has been pressuring him and giving him money and weapons.

What kind of pressure is that when you’re giving him money and weapons? Doesn’t that strike you as odd?

For pressure to work, you need consistency.[/quote]

Not sure I’m understanding you. Weapons and money would be used to attack al-qaeda. How do you propose to defeat them? How would you pressure him?

[quote]lixy wrote:
I don’t understand the criticisms Obama has drawn because of his latest declaration. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6926663.stm

I mean, isn’t obvious by now that the “war on terror” should take place in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (and not Iraq)? We were told that Saddam had WMDs and that terrorists could get a hold of them, none of which were true. There were neither WMDs nor terrorists in Iraq. On the other hand, Pakistan has active nuclear heads and terrorists by the boatload. Matter of fact, most intelligence agencies think Ben Laden is in Pakistan

Moreover, Musharraf is every bit as evil as Saddam when it comes to dealing with political opponents. He bombs entire villages, kidnaps, tortures and jails everyone who disagrees with him. Yet, I don’t hear much outrage from Washington about “democracy” (or the lack thereof) in Karachi.

I think Obama’s statement was spot-on. Pakistan is a nest for terrorists of all kind. But there’s no focus on that unequivocal threat. Rather, there’s much talk about how Iran is filled with terrorists and how they’re close to acquiring nukes when that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Who agrees with Obama’s statements that Pakistan should be confronted? Personally, I believe pressure on Musharraf (and the Al-Sauds) would have made the world a lot safer than invading Iraq. Thoughts?[/quote]

Toppling, Mushareef could lead to a nation of lixy’s pals WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

No, thanks.

There has to be a way to get bin laden.

This isn’t it.

This is obama spiraling out of control because rodham hit close to the mark.

JeffR

No good can come from “confronting” Pakistan.

Rather, we should cut them loose.

[quote]JeffR wrote:
Toppling, Mushareef could lead to a nation of lixy’s pals WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

No, thanks.[/quote]

You grew up with several thousand pointed at your city and every other in the U.S.

You’d survive now, as you did then.

The types of people who control access to nuclear stockpiles are the same types for whom self preservation is the highest virtue. Devoted egoists, career politicians…

In other words, don’t try to sell me any of that “martyrdom” crap as justification for not permitting any Arab state to develop nukes.

Deterrence worked once, against a far more powerful foe. Would it work against a far weaker opponent? You betcha.

And then you would implement Harry Browne’s (famous libertarian commentator and presidential candidate) suggestion and funnel the bulk of military spending into the development of a solid, working, missile defense system.

It was originally Reagan’s idea, and it was a good one - in conception if not implementation.

We’d leave development to the private sector, not a government bureaucracy, and within 5 years, we’d likely have one. Then, there would no more worrying about nuclear threats, unrealistic as they might be.

[quote]vladsmicer wrote:
The primary criticism is coming from none other than his adversary Hillary Clinton. She sounds a lot like a neo-con doesn’t she?[/quote]

She is a damn neocon. No hyperbole, no exaggeration, that’s just the straight up truth.

Neocons will be safe in Hillary’s hands.

To be sure, keeping Musharraf’s regime in power is more important to US interests than confronting him about anything. The same could be said for the Saudis, since potential alternatives there could also be scary.

Side note, who thinks that Bin-Laden is still alive? I have my doubts. First, that anti-social maniac would be releasing a verifiable video release or press release as often as possible. On the tail side of that coin is that his death would be a come to martyr-ritaville call.

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:

Deterrence worked once, against a far more powerful foe. Would it work against a far weaker opponent? You betcha.

[/quote]

The most dangerous swordsman in the world is the man who has never wielded one, for you don’t know what he will do with it.

[quote]tveddy wrote:
Nominal Prospect wrote:

Deterrence worked once, against a far more powerful foe. Would it work against a far weaker opponent? You betcha.

The most dangerous swordsman in the world is the man who has never wielded one, for you don’t know what he will do with it.[/quote]

I’m confused. Do you mean to say that the US is the least dangerous nuke-swordsman in the world? As far as I know, it’s the only country that has ever used nukes in a war.

[quote]lixy wrote:
tveddy wrote:
Nominal Prospect wrote:

I’m confused. Do you mean to say that the US is the least dangerous nuke-swordsman in the world? As far as I know, it’s the only country that has ever used nukes in a war.[/quote]

I think he was speaking about the cold war, not WWII.

[quote]Gkhan wrote:
I think he was speaking about the cold war, not WWII.[/quote]

Oh, I see…we’re supposed to erase Hiroshima and Nagasaki from our memories for his analogy to work.

I totally agree with Tveddy’s point. I was just pointing out the flaw in his argument.

[quote]lixy wrote:
Gkhan wrote:
I think he was speaking about the cold war, not WWII.

Oh, I see…we’re supposed to erase Hiroshima and Nagasaki from our memories for his analogy to work.

I totally agree with Tveddy’s point. I was just pointing out the flaw in his argument.[/quote]

Its not that i trust my own government, its that I trust my own government to not use them against me.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki where only displays of awesome power. It was a lever used to derail the axis of evil. The US is one of the few nuke wielding countries that doesn’t have a turbine wrapped so tight around its head it cant distinguish up from down. Poor desperate countries like Pakistan and N Korea are the ones that have very little to lose and def less likely to think about global reprecussions.

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:

You grew up with several thousand pointed at your city and every other in the U.S.

You’d survive now, as you did then. . . .

Deterrence worked once, against a far more powerful foe. Would it work against a far weaker opponent? You betcha. [/quote]

Lixy,

if you go back to the original post, Nominal was talking about the cold war.

If not, I was unaware that there were several thousand nuclear missiles pointed at our cities when we dropped the bombs on Japan. Crap, if that was the case, I’m glad we beat them to it.

The only reason to bring WWII into the argument about deterrence is to spew anti-American propaganda. We know we dropped a-bombs on Japan. In this conversation it is irreverent.

The one thing that Obama had going for him is he hasn’t been around long enough to have any kind of a history. Now that he is on the campaign trail we are getting to know him and people are finally waking up to the reality that he isn’t all that bright.

Pakistan is a house of cards, with a hundred million people and nuclear weapons. There are opponents of Musharaf in the government who want to make Pakistan a Taliban state. The Pakistani ISI were the ones who put the Taliban in power in Afghanistan.

So we do have to tread lightly with them. The last thing we need to do there is push too hard, cause the state to collapse and have someone walk off with a few hydrogen bombs.

We haven’t even got Iraq put back together yet, but Obama wants us to let it go to hell in a hand basket while simultaneously going into Darfur while busting up Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Why Obama or any of the other Democrats think that the jihadists in Iraq and elsewhere wouldn’t follow us into Darfur is beyond me.

We could not have invaded Afghanistan without the help of Pakistan. The Pakistani’s gave us Kalid Sheik Mohammad, the mand behind 9/11. So Musharaf is not Sadaam. Or to paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, Musharaf may be a son of a bitch but he’s OUR son of a bitch.

When we wanted to send weapons inspectors into Iraq Sadaam gave no cooperation. This is why we assumed he had them because he did nothing to convince us otherwise and he had used them in the past. The fact that he had used them on the Kurds and the Iranians proved he did have them. You have conveniently forgotten this fact Lixy.

For Obama to say that he would use nuclear weapons on the Pakistanis is stupid. Obama has poisoned any relationship he could have with them before he has even become president. If you think that the Iraq invasion inflamed sensitivities imagine what would happen if we started throwing nukes around.

Obama has consistantly put forward an ideology of not using the military until after we have been hit hard, then all of a sudden he comes out with using nukes in a country that has it’s own nukes. What I gather from that is one of his opinion poll focus groups said he was looking too much a wimp so he needed to toughen up his image.

True leadership is doing what you believe to be right and not worrying about opinion polls. Obama has failed this test in a big way.

[quote]Gkhan wrote:
Lixy,

if you go back to the original post, Nominal was talking about the cold war.

If not, I was unaware that there were several thousand nuclear missiles pointed at our cities when we dropped the bombs on Japan. Crap, if that was the case, I’m glad we beat them to it.

The only reason to bring WWII into the argument about deterrence is to spew anti-American propaganda. We know we dropped a-bombs on Japan. In this conversation it is irreverent.[/quote]

Drop it already. I think everybody knows what I was talking about but you. Read again the post I replied to by bringing in WWII.

The most dangerous swordsman in the world is the man who has never wielded one, for you don’t know what he will do with it.

If you still don’t get why I threw in the attacks on Japan into the mix, you’re really not trying hard enough. I agree 100% with the deterrence principle. I just pointed out that, in this particular case, applying the analogy of the “swordsman who never wielded one” isn’t proper.

Gee, you sound like a kid trying to pick a fight…