Obama and the Mideast: Pakistan
by Jerome Armstrong, Wed Aug 01, 2007 at 07:18:53 AM EDT
The lead is Obama 'would send troops into Pakistan'. Here's the quote that would substantiate the claim:
So, there's a caveat of saying "if we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets," before it's OK to launch a unilateral pre-emptive strike/invasion-- it's the smarter-stick of Obama rather than the dumb-club of Bush. But this is basically a continuation of the Bush-Cheney doctrine of endorsing unilateral pre-emptive military attacks abroad, lighter perhaps, but certainly not the mentality that would pull us out of the mideast quagmire.
Here's Marc Ambinder's beltway take:
That stance, one part of the multifacted counterrorrism strategy Obama unveils this morning, is tougher than the more considered approach of the Bush Administration, which has generally avoided antagonizing its ally in public.
...In endorsing pre-emptive, non-authorized terror raids in Pakistan, Obama is answering a threshold question about his willingness to risk international criticism in order to defend U.S. security interests.
I would agree that it it a threshold question: for those inside the beltway, like war proponants Pollock and O'Hanlon, who still think we can win in Iraq, it's a matter of showing you are not a weak Democrat; but for progressive Democrats that want a more peaceful leadership in the world shown by our next President, it fails the threshold of getting us out of picking fights in the mid-east, and discarding the Bush doctrine of unilateral pre-emptive attacks. If a unilateral pre-emptive strategy of attacking a 'target' is the doctrine, then why isn't Saudi Arabia, where Al Qaeda began and home to most of the 9/11 terrorists, also a potential target? The unilateral pre-emptive doctrine is profoundly un-american and anti-diplomatic in both its actions and ramifications.
The one thing this has done for Obama, is put him in the center, not Clinton, of the dialogue over what's going to happen next in the middle-east, and everyone is going to be reacting to his positions. For Richardson, who also didn't vote for the war, it's an opening to become the one candidate who did not vote for sending troops into Iraq and will pull completely out. For Edwards, it's an opportunity to further differentiate himself to the left of Obama. If this doesn't give the opening that Bill Richardson and John Edwards were looking for to criticize Obama directly, I don't know what does. Heck, even Clinton has the opportunity to move to the left of Obama over the issue of a the US launching a unilateral pre-emptive attack inside Pakistan. Because if Pakistan is game, why isn't Saudi Arabia as well?
Update [2007-8-1 13:8:22 by Jerome Armstrong]: I clarifiled the above mentioned "Bush doctrine" as that of a "unilateral pre-emptive attack" within another country, which Obama is clearly endorsing.
Update [2007-8-1 13:21:42 by Jerome Armstrong]: Clinton, on July 26th, Hillary against direct action, stated a non-unilateral position on Pakistan which differs from Obama's endorsement of unilateral pre-emptive attacks inside Pakistan:
At a fund-raising dinner arranged for her by the National Association of Pakistani-Americans, she rejected the suggestion by some US officials and lawmakers that the United States should conduct unilateral military operations in the tribal region to destroy alleged Al Qaeda and Taliban safe havens.
Such a move, she said, would not produce the desired results and would create new problems. Only a combined effort by the Pakistani and US troops could destroy militant hideouts in the area, she added.
Update [2007-8-1 13:42:15 by Jerome Armstrong]:Obama's speech is online now, and contrary to the Obama fans that don't want to believe the MSM's quotes, his position is very clear: