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Thread: Obama and Pakistan

  1. #1
    Evil Sadist Member discovery1's Avatar
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    Default Obama and Pakistan

    Woah, Obama says he'd be willing to go after targets in Pakistan without consulting their government

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default...-8-2007_pg7_16

    Comments? Seems like a good way to destabilize our ally, although his openness is impressive.


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  2. #2
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by discovery1
    Woah, Obama says he'd be willing to go after targets in Pakistan without consulting their government.
    As I understood it, he never said anything about "not consulting." His line was that if we had actionable intelligence, and Pakistan refused to act, we would. A subtle distinction, but an important one.

    "Destabilize our ally"? Interesting way of looking at things. OBL's been camping out in their Road Warrior-esque backyard since 2002 onward. They can't or won't do anything about it. While we've been distracting ourselves in Iraq, the man behind the murders of thousands of Americans has been a resident of a country that receives a billion dollars a year of U.S. aid.

    Allies, indeed.

    -edit-

    Actual quote, just so's we're all on the same page:

    "I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and (Pakistani) President (Pervez) Musharraf will not act, we will."
    Last edited by Lemur; 08-05-2007 at 04:48.
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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    The fact that he'd do so is no surprise- I think most other candidates would as well. The "rookie" mistake in all of this is publicly announcing that you'll do so. By publicly announcing that you intend to violate Pakistan's sovereignty if they don't do what you want them to fuels anti-American sentiments in the country and will only make it harder to get more cooperation with the Pakistani government.

    The criticism as I understand it isn't that he would do so (although the kook left fringe may criticize him there too), but that he's openly blabbing about it just to try and look tough on security. I'm no Obama fan, and this doesn't help that view at all.
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiahou
    I'm no Obama fan, and this doesn't help that view at all.
    Oh, more of a Hillary man, then? Little did I know you were seriously considering Obama, um, ever.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    Oh, more of a Hillary man, then? Little did I know you were seriously considering Obama, um, ever.
    Atm, I honestly think Hillary might be the most competent of the Democrat candidates.... sad, I know.
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    Member Member KafirChobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Lemur, well .... you got it right. All the candidates (RNC or DNC) would agree with Obama - but, it is one of the Goldwater moments where the less truth told - the better to attack an opponent.

    When Goldwater ran (1964) i was 17, married with a child and of course had no voice. Except to pass out his opinion - which was: If we go to war then use every means possible to protect our troops (cause I knew I would be one) and achieve victory, or withdraw and negotiate with the Vietcong - the enemy (Uncle Ho, whom the USA had made agreements with for them to fight the Japs in WWII - which Truman chose to ignore because of Marshall). Regardless, Obama sounds like the common mans Goldwater in regard to asking the military to attack our real enemy and not one conjectured.

    Basic rules of warfare for a nation:
    1) to protect borders, when attacked.
    2) to protect economic interests when diplomatic means fail (ie, Japs attacked PH for that reason).
    3) to acquire, anything they a leader believes he can get away with - Hitler, Dubya, etc.
    Beyond those principles we enter into the factors of imperialism and the spin to justify a nations grab for $$$$$$$, land and prestige.

    Not that Obama is above any of these factors - look to whom is actually sponsoring him, but to each fool his own.

    I like what Obama says - am just curious about whether it is real, or if he is being led (ala carte Reagan).
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    The Usual Member Ice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Brilliant, Obama, just brilliant. Out of Iraq and into Pakistan. So good.



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    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Or in MTW, 0 acumen levels.

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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Ice
    Brilliant, Obama, just brilliant. Out of Iraq and into Pakistan. So good.
    He didn't say out of Iraq, just into Pakistan.
    Therapy helps, but screaming obscenities is cheaper.

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    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Blodrast
    He didn't say out of Iraq, just into Pakistan.
    Sen. Obama's exact words (from here ):

    "...When I am president, we will wage the war that has to be won, with a comprehensive strategy with five elements: getting out of Iraq and on to the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan; developing the capabilities and partnerships we need to take out the terrorists and the world's most deadly weapons; engaging the world to dry up support for terror and extremism; restoring our values; and securing a more resilient homeland...."
    Be well. Do good. Keep in touch.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by KukriKhan
    Sen. Obama's exact words (from here ):
    Ok, ok, fair enough, I was just being cheeky.
    Therapy helps, but screaming obscenities is cheaper.

  12. #12
    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Blodrast
    Ok, ok, fair enough, I was just being cheeky.


    This far away from the Primaries, and the elections, most of the candidates are making kind of general statements, so they're not pinned down on a position this early (a position they might want to change by November '08). By this time next year, whoever gets picked to run for the 2 major parties will get their speeches of today gone over by the opposition for 'flip-flops'.

    IMO, Obama is gambling early, trying to strike out on his own, building the persona: "I'm my own man. I don't toe the party line." I wonder if he'll be a 3rd party candidate if he fails to win the Dem ticket. Or if he'll finally cave-in and accept VP behind a party regular, like a good little soldier.
    Be well. Do good. Keep in touch.

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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re : Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Ice
    Brilliant, Obama, just brilliant. Out of Iraq and into Pakistan. So good.
    I would say so too.

    I understand that Musharraf is perhaps the lesser of two evils, and that there are considerations of realpolitik and that the precarious situation in Pakistan must be taken into account and blahblahblah, but really...

    Oh, and thanks for a Pakistani link, Discovery1. It's interesting to read it from their perpective.
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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Anyone else think it's ironic that with Obama positioning of himself as the anti-Bush (and calling Hillary Bush-lite) that he now finds himself advocating unilateral military action to show how tough he is on terrorism?

    Btw, I love that article disco.
    Last edited by Xiahou; 08-06-2007 at 00:40.
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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re : Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiahou
    Anyone else think it's ironic that with Obama positioning of himself as the anti-Bush (and calling Hillary Bush-lite) that he now finds himself advocating unilateral military action to show how tough he is on terrorism?
    Ah, but the difference is not in unilateralism, but in judgement of target.
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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    If you want to engage with Pakistan learn to play cricket...
    Our genes maybe in the basement but it does not stop us chosing our point of view from the top.
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    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Papewaio
    If you want to engage with Pakistan learn to play cricket...
    Here, Here!

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    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    To take unilateral action in a foreign Country? Well, nothing new, all countries did and do it. The Israeli did it (Entebbe, Munich killers, Eichman), the French (Rainbow Warrior, Carlos, Kolwesi), US (Granada, Panama, etc) etc. That is the reason we do have Special Forces...
    The problem with theses action is when they failed or where not so legitimate…
    To say it publicly is Political uncorrect, but he will survive…

    Uncle Ho, whom the USA had made agreements with for them to fight the Japs in WWII” : Err and the French in the immediate after WW2… Just a foot note…
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  19. #19
    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiahou
    Anyone else think it's ironic that with Obama positioning of himself as the anti-Bush (and calling Hillary Bush-lite) that he now finds himself advocating unilateral military action to show how tough he is on terrorism?
    Call it what ever you like, Obama is absolutely correct. You talk to your enemies when possible and you attack them in thier safe haven.

    He is getting slammed for this and it amazes me. We should be at the table right now talkint to Iran beyond Iraq security and see if we can come to an agreement. Just like we should have talked to Saddam directly and Kim.

    And if and when that dosent work out we attack them with maximum force and remove any potential threat permantely. These candy asses running for president should all be putting forth thier supplemental budget plans now for munitions for the continuous bombing of Pakistans tribal region.

    And thier diplomatic context of dictating to Pakistan when our troops will or will not go in and how long the bombing will last.

    The idiot Bush got us into a global war, and the half assed conduct of it will be our end. Obama at least gets the fact that global war involves a global approach, and that means more diplomacy, and more killing.
    There are few things more annoying than some idiot who has never done anything trying to say definitively how something should be done.

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  20. #20

    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    What a silly bugger .
    Obama really should think before he speaks .

    developing the capabilities and partnerships we need to take out the terrorists and the world's most deadly weapons; engaging the world to dry up support for terror and extremism
    "I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and (Pakistani) President (Pervez) Musharraf will not act, we will."
    It is not that Musharraf will not act it is that he cannot act , neither can any partner that may replace him .
    Perhaps in the very very long term something can be achieved , but as events in Afghanistan and Pakistan(and Iraq) have shown acting even on actionable intelligence has a very very high tendancy to backfire very badly and increase support for terrorism and extremism rather than dry it up .
    I really wonder why the Pentagon did a report on dealing with the Pashtun tribal areas and the importance of not attacking even with solid intelligence if people in power (or seeking power) choose to ignore it entirely .

  21. #21
    Senior Member Senior Member English assassin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    It is not that Musharraf will not act it is that he cannot act , neither can any partner that may replace him .
    Well, Obama might know that, and just be being polite.

    Not having read this pentagon report I don't know what it had to say on the "tribal areas", but they seem to me to present the same problems as Afganistan (funnily enough) Sudan and the various other failed states. And so what exactly do you do? Because accepting that they "cannot" be governed isn't an answer. If we took that attitude Scotland would still be a howling wasteland.

    Yes, well, moving on...

    Behind the scenes I think there is something to be said for telling Musharraf he can't have it both ways. Either these areas are part of Pakistan, in which case can he get them into order, or they are not, in which case he can't very well complain if the US bombs them. Not that I expect that bombing will do much good, but before I get too worried about "a very very high tendancy to backfire very badly and increase support for terrorism and extremism rather than dry it up " I'd have to be persuaded that these crazies actually CAN get any more crazy. Which I am not too sure about. IIRC they have about a 2000 year history of being madmen who make a living killing foreigners, when they aren't too busy killing each other, so in this case I really don't wholly buy into the idea that its all a protest about Coca Cola, Marilyn Monroe, or 1000lb bombs. Palestinians, yes. Pashtuns, no.

    What we really need is a local strong man we can arm to the teeth and get to impose some sort of rule in these areas. Hmm, sounds familiar.
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    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishAssassin
    ...What we really need is a local strong man we can arm to the teeth and get to impose some sort of rule in these areas. Hmm, sounds familiar.
    Indeed.

    So, it's your opinion that, 4 years from now (10 years after 9-11), we will have come full circle to conventional diplomatic solutions for the world's hot-spots (Africa, middle-east, etc)? This, after trying yet again, to reinvent the foreign policy wheel?

    If so, I cannot say I disagree. But what a sad prospect, after so many lives lost, money spent, effort expended.
    Be well. Do good. Keep in touch.

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    Senior Member Senior Member English assassin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by KukriKhan
    Indeed.

    So, it's your opinion that, 4 years from now (10 years after 9-11), we will have come full circle to conventional diplomatic solutions for the world's hot-spots (Africa, middle-east, etc)? This, after trying yet again, to reinvent the foreign policy wheel?

    If so, I cannot say I disagree. But what a sad prospect, after so many lives lost, money spent, effort expended.
    Those would be the conventional diplomatic solutions in use since, oh, I don't know, the Roman Empire?

    Yes. (Oh no. I guess that makes me a conservative, in the true sense, on this issue)

    Still, P. J. O'Rourke will be happy that we Gave War A Chance.
    Last edited by English assassin; 08-07-2007 at 10:13.
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    I turns out there are no Al Qaeda safe havens in Pakistan, so all of this kerfluffle was for nothing. Turns out the National Intelligence Estimate is wrong, too.

    Thank goodness the Pakistani ambassador could set us all straight on the subject.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    Thank goodness the Pakistani ambassador could set us all straight on the subject.
    Yes thank goodness tax money can keep being paid to countries that harbor terrorists.

    Washington - In the three years after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. military aid to Pakistan soared to $4.2 billion, compared to $9.1 million in the three years before the attacks - a 45,000 percent increase - boosting Pakistan to the top tier of countries receiving this type of funding.


    Its not in pakistans intrest to capture bin laden or the taliban. If they do the money dries up. its a dirty little Bush secret....

    Obama is right, either they clean them out or we do.
    There are few things more annoying than some idiot who has never done anything trying to say definitively how something should be done.

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  26. #26

    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Now this would seem a bit hypocritical of the US, wouldn't it ?
    First we're giving you a bucketload of money, and then we're bombing you...
    That doesn't make any sense. If they're "the enemy", don't give them money. If they're not the enemy, don't threaten to attack them.

    I understand cases where giving money to your "enemy" makes sense, such as North Korea, where hopefully that money goes to help the poor people who are starving, and the reason you're giving it is because their fearless leader needs to save face. I get that. But this is nowhere near the same case...
    Therapy helps, but screaming obscenities is cheaper.

  27. #27
    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Blodrast
    Now this would seem a bit hypocritical of the US, wouldn't it ?
    First we're giving you a bucketload of money, and then we're bombing you...
    That doesn't make any sense. If they're "the enemy", don't give them money. If they're not the enemy, don't threaten to attack them.

    I understand cases where giving money to your "enemy" makes sense, such as North Korea, where hopefully that money goes to help the poor people who are starving, and the reason you're giving it is because their fearless leader needs to save face. I get that. But this is nowhere near the same case...
    The problem has always been the backward nature of U.S. foreign policy since Wilson. The U.S. has embraced the "super power" role and all its trappings and sadly so has the population. To the point where some even believe its devine mandate (**cough** Cheney/Bush **cough**).

    The U.S. constitution makes no provision for foriegn policy, it dosent make a distinction between it and domestic policy. We do have founding fathers who did give us a sniff of direction:


    Jefferson in his 1801 inaugural address: "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations- entangling alliances with none."

    George Washington "Act for ourselves and not for others," by forming an "American character wholly free of foreign attachments."

    Source: Written by Ron Paul.

    We have made a major mess of foreign relations with our payouts and wars of ideology, and while I am not a big obama fan he at least gets the notion that if your going to war you go to total war, find the enemy and kill him.

    Not pay his hosts money for thier partial assistance.
    There are few things more annoying than some idiot who has never done anything trying to say definitively how something should be done.

    Sua Sponte

  28. #28

    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Well, thinking about it a bit more (I'm trying to be as objective as I can here, I don't get off on US-bashing), I can see how sometimes a combination of stick and carrot can be useful... but, frankly, I fail to see how this is the case. If any of you guys can figure out a way to interpret it like that, I'm all ears (well, eyes, in this case).

    I can see a situation like this: "We'll help you if you get those bastards". And you help them, and you help them, and they don't come through. And then you say: "You up, now we'll bomb you". *scratches head* Seems to me like this loses you money, AND goodwill.

    Then what would a good strategy be ? Keep paying them off until they deliver - or, more accurately, hoping that they will, eventually, deliver ? What if they don't ? You end up more the fool, and with your money given away.

    Bomb them from the start ? I won't even get into this, it's wrong and stupid for too many (obvious, you'd think, after the last 5-6 years) reasons.

    Bomb them and then give them money, to help them rebuild, and as some compensation, etc ? That kinda worked with WW2, but things were very different, and nations were actually at war (unlike this half-assed non-declared pseudo-war); would it work in such cases ?

    Hmm, how about some joint operations on their (Pakistan's) territory, US troops allied with Pakistani troops, trying to weed out the bad guys ? (The emphasis is on joint). Would they go for that, or would they deem it as an unacceptable loss of face/sovereignty ?
    So far, this looks to me like the best scenario I could think of, at least right off the top of my head...

    What do you guys think ?
    Last edited by Banquo's Ghost; 08-08-2007 at 15:58.
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    Come to daddy Member Geoffrey S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama and Pakistan

    Musharraf has been trying to appeal to both sides for some time now, and he's struggling. Pakistan is not an ally, and Musharraf is only such as long as it serves his personal interests. Ideally Pakistan as a whole would in public be left well alone by any US government, working together at high levels without implying too close a friendship; as is the US can't achieve its aims there through direct actions nor through the government, because they're too clearly involved with the US that it cripples their public support.
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