Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Attacking Pakistan is still a fucking dumb idea.

Further to my post on Senator Obama’s stunningly stupid comments about attacking Pakistan, Alexa Claire has made a comment refuting what I say. Needless to say with her cunning research techniques and eloquent prose, she has won me over to Obama’s point of view.

No, not really. Because Obama was talking total fucking crap and there is nothing that Alexa has said that makes a blind bit of difference. But there are a couple of her points that I would like to highlight:

"Your first error is in the second sentence. "According to the Telegraph he said...." So, instead of actually making an effort to learn what was actually said, you base your opinion on what it was one article on a website reports that he said."


Alexa, don’t patronise me by assuming you know what research I have done. I referenced one newspaper in the post. That is not to say that it was my sole source. In fact, Obama’s comments were met with hostility across the UK media – and quite right too. The Guardian, a left-wing newspaper who would normally praise Obama, wrote:

"Obama does ignorant and stupid too, it seems. Draw a deep breath and hope that, somewhere, somehow, calmer counsels prevail."


Left wing bloggers have also jumped on board the anti-Obama bandwagon – as this example shows, some of them see Bush as more moderate that Obama on this issue:

"It's been left to George W. Bush to ring up Musharraf to reassure them that the US "respects Pakistani sovereignty". God, he's such a soft touch that bloke. He hasn't launched a war for ages and now he's trying to stop other people getting stuck in! Damn hippy."


It is not just me who is worried about Obama’s political incompetence – it is the UK media, and also the blogosphere.

And don’t assume I haven’t read the speech – whilst I am not going to read everyone of the dull as dishwater political dirges that masquerade as campaign speeches in this seemingly infinite primary season, I did have a look at Obama’s speech. The same speech that, for reasons that defy understanding, you somehow feel excuses Obama’s crass behaviour. You quote Obama:

"If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will."


Then you say:

"Why don't you reread that last sentence? Read it again. Let it sink in. Now, what exactly are you against? Defending the country against the terrorists that attacked us?"


Erm, attacked you, Alexa. I live in the UK. Whilst the victims of 9/11 have my deepest sympathy, I cannot claim that I feel it was an attack on me.

But that last sentence is precisely what I object to, for fuck’s sake. Read the original post – it is this mind-numbingly crass statement from Obama that made me irate enough to write the post. Let me put this really simply. Musharraf not acting is not a good enough reason to put US troops into Pakistan without the permission of the government. This is not a black and white situation. There are serious implications of putting US troops into Pakistan without express permission. Look at some of the potential outcomes of President Obama attacking* Pakistan:

1.Musharraf is deposed by the Islamic fundamentalists in his country because he did not stop the US troops. We suddenly have another Islamic fundamentalist regime in the world that, like Iran, is deeply hostile to the West. And will condone terrorism. And will fund terrorism. And will make attacks on the US more likely.
2.Musharraf decides to fight the US troops to appease the fundamentalists. Suddenly the US has lost another key ally, and her over-stretched army is fighting not just in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also a fierce ground war in Pakistan. And the Pakistan government will fight far harder than the Iraqi government.
3. There is civil war in Pakistan as the fundamentalists try to seize power and as Musharraf resists them. The country descends into anarchy, and terrorists have free reign to plot and practise their next attacks.
4. Musharraf decides to attack India to raise popularity in his own country. Or the new Islamic fundamentalist regime decides to attack India to become popular. Which could well be a nuclear war.

Do you see what I have done there? I have looked at the consequences of Obama acting on his campaign pledge. And that is why I object so strongly to the utter toss spouted by the senator. Obama’s statement shows the same level of understanding of the international situation as a pre-schooler colouring maps of the world with edible crayons. There is no real difference between his gung-ho attitude to Pakistan and George W. Bush’s gung-ho attitude to Iraq. They both seem to exist in a world where they can take action against nation states without their being any sort of a downside. Obama’s comments do not seem to even entertain the carnage that might follow his actions against Pakistan.

Judging from your blog, Alexa, you are a supporter of Obama. Which is fair enough, there is a lot to like about the man. And you should certainly defend him against some of the more ludicrous claims the knuckle draggers of the US are making. But just because you support him doesn’t mean everything he says will be right. And the best thing you can do as a supporter is if he talks like a twat, shout about it. Send him a message saying "you are talking like a fucking idiot". Because that way you can change what he says and help to make sure he doesn’t make the same horrific blunder in Pakistan that Bush Junior made in attacking Iraq.

And please don’t come back and accuse me of being a supporter of one of the other candidates for President. I don’t have a preference but, for what it is worth, Obama is one of the better ones of a really bad bunch. But choosing a candidate from those running in this interminable US primary season is a bit like choosing the terminal disease that will kill me from a list of virulent cancers. Frankly, I don’t want any of them.

*And if he is sending troops into Pakistan without the permission of the government, it is an attack.

13 comments:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Obama Bin Laden, that's the end of that.

Mark Wadsworth said...

How's that list of UKIP bloggers coming along?

guido faux said...

Clinton is going to win anyway.

They are both going out their way to appease the military industrial complex so you can be sure that whoever wins there will be absolutely no change in US foreign policy.

Of course when Clinton wins suddenly the occupation of Iraq will magically be transformed by Democratic bloggers into a flagship Liberal interventionist project which absolutely must succeed and that those dangerous 'isolationist' Republicans would like nothing better than to see Iraq to slide into a state of civil war.

You see - millions of dead Iraqis is OK, as long they die for a liberal cause.

The Nameless One said...

Mark

The Nameless One here - I wrote this particular post. DK is doing the list of UKIP bloggers and is currently in Edinburgh most probably destroying his liver. I'm sure he will be publishing his list when he makes it back down south.

TNO

Mark Wadsworth said...

TNO, whoops, sorry.

David said...

'But choosing a candidate from those running in this interminable US primary season is a bit like choosing the terminal disease that will kill me from a list of virulent cancers. Frankly, I don’t want any of them.'

Take a look at www.ronpaul2008.com

JuliaM said...

"Take a look at www.ronpaul2008.com"

Ah, yes. Good point. Widens the choice from cancer to syphilis-induced insanity....

David said...

JuliaM...

Eliminating the Federal Government seems like a good idea to me.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

Ah, yes. Good point. Widens the choice from cancer to syphilis-induced insanity....

Whereas the sysiphian style of government has worked wonders for the past century...

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

You know, one thing that really bothers me- why don't all those imbeciles with a fetish for economic and social self-flagellation just fuck off and form their own country where they can enjoy tax and bizarre laws at their own expense?

They just don't understand that I don't give a flying fuck about them, at all.

Clarissa said...

"Do you see what I have done there? I have looked at the consequences ..."

Bless you.

The Nameless One said...

Clarissa,

I just can't help myself. If there is an opportunity to patronise, I have to fight myself not to take it. This is is a good example of where I fought that fight with myself, and lost.

Amazing, though, how people do take our politicians' statements at face value and don't think about the consequences of those statements...

TNO

John J. Coupal said...

so, now you understand why Barack Obama is known as The Empty Suit in the states.