From the Boston Herald,
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Wednesday that he would send troops into Pakistan to hunt down terrorists even without local permission if warranted - an attempt to show strength when his chief rival has described his foreign policy skills as naive.The BBC has a slightly nuanced report:
US presidential candidate Barack Obama has said he would order military action against al-Qaeda in Pakistan without the consent of Pakistan's government.Clearly whatever he meant, this policy is supposed to show that Obama is firm on terror, a tough guy and has balls.
It also shows how incredibly naive he is, a charge Clinton had levelled against him the other day when he said he would meet the leaders of Cuba, North Korea and Iran without conditions.
I won't even get into the contradiction of how Obama has accused Clinton and Bush of invading a sovereign country (Iraq) illegally and is now prepared to do the same. I won't even get into the fact that Pakistan is officially an ally of the U.S. and is doing what they can to fight radicals holed up in the north of the country. What I will get into is how this shows what I had feared true all along - despite his charisma, Obama is a very weak candidate and unsuitable for the position of the President of the United States.
First, even if this is just blustering and a bluff to rally around foolish voters who think military might is the answer to all problems - it's wrong to do so. Clinton so far has a lead over Obama because people believe the senator has the experience and maturity to fulfill the duties of a President.
Second, if Obama really believes this is how to solve the Pakistan conundrum, then he is even more foolish than I give him credit for. When your country is bogged down in an unpopular and energy sapping war in one country, while trying to do the impossible task of nation building in another, with your army stretched to breaking point, it's not the time to open yet another front and another war with yet another country.
Third, they can rest assured Pakistan is a different kettle of fish. It has nuclear weapons and from all previous statements of their leaders, will not be shy of using them if left no choice.
Fourth, if they attack Pakistan, the conflict will spread, very easily, far beyond the shores of Pakistan. A whole other set of countries will then turn against the US, if not so already.
Fifth, am I wrong or does Obama's position keep changing with the polls? One day he is a man of peace, the next day he is a man of war, one day he wants to meet everyone for a group hug, the next day he is shunting a key ally, one day he is calling Clinton "Bush-Cheney lite" the next day he is proposing an act even Bush didn't do.
Providing covert help for Pakistani forces (who are friendly to the US aim of eradicating radicals) is one thing, invoking war on a nuclear powered country is another. Obama has rightfully shown himself to be naive, irresponsible and immature.