The Barack Obama campaign, while I wouldn’t say it’s jumped the shark just yet, is rapidly approaching the ramp.
I have no problem with his willing to be able to talk to America’s enemies. In fact, by the time we’ve had eight years of a president whose idea of diplomacy is saying “Pass him a note telling him I think he’s a doodyhead” will be a night and day improvement.
No. Where we part ways, and to a degree that it would take a complete turnabout to make me support him again (The variety that Republicans hang the tag “flip flopper” on) is Pakistan.
In a speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center For Scholars in Washington DC, he told the crowd that he planned to get the War On Terror back on track again, which I’m certainly in favor of. The “flypaper theory” of American foreign policy had one fatal flaw, and it was that rather than draw in the people we should have been fighting (As opposed to fighting them in the first nation we went into, an opportunity wasted), we instead became the rosetta stone that shaped new terrorists, leaving those that attacked us free to continue plotting.
And indeed, as Obama said, many of them have grouped in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The uninformed person says “Damn the torpedoes! Let’s go in!” without realizing the incredible complexity that is Pakistan.
Wargame it out.
We strike in the border regions of Pakistan. What happens next?
Pervez Musharraf has two choices. He can either send his troops in to face it, or he can be overthrown by forces inside and outside his own government, which will then send Pakistani troops up against us. It’s not much of a stretch— When he was still handing important al Qaeda members over to us, he was the subject of assassination attempts every time he left the palace.
So we can rest assured that while we will indeed be facing al Qaeda and Taliban holdouts. But whether it’s a temporary alliance or a partnership formed by a coup, we’ll be facing the Pakistan military at the same time. The Pakistani military isn’t what I would call mighty, but due to their eternal dispute with India over Kashmir, they’ve got some strength. They’ll hold out longer than Iraq.
And so will their insurgency. And so far, our record against insurgencies isn’t looking too good. I know, Republicans are now going to accuse me of pulling for the enemy, like they accuse everyone that doesn’t think George Bush shits liquid gold. But I’m interested in a realistic look at what happens, not feeding the White House’s delusions of adequacy.
But you see, it gets better.
Pakistan not only has a border region with residents whose goals (But perhaps not actions) closely mirror those of the Taliban and al Qaeda. Remember all that talk about how far up a certain creek we would be if “the terr’rists” got their hands on nukes?
Play it wrong, and Pakistan is where that happens.
The MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal) are a coalition of religious parties in Pakistan that pooled their strength a few years ago. They ebb and flow with each election cycle, but they perform stronger than thirdy parties have performed here in the better part of a century. They hold majorities in some municipal and provincial governments, and roughly 35% of the seats in Pakistan’s parliament. A little good old fashioned saber rattling goes a long way in getting extremists elected— Ask Mahmoud Ahmedinijad about the ten percent he picked it up when the blunderer-in-chief started saber rattling.
I can understand wanting to reverse the disastrous foreign policy of George W. Bush. But the area Obama talked about reversing today is the only part of foreign policy that George W. Bush has not managed to screw up.
It’s amateurish. I would hope that he knew a little more about the region after two and a half years in the Senate.