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Obama's latest campaign-trail gaffe, stemming from his reckless threats to unilaterally bomb Pakistan if President Musharraf doesn't help root out Al Qaeda targets, prompted Pakistani-American groups to take to the streets of Chicago in protest, outside an Obama fundraising dinner.

New America Media, an online consortium of ethnic news media, reported the story yesterday:

Obama Faces Protests From Pakistani Americans

Pakistan Link, News Report, Ayub Khan,
Posted: Aug 13, 2007

CHICAGO – Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Barack Obama was greeted by noisy protesters as he arrived to speak at a fund-raiser organized by his South Asian supporters in Chicago. They were protesting his recent remarks about his willingness to launch unilateral military strikes against Al Qaeda havens in the Waziristan area of Pakistan.

A group of about three dozen, mostly Pakistani-Americans, angrily chanted, "Obama, hypocrite," "Peace, Not War," and held placards that read "Obama equal Osama," "War is Not the Answer," "Pakistan is Not Our Enemy."  Sen. Obama sneaked in through the back door of the Mysore Woodlands Restaurant on Chicago's famed Devon Avenue and claimed that he has been misrepresented by the media. He said those who are protesting his remarks haven't read his exact remarks and were instead relying on twisted reports.

Obama said that he did not advocate outright military action but that in case the Pakistani government was unable to take out known Al Qaeda targets in its territory, then the American military could launch targeted attacks. He added that full precautions should be taken to avoid any civilian casualties. He said his foreign policy will focus on diplomacy with all (even the enemies), troop pullback from Iraq, closing of Guantanamo Bay prison, and increased funding for education programs worldwide. At the same time, tough action needs to be undertaken against hardened terrorists. In response to a question about U.S. support for Indian military action against militants and separatists he once again underscored that diplomacy should be the top priority.

After his explanation, some Pakistani community leaders and an Urdu newspaper editor tried to pacify the protesters by telling them that Obama had clarified his views and that he was misrepresented by the media. Obama accepted to meet the protester's representatives inside the fund-raising venue. But the protesters demanded that he come outside and apologize for his comments.

"Sen. Obama made his shameful comments in a public venue. He should feel no shame in coming out and apologizing in public," yelled one protester from a megaphone.  The protesters also urged others not to go inside the venue and labeled those who went inside to meet the senator as "traitors." Tense scenes were seen at the protest site as Obama made his quiet exit once again from the back door.

...

The protests come in the wake of Obama's gunslinger-style comments, made during a recent speech designed to showcase his purported foreign policy experience:

I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will.

The clear implication of this foolish speech by the Obama campaign is that (1) Obama would attack inside Pakistan if need be and rub President Musharraf’s nose in this action; and (2) an implicit threat to remove Musharraf and redesign Pakistan’s government.  After 8 years of shoot-first, ask-questions-later Middle East foreign policy from an inexperienced President, do we really need another one?

Obama's mind-boggling threat to unilaterally attack Pakistani targets if Pakistan doesn't cooperate with the American military shocked Democrats.  Virtually every candidate running for the Democratic nomination -- Christopher Dodd, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, John Edwards -- pounced on Obama's blunder and denounced it for being reckless and inflammatory:

"It is dangerous and irresponsible to leave even the impression the United States would needlessly and publicly provoke a nuclear power," Connecticut Sen. Christopher J. Dodd said in a statement.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, in a telephone interview, said that Obama’s threat, if acted upon, could inflame the entire Muslim world. "My international experience tells me that we should address this issue with tough diplomacy first with Musharraf and then leave the military option as a last resort," he said.

Former senator John Edwards (N.C.) said in a statement that he would first apply "maximum diplomatic and economic pressure on states like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia" to do their utmost to combat the spread of terrorism. He also challenged both Obama and Clinton to block a proposed U.S. arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.) called Obama’s threat misguided. "The way to deal with it is not to announce it, but to do it," Biden said at the National Press Club. "The last thing you want to do is telegraph to the folks in Pakistan that we are about to violate their sovereignty."

David Plouffe's and David Axelrod's famed rough-and-dirty campaign tactics  are running Obama's campaign into the ground: according to today's Rasmussen daily tracking poll, Obama trails Hillary Clinton by a 16-point margin nationally, which is surprising in light of the massive amounts of money Obama has raised so far.  Overall support for Obama has dropped in the wake of his threats to bomb Pakistan.  

Democratic voters appear to be fed up with Obama's hard-nosed tactics, too.  According to the Boston Globe, a New Hampshire voter chided Obama's negative campaigning yesterday:

HANOVER, N.H. –Presidential hopeful Barack Obama tried out a small, intimate campaign event Monday — and got a warning not to act too much like a politician for his trouble.

"We’re having this experiment because we’re getting these big crowds at a lot of our events," Obama told eight voters — and three times as many newspeople — invited to a restaurant.  "We’ve been blessed to have some terrific crowds at these town hall meetings, but most of the time I’m doing most of the talking and not doing enough listening."

The Illinois senator sounded a familiar theme, that he is an outsider to Washington and to politics as usual. He called lobbyists the enemy and their donations corrupt.  "If they’re spending a billion dollars on lobbying over 10 years — they’re averaging 100 million dollars a year — that carries weight in Washington. The congressmen will deny it, but they’re not spending it just to provide good information," he said.

But Maggie North of Claremont told him he risks becoming part of the usual political scene if he keeps being drawn into well-publicized spats with rivals.  "You can be it," she said. "But you’ve got to stop — excuse me for being blunt — you’ve got to stop getting involved in the way people are fighting each other, chewing you up a little more."

"That’s what you do when you run for president," Obama responded, getting a laugh.

North told him later, "I expect so much more from Democrats than I’m getting."

Obama said infighting among the candidates is part of the process.  "Some of that’s OK, it thickens your skin. ... Putting you through the paces like that is part of the hazing that’s required for the job," he said.

North wasn’t persuaded.  "What happens when you engage in that is you become like everybody else," she said.

SOURCES:
http://www.barackobama.com/...
http://news.ncmonline.com/...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
http://www.boston.com/...

Originally posted to Berkeley Vox on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:13 AM PDT.

Poll

Should Barack Obama apologize for his threat to attack Pakistan?

20%22 votes
74%79 votes
4%5 votes

| 106 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thirty-six protestors? Whoop-dee shit. eom (16+ / 0-)

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:15:55 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the concern Berkeley n/t (12+ / 0-)

    I'll get you, my pretty.....and your little dog too.

    by chicago minx on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:16:01 AM PDT

  •  LOL@trollish diary (10+ / 0-)

    Boy o Boy, and people wonder why Hillary and his supporters are so unpopulary in DailyKos.

    Well , my friends, this is why..When someone like this diaryst post a smear garbbage like that, we should no longer why no pro Hillary diary ever makes it on top of this blog.

  •  Ouch! 36 WHOLE PEOPLE! (8+ / 0-)

    That about as many people as it takes to start a god-awful war!

    "Rhymes overflowin', gradually growin', everything is written in a code so it co-in- cide"- Rakim

    by brooklynbadboy on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:20:16 AM PDT

    •  How many senate dems voted for AUMF? (4+ / 0-)

      HRC, JE....but they aren't warmongers who might upset things in the middle east, oh, no.

      Six million people marched against the invasion.  Not JE.  Not HRC.  

      But thirty six "mostly pakistanis" and a bad days' polling for HRC and BV has another inane Spin Ops Cadet 2d Class diary.

      Where's her tip jar?

      How's my prose style? Call 1-800-GRADEME

      by Inland on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:05:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hopefully, (4+ / 0-)

    President Bush is using his newly granted surveillance powers to watch these people.

    "Rhymes overflowin', gradually growin', everything is written in a code so it co-in- cide"- Rakim

    by brooklynbadboy on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:21:25 AM PDT

  •  How about this (11+ / 0-)

    David Plouffe's and David Axelrod's famed rough-and-dirty campaign tactics  are running Obama's campaign into the ground

    and this

    Democratic voters appear to be fed up with Obama's hard-nosed tactics

    and this

    Obama's latest campaign-trail gaffe, stemming from his reckless threats to unilaterally bomb Pakistan

    what a bunch of shit.

    I'll get you, my pretty.....and your little dog too.

    by chicago minx on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:22:29 AM PDT

  •  I think it is a serious protest. (6+ / 0-)

    But, my question is: who organized it?  I noticed in the list of Dem candidates who went after Obama's statement Hilary's name was missing. I wonder if her people are behing this protest.  More information is needed.

  •  Uh... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, extradish

    ...I wouldn't trust the judgment of someone who endorses Republican frames, such as holding a sign that says "Obama equal Osama".

    An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. -- T. Paine (-6.25, -7.18)

    by DH from MD on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:23:18 AM PDT

    •  But its people like this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yoshimi, aimeeinkc, chicago minx

      that have a prerequisite character to be supporters of Hillary.

      I mean Obam equals Osama? Anybody who holds a sign like that, in HRC's book, they got the right stuff?

      I want to congratulate Berkely for highlighting these noble protestors who represent the best and brightest of HRC's base.

  •  This is so unlike me - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc

    but I agree with Sen. Obama.  I don't mean because Obama said it - and he didn't use the word "bomb" - to my mind, Sen. dodd's comment was unfortunate.

    It doesn't matter how many people were there - it got some traction - that's the point.

    This is part and parcel of the aftermath of this bush presidency -  if I had family somewhere, or felt ties to another country - I'd be nervous as hell.

    What's the plan? The plan is I go in and start hitting people in the face hard. (Angel, from the Series)

    by xanthe on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:25:14 AM PDT

  •  APOLOGIZE? You've got to be kidding... (7+ / 0-)

    What the heck should he apologize for?  Pakistan has a very mixed scorecard with respect to their allegiance to the GWoT.  Obama rightly put them on notice that they can no longer expect American aid while cherry-picking the areas in which they behave responsibly.  

    If the hypothetical situation that Obama laid out (actionable intelligence against high-level terrorist targets in which Pakistan wouldn't act) were to come to pass, I would pray our leadership WOULD act, even if it meant doing so unilaterally.

    When it comes to taking out the leadership of Al-Qaeda, those responsible for the planning and financing of operations which led to the deaths of 3,000 innocent Americans on 9/11 -- and have been bragging in videos about acts yet to come -- the US government has an obligation to protect it's citizenry when it has actionable intelligence, with or without the aid and cooperation of Pakistan.

    And if Pakistan doesn't like that viewpoint, fuck 'em.  Al-Qaeda is as big a threat to their government and citizenry as they are to ours -- probably even more so.

  •  re (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCalLiberal

    Geee..

    If it had been 37 I would have served pie!

    "Steve Holt told her he was running and she gave him a cold stare." - Steve Holt

    by cookiesandmilk on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:25:22 AM PDT

  •  "gaffe" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCalLiberal

    Can we please expand our vocabulary?

    Personally, I have come to despise this word.

    At this point, it is a mainstream-media deceit, wrapped in a conventional-wisdom lie, buried in disingenuous bullshit.

    •  blunder? rookie mistake? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KnowVox

      How else do you describe it?

      This one was almost as bad as when the Obama campaign referred to Hillary as "(D-Punjab)".  At least Obama apologized for that one (or at least, blamed it on his staff)

      Support the Clinton Climate Initiative http://www.clintonfoundation.org

      by Berkeley Vox on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:31:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would describe it as common sense. eom (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cookiesandmilk, Inland
      •  Um. "Correct, HRC's Prior Position"? (0+ / 0-)

        It's not like you get to call something a "gafee" or "rookie" until we all just hate your spin so much that we give up.

        Wheres' that video?

        How's my prose style? Call 1-800-GRADEME

        by Inland on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:01:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  saying something that means nothing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inland

        gaffe/blunder/rookie mistake -- all mean nothing, in this context.  They just function as beltway code language.

        They are smug declarations of self-certainty that convey nothing meaningful about your disagreement.  They are propaganda words, spin -- not appropriate if you respect the intelligence of the rest of the people engaged in this conversation.  They say: "I consider myself so superior to my opponent that I don't even need to bother discussing why his position is wrong."

        If you simply apply the label of "gaffe" to any statement of policy that you disagree with, you are stretching your language beyond credibility, and are cheating the debate.

        You want to frame it as bad policy, and disagree with Obama's position, go ahead-- but don't insult our collective intelligence by presuming that we should take your opinion as definitive reality.

        Try to think more deeply than Chris Matthews or Tucker Carlson.  Otherwise, you're just serving up facile conventional wisdom, and not serving your candidate well in doing so.

        As someone who has not chosen a candidate, I find that attitude reminiscent of Rovian campaigning, and especially off-putting.

    •  The first rule of Fight Club (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vivadissent

      is never talk about Fight Club. Greenwald's take:

      Most of the recent "controversies" involving Barack Obama's foreign policy statements -- including his oh-so-shocking statement that it would not make moral or political sense to use tactical nuclear weapons to bomb isolated terrorist camps as well as his willingness to attack Al Qaeda elements inside Pakistan if the Musharraf government refuses (as they did for some time) -- were not "controversial" among the Establishment on the merits. They were "controversial" (and "naive" and "irresponsible") because they breached the protocols and orthodoxies imposed by the Foreign Policy Community governing how we are allowed to talk about these issues.

      Democracy is a constant conversation and if we value democracy, our conversation can't be over, yet.

      by Bill White on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:18:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not sure which I prefer (5+ / 0-)

    Your daily tracking poll diary? (Oops, last night Clinton fell three points and Obama gained one and Edwards gained four: no wonder you're not diarying Rasmussen today!)

    Or a declaration that 36 people standing around with placards that say "Obama = Osama" represents some kind of groundswell of confirmation that Obama was somehow wrong to say pull US combat troops out of Iraq and, by the way, if Pakistan is housing Al Qaida and won't act, "we will."

    The diary, from top to bottom, is an immense distortion: prove your claim that Obama said he would "bomb" Pakistan, or do the ethical thing and issue a correction. (I won't hold my breath.)

    Nobody has died as a result of this comment.

    by viralvoice on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:40:04 AM PDT

    •  Obama's quote is in boldface, in the diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KnowVox

      ...that's the statement that caused all the controversy.  I didn't cause this controversy and cause Dodd, Biden, Richardson, and Edwards to attack Obama -- Obama did.

      Support the Clinton Climate Initiative http://www.clintonfoundation.org

      by Berkeley Vox on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:41:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Doubly dishonest (7+ / 0-)

        The quote you put in boldface says:

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

        But your lede cites:

        his reckless threats to unilaterally bomb Pakistan

        Either you have no reality based view on what the word "act" means, nor even of the various options a military act could mean, or you're just being knowingly dishonest. I think most readers can and will make our own opinion as to your preferrence for malice over facts.

        Nobody has died as a result of this comment.

        by viralvoice on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:46:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The only way to rationally read Obama's comments (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KnowVox

          ...is to assume he means that if Pakistan won't cooperate when we have actionable intel, we'll go in unilaterally and bomb on our own.  It's right there in his quote!  Any other interpretation is disingenuous.  How else do you interpret, "If...Musharraf won't act, we will"???

          Support the Clinton Climate Initiative http://www.clintonfoundation.org

          by Berkeley Vox on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:52:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You'd let OBL go scot free if Pakistan didn't act (0+ / 0-)

            he means that if Pakistan won't cooperate when we have actionable intel, we'll go in unilaterally and bomb on our own.

            You're against that?  Wow.  No wonder Obama's sending the video of the AFLCIO debate around.  When you get right down to what you pretend to be so upset about, you seem like someone who would just let OBL be as long as Pakistan didn't mind him being in the autonomous territory.

            How's my prose style? Call 1-800-GRADEME

            by Inland on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:58:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not against it, but why BLAB about it? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KnowVox

              ...and trigger tensions in the region needlessly, just to score cheap campaign points?  It was a reckless, inflammatory statement.

              Support the Clinton Climate Initiative http://www.clintonfoundation.org

              by Berkeley Vox on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:01:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What's your policy? Stop dodging. (0+ / 0-)

                Attack but not tell anyone first?  Not attack?  Not ask Pakistan to attack?  I mean, we all know HRC said the same thing. Which HRC are you backing, the one that felt she had to take postions, or the frontrunnter who doesnt'?

                Well, sorry, I forgot: HRC Spin Ops Cadet Second Class isn't a policy position.  It's a HIDE the policy position, in that whatever Obama says or does, you call it rookie or gaffe or whatever.  Even when he's right. Even if it's what's good for the US.  Even when it's to correct Bush's policy TODAY.

                Stop playing games with national security.  Stop pretending like HRC can spin her way into office.

                How's my prose style? Call 1-800-GRADEME

                by Inland on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:17:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Helicopters, Commandos... (0+ / 0-)

            ...there are various options on the table other than bombs. But thanks for demonstrating your ignorance.

            Maybe you should get back to poll diaries. You could do one on your own poll here: "83% say I'm full of gas in latest tracking poll!"

            Which raises the question: Who bombed?

            Nobody has died as a result of this comment.

            by viralvoice on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:58:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Obama was not right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCalLiberal

    to threaten unilateral action against Pakistan.  But the protesters who said Pakistan is not our enemy are also a bit off the mark.  Pakistan is going around making deals with the Taliban and terrorist groups for coexistence and safe havens, and as such, cannot be considered our friends.  The fact that Bush keeps saying that it is is tragic.  Pakistan is not our friend.  It's a military dictatorship with nuclear power going around making deals with extremist groups.  The US should stop military and economic aide to Pakistan if they continue with this shit, but not attack a sovereign nation unilaterally or go in their country militarily without express authorization from their government.

    "The Power to change this party, and the power to change this country is in your hands, not mine." - Gov. Howard Dean, MD

    by deaniac83 on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:41:03 AM PDT

    •  He never threatened... (6+ / 0-)

      unilateral action against Pakistan.  He threatened unilateral action against high-level terrorist targets, when we had actionable intelligence and Pakistan refused to act.

      Pulling the trigger when you have Osama Bin Laden in your crosshairs is quite a different matter from "threatening unilateral action against Pakistan".

      •  That IS a threat against Pakistan (0+ / 0-)

        He threatened unilateral action against high-level terrorist targets, when we had actionable intelligence and Pakistan refused to act.

        And that's a threat against Pakistan.  Any attempt to take ANY military action inside ANY sovereign nation without the express permission of that country's government - even if the action is not directed against that country's government - IS a threat against that country, no matter what the reason is, including "having Osama Bin Laden in your crosshairs."

        Think about it.  If somebody running for premier in China said they would take military action on a target within the political territory of the United States if they had "actionable intelligence" against one of their top targets and the US government failed to act, you can bet we would take it as a threat against the United States, even if China has no intention of attacking the United States itself.  It is no different when one of our candidates running for president uses similar words against another country.

        "The Power to change this party, and the power to change this country is in your hands, not mine." - Gov. Howard Dean, MD

        by deaniac83 on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:59:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, we'd be doing them a favor (0+ / 0-)

          Listen, I am and always have been against the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

          HOWEVER, I'm all for going after Bin Laden. If Pakistan won't do it, we should. We're not trying to take out their government or their army, we're taking out Al Qaeda. If they don't like that, fuck 'em.

          Bush might be a little more popular if he'd actually done something about the terrorists who attacked us.

          •  "We'd be doing them a favor" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SoCalLiberal

            That's not up to us to decide.  If they want the favor - i.e. they authorize us to do it, we will.  But we don't get to butt our nose into other people's country, take military action in their sovereign territory without them asking for it, and then say "We're doing you a favor."  It's not up to us to decide.

            "The Power to change this party, and the power to change this country is in your hands, not mine." - Gov. Howard Dean, MD

            by deaniac83 on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:27:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um, no... (0+ / 0-)

              They don't get to harbor terrorists. That's not an option. You must have missed this at the AFL-CIO debate:

              "It's already the policy of the United States, it has been for four years, that if there was actionable intelligence we would go in to Pakistan. That's the law!" - Joe Biden

              Don't let your justified anger about the Iraq occupation cloud your thinking. If we know where Bin Laden is, we need to get him.

              This isn't about taking out the Pakistani government or the Pakistani army. They can stay right where they are. This is about capturing and/or killing the orchestators of 9/11. Period.

              I sincerely doubt that Pakistan wants terrorists on it's borders. If they do, than we have a much bigger problem than whether or not we find Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

              •  Umm... yes, that is attacking Pakistan (0+ / 0-)

                Any time you take military action inside a country without their permission, for whatever purpose, it is on its face a declaration of war against that country.  There is a case to be made that Pakistan is acting as an enemy of the United States by harboring terrorists, a stronger case, certainly, than the case for Iraq.  But if you want to make that case, the case leads towards a full scale invasion of Pakistan, because if you harbor terrorists, you are an enemy, and we will take you out.  It is ludicrous to say that we will take out the terrorists but will not hold the Pakistani government accountable for harboring them.

                Here's another practical point.  Try it.  Try taking military action inside of Pakistan without their approval.  Hell, try it with their government's approval.  You will start thinking Iraq was a cakewalk.  The people there already hate our guts, you take American military action in there and the country will erupt, overthrow their own regime, and put nuclear weapons in the hands of the precise people we were trying to kill.  It will be chaos of proportions not seen since World War II.  In short, if you fantacize about nuclear weapons in terrorist hands, attack Pakistan.

                "The Power to change this party, and the power to change this country is in your hands, not mine." - Gov. Howard Dean, MD

                by deaniac83 on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:58:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I've already "thought about it" (0+ / 0-)

          Quite a bit, thank you.

          It's not a threat against Pakistan, since they are supposed to be an ally in the war on terror.  We are supposed to be on the same team against a common cause.

          If somebody running for premier in China said they would take military action on a target within the political territory of the United States if they had "actionable intelligence" against one of their top targets and the US government failed to act, you can bet we would take it as a threat against the United States, even if China has no intention of attacking the United States itself.

          That's a ridiculous comparison since,

          1. The object of the Chinese military action would have to be a common adversary.  If the US claimed the target was an enemy, but refused to act against it (given actionable intelligence), I wouldn't blame the Chinese in the least for taking unilateral action.  In fact, I'd be quite surprised if they didn't.  The Cold War spy crap was built around these kinds of shenanigans.
          2. The Chinese government provides no aid to the US, financially or militarily.  By contrast, we provide both to Pakistan.

          Get real.

          •  THIS is where we part (0+ / 0-)

            If the US claimed the target was an enemy, but refused to act against it (given actionable intelligence), I wouldn't blame the Chinese in the least for taking unilateral action.

            This seriously is troubling.  YES I would blame the Chinese for taking unilateral action under this exact scenario.  Not only will I blame them, I will take up arms against them to protect the sovereignty of MY country.  They have no right to take ANY military action within a sovereign territory without that country's permission REGARDLESS of the reason, except if that country declares war or invades first.

            The Chinese government provides no aid to the US, financially or militarily.  By contrast, we provide both to Pakistan.

            So cut off the damn aid if they won't do what we want.  But the fact that we provide them financial and military aid does NOT give us ANY right to invade their sovereignty.

            And about the Chinese government not providing any aid to the US.  That may be technically correct, but have you checked who's financing our debt lately?

            "The Power to change this party, and the power to change this country is in your hands, not mine." - Gov. Howard Dean, MD

            by deaniac83 on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:25:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yup, its where we part. (0+ / 0-)

              Firstly, every "action" on actionable intelligence does not have to be military, nor does it have be overt (such as bombing).  As stated earlier, special ops, commando raids, any other number of methods designed to leave a small (or in some cases, invisible) footprint fall completely within the scope of Obama's statements.  As does something as simple as using Afghani/Pakistani mercenaries, warlord forces, and any other proxies who could carry out the mission.

              Secondly, we're not talking about sending troops or launching missiles into downtown Islamabad.  We're talking about the mountainous regions along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, the so-called "Wild West Frontier" which Pakistan's own troops don't have under control.  If they did, we wouldn't have the Taliban launching raids into Afghanistan and returning without challenge.

              So, absolutely, you and I have quite a sizable difference of opinion.

              And it's not just matter of cutting off the aid, although that would no doubt be on the table as well.  What's at stake is whether you're a partner in the GWoT.  If you are, then act like it.  If not, step aside.  For Pakistan's leadership to say they would rather defend Al-Qaeda then allow the US to act on intelligence (when the Pakistani's won't), makes their leadership indistinguishable from the Taliban.

              There's nothing imperialistic or arrogant about that position.  Pakistan, under that scenario, is simply providing safe harbor for Al-Qaeda. That being their choice does not constitute a reason for the US not to act.

              •  I didn't say there was anything imperialistic (0+ / 0-)

                But there is something plain wrong about this grandiose attitude that we can do what we want to a sovereign country as long as it's in our national interest.

                And as I said above, Pakistan providing safe harbor to Al Queda would make Pakistan our enemy, and so by taking such military action we would be invading Pakistan.  As I said a couple of posts above, try it.  Try attacking a nuclear armed nation whose people already hate our guts.  The chaos that will result will make Hiroshima look like a minor accident.

                "The Power to change this party, and the power to change this country is in your hands, not mine." - Gov. Howard Dean, MD

                by deaniac83 on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 11:06:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No one said "we can do what we want" (0+ / 0-)

                  to a sovereign country -- no more than "we did what we wanted" with the USSR or they "did what they wanted" with us.  "Action" doesn't have to take the form of big-footprint military strike -- you don't need (or want) a brigade when you're looking to take out a handful of guys.  Covert ops and special forces would dominate those kinds of actions, although a targeted missile-strike would likewise not be out of the question -- although none of these measure up to the notion of "an invasion of Pakistan", IMHO.  If that's the case, then a lone sniper crossing the Afghan-Pakistan border is an "invasion".

                  Could a missile-strike on "actionable intelligence" unintentionally lead to war with Pakistan?  Sure, just as it could, in your previous example, if China launched such a strike in, say, the nether-regions of Alaska, against a common enemy target.  A target that we both agreed the intelligence was actionable, but -- for whatever reason -- we declined to act.

                  We would have a legitimate beef with China in that regard, even if they were giving us substantial military and foreign aid.  But I could certainly understand their motivation, just the same.

                  As long as Pakistan proclaims itself to be an ally in the GWoT, that comes with certain responsibilities, including the sharing of intelligence and acting on that deemed actionable.  Admittedly, what is "actionable" to US intelligence may not be to Pakistani intelligence -- but that's not what we're talking about.  We're talking about when they make a decision NOT to act on information we both agree is actionable with regard to high-value terrorist targets.  

                  There is no doubt that any breach of a nation's sovereignty by another could constitute an act of war.  But framing such an act as "invading Pakistan" is ridiculous.  Iraq was an invasion. A drone taking a shot at Osama Bin Laden when we have solid intelligence on his whereabouts is just that.

  •  This doesn't help persuade anyone around here (5+ / 0-)

    to support Hillary.

  •  comparing Obama to Osama? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inland

    it's their loss.

    Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

    by hypersphere01 on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:46:10 AM PDT

  •  Apologize?! (5+ / 0-)

    APOLOGIZE?! Maybe those Pakistani-American protesters should apologize for defending our so-called "ally" who's harboring and appeasing the very terrorists who orchestrated the 9/11 attack.

    Maybe you missed this at the AFL-CIO debate:

    "It's already the policy of the United States, it has been for four years, that if there was actionable intelligence we would go in to Pakistan. That's the law!" - Joe Biden

    If these Pakistani-American protesters are SO UPSET, why didn't haven't they been protesting against Bush?

    SIX. FUCKING. YEARS. Bin Laden needs to be taken out. I agree with Barack, if Musharraf won't do it, we should.

  •  I can smell the desperation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vlajos, Inland, chicago minx

    Hillary has a huge lead but it is brittle, isn't it Berkley Vox, and that is creating fear within Camp Hillary.

    Too bad, because I genuinely like Hillary Clinton and admire her accomplishments.

    I just think that a campaign premised on establishing a early lead and declaring the conversation over six months before the primaries is:

    BAD for progressives,

    BAD for Democrats,

    BAD for America.

    FIRE Terry McAulife and my willingness to support Hillary will increase.

    Anyway, as to the Pakistan business, Glenn Greenwald nails it for me.

    Link

    The Number One Rule of the bi-partisan Foreign Policy Community is that America has the right to invade and attack other countries at will because American power is inherently good and our role in the world is to rule it though the use of superior military force. Paying homage to that imperialistic orthodoxy is a non-negotiable pre-requisite to maintaining Good Standing and Seriousness Credentials within the Foreign Policy Community.

    But of course we cannot talk about this in public. Leo Strauss and esoteric and exoteric knowledge and all that.

    And since Tom Friedman has not given Barack Obama a membership card to the Very Serious People's Club anything Obama says is by definition reckless and careless.

    And this earlier Greenwald quote is even better:

    America is plagued by a self-anointed, highly influential, and insular so-called Foreign Policy Community which spans both political parties. They consider themselves Extremely Serious and have a whole litany of decades-old orthodoxies which one must embrace lest one be declared irresponsible, naive and unserious. Most of these orthodoxies are ossified 50-year-old relics from the Cold War, and the rest are designed to place off limits from debate the question of whether the U.S. should continue to act as an imperial force, ruling the world with its superior military power.

    Most of the recent "controversies" involving Barack Obama's foreign policy statements -- including his oh-so-shocking statement that it would not make moral or political sense to use tactical nuclear weapons to bomb isolated terrorist camps as well as his willingness to attack Al Qaeda elements inside Pakistan if the Musharraf government refuses (as they did for some time) -- were not "controversial" among the Establishment on the merits. They were "controversial" (and "naive" and "irresponsible") because they breached the protocols and orthodoxies imposed by the Foreign Policy Community governing how we are allowed to talk about these issues.

    Democracy is a constant conversation and if we value democracy, our conversation can't be over, yet.

    by Bill White on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:12:32 AM PDT

    •  There you go. (0+ / 0-)

      In fact, it is HRC's reflexive running to the Very Serious Consensus, and the reflexive defense of the same, that troubles me more than anything else about that exchange.  Well, that and saying that being presidential means not letting anyone know what her plans are, or aren't, and putting nukes on the table for anywhere, anytime, for any reason.

      How's my prose style? Call 1-800-GRADEME

      by Inland on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:20:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bob Shrum on the Hillary / McAulife strategery (0+ / 0-)

        Link

        Shrum’s ambivalence toward the former President extends to his wife. "Hillary wanted to lock up the race early, and she hasn’t done it," he said. "Her lead in the national polls is irrelevant. It’s all about what happens in the early primary states. She’s redefining change as nostalgia. Her campaign is about building a bridge to the past, not the future, as her husband used to say."

        Look, Hillary Clinton is an accomplished, breathtakingly intelligent, hard working and dedicated Democrat.

        But teaming up with yesterday's political strategerists tends to throw all that away.

        To play for an early lead and then play defense withy pablum and cheap attacks on her opponents is BAD for progressives, Democrats and America.

        Let's have a real conversation, okay?

        Democracy is a constant conversation and if we value democracy, our conversation can't be over, yet.

        by Bill White on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:26:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Indeed, I've said that HRC is running an Eighties (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chicago minx

          campaign, trying to paint Obama as Dukakis and inoculate herself from Reagan attacks for being weak on security.  

          That and the reliance on symbols and platitudes as "safe" for the front runner is entirely retro.  It seems more dated than Bill's campaigns in the nineties, more convential top down, talking at people even as she puts herself in fuzzy focus.

          Even this sort of Spin Ops diary seems dated, as if the diarist doesn't know that people can TALK BACK.  

          How's my prose style? Call 1-800-GRADEME

          by Inland on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:34:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  BV's diaries approching circumcision territory. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicago minx

    No tip jar, two recs, completly predictable, very bad, annoyingly lecturing and pretensions to purity.

    How's my prose style? Call 1-800-GRADEME

    by Inland on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:13:00 AM PDT

  •  As biden reiterated (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    William Domingo, Inland

    this is the current policy.. obama simply stated what everyone knows is our stance..

    This type of diary does not help Hillarys cause, that much is obvious.

    It smells of desperation. Again, go to the yesterdays editorial penned by obama at globegazette.com which gives a good explanation of his foreign policy speech at Woodrow Wilson Center.

    globegazette.com - read it and learn,bv.

  •  Can anyone answer Glenn Greenwald's take (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    William Domingo

    On what Obama allegedly did wrong?

    Most of the recent "controversies" involving Barack Obama's foreign policy statements -- including his oh-so-shocking statement that it would not make moral or political sense to use tactical nuclear weapons to bomb isolated terrorist camps as well as his willingness to attack Al Qaeda elements inside Pakistan if the Musharraf government refuses (as they did for some time) -- were not "controversial" among the Establishment on the merits. They were "controversial" (and "naive" and "irresponsible") because they breached the protocols and orthodoxies imposed by the Foreign Policy Community governing how we are allowed to talk about these issues.

    What did Obama do wrong except talk about foreign policy without the permission and outside the framework of the insular neo-con foreign policy establishment?

    First rule of Fight Club and all that . . .

    Democracy is a constant conversation and if we value democracy, our conversation can't be over, yet.

    by Bill White on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:35:22 AM PDT

    •  So what is this back and forth about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bill White

      Here's an article that does a good job of explaining what Hillary and her proxies, Dodd and Biden, are trying to accomplish with this "tiff".

      So what is this back and forth about Obama and Pakistan about?

      What this has boiled down to -- and this became even more clear after Tuesday night's labor-hosted debate, when Biden and Dodd acted as Hillary's proxies -- is Hillary, in league with the party's foreign policy establishment, trying to make Obama, implicitly or explicitly, concede an error, that he misspoke.

      Precisely what he misspoke about is largely beside the point. The key is that they get him to concede that in the complex and serious world of foreign policy big-think, where words have consequences, he made an error. Of course, it's almost good enough if most observers decide that Obama screwed up. But once he concedes it himself, if he does, he stipulates from now through the end of the Democratic primary campaign that his inexperience in foreign policy is a basic premise of the campaign upon which the battle between him and Hillary will be waged. He can learn, improve, make progress, whatever, but his inexperience compared to Hillary will continue to be the reference point throughout.

      But I think he's done a pretty good job so far refusing to get put in that box. And the truth is that I think Obama's actual words are so clearly unobjectionable that this is all Kabuki theater of a particularly strained and disingenuous sort. All Obama said was that if we have actionable intelligence about the whereabouts of high-value al Qaeda targets in Pakistan, and Pakistan won't act, we will act.

      Clearly, no Republican can quibble with this. They're on the record for invading countries because they might become dangers to us at some point in the future. They're hardly in a position to disagree with Obama if he says we'll hunt down people who committed mass casualty terror attacks within our borders. And I'm not sure Democrats are in much of a position to do so either.

      The unspoken truth here, I suspect, is that Obama has struck on the central folly of our post-9/11 counter-terrorism defense policy -- strike hard where they aren't and go easy where they are. I think everyone can see this. But Obama got there first. So they need to attack him for saying it.

      http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...

      Bush's post-9/11 counter-terrorism defense policy -- strike hard where they aren't and go easy where they are.

      by William Domingo on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 12:10:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly right, IMHO (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        William Domingo

        But what is worse is the implication that it is contrary to the interests of the United States to have a candid public discussion about our foreign policy.

        They are saying that the unwashed masses cannot be trusted with the truth. It reminds me of the guardians from Plato's Republic.

        And Hillary Clinton is right there encouraging such thinking.  

        Democracy is a constant conversation and if we value democracy, our conversation can't be over, yet.

        by Bill White on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 12:22:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Could have been written with diarist in mind: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        William Domingo

        And the truth is that I think Obama's actual words are so clearly unobjectionable that this is all Kabuki theater of a particularly strained and disingenuous sort.

        How's my prose style? Call 1-800-GRADEME

        by Inland on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 12:25:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  actual words are so clearly unobjectionable (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Inland

          Yep. And now it's gotten to the point where they have to twist his words around. They jumped all over his ass for not wanting to bomb Pakistan, and now they're trying to claim he was wrong for "wanting to bomb Pakistan".

          Bush's post-9/11 counter-terrorism defense policy -- strike hard where they aren't and go easy where they are.

          by William Domingo on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 12:53:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The spin cycle lasted about two days (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            William Domingo

            for everyone except the truly incorrible.  Attacking Pakistan, bombing Pakistan cities, occupying Pakistan, attacking Musharraf...but of course, nobody can actually argue against attacking alqaeda.  Even the diarist, before disappearing, falls back on the point that it's an okay policy....the problem is in talking about it.  That's weak.

            Not surprisingly, the Obama campaign is emailing the vid of AFL CIO debate moment on Pakistan.  And why not?  He's cheered, HRC is mildly booed, and Obama smacked everyone who voted for the AUMF.  

            How's my prose style? Call 1-800-GRADEME

            by Inland on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 12:59:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The spin cycle (0+ / 0-)

              We even had Hillary supporters on this blog howling, "Leave bin Laden alone! Obama is going to cause the end of the world!" I never read such crazyness on a non-rightwing blog in my life.

              Bush's post-9/11 counter-terrorism defense policy -- strike hard where they aren't and go easy where they are.

              by William Domingo on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 01:14:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah whatever (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicago minx

    I didn't approve of his comments (though the media may have in fact misrepresented him, they like to do that) but I don't care about these protestors.  Three dozen is not a big deal.  It doesn't change my opinion of Obama.  He has real world experience and is ready to be president.  Not everything he says or does will be approved of.

    Obama-Villaraigosa 08'!

    by SoCalLiberal on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:37:47 AM PDT

  •  threats to unilaterally bomb Pakistan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCalLiberal

    Obama's latest campaign-trail gaffe, stemming from his reckless threats to unilaterally bomb Pakistan if President Musharraf doesn't help root out Al Qaeda targets

    This whole stament is a bald faced lie. He said if he found out where bin Laden was, he'd send in troops to grab him, troops, not bombs, get it? Then Hillary bashed him for wanting to use troops. The next day he was asked if he would use bombs, nuclear bombs, on Pakistan in order to "get bin Laden" and he said "No". Then Hillary bashed him for "Taking nukes of the table". If anything, these Pakistani protesters should be protesting Hillary. She the one who's "nuke bomb happy".

    Bush's post-9/11 counter-terrorism defense policy -- strike hard where they aren't and go easy where they are.

    by William Domingo on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 11:51:20 AM PDT

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