Sunday, July 20, 2008

Charmed, I'm sure

Obama sat down with the charming Lara Logan of CBS to discuss the war fight in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which he considers very critical. Watch the whole thing, otherwise you'll miss the highlights edited out of the short version:
  • He said we need to take a "regional approach" and not be myopic about Iraq, meaning we have to engage Pakistan (as if we haven't yet). Apparently this is some kind of reverse regional approach that eliminates Iraq from the region, which is located in the source region for most of the "Afghan Arab" Mujihadeen who are now flowing into the region.
  • He suggested we could have captured the leaders of al Qaeda and the Taliban had we not "taken our eyes off the ball". Obama supporters might argue this doesn't mean at Tora Bora but inclusive from the time they got away. OK, but the last time they were known to be in Afghanistan was at Tora Bora and we haven't had a fix since in Pakistan, so he seems to be saying we 'took our eye off the ball' BEFORE we went into Iraq. How?
  • An Obama regime would be less unilateral and more involved in the interests of other countries. This despite his re-iterated policy from last year wherein he'd go after high value targets wherever they are, even if the host country said no, perhaps an even more draconian Bush doctrine than the real one.
Wonder if someone could pose this hypothetical to Obama--since Zarqawi and one of the WTC 1 bombers were in Iraq before the invasion; and since Saddam wasn't about to turn over anybody without significant concessions the west would surely consider to be deal-breakers that could undermine the UN sanction process; would Obama have veered from that policy with Saddam, even knowing he didn't have nukes?

At any rate, Logan seemed fully charmed.

MORE 7/20/08

Despite Obama's inconsistent logic on the war he's correct that the situation in Afghanistan is getting worse, thanks to Pakistan:
Afghanistan is replacing Iraq as the destination of choice for international jihadists, Western intelligence agencies claim. Analysts have monitored a surge in online recruitment of “lions of Islam” to join the war in Afghanistan through jihadist websites,
At the same time perhaps Obama's rhetoric gives Bush cover to get more aggressive with the Pakis and the tribal areas, which has independently declared war on NATO forces in Afghanistan, and hence that country itself. Perhaps the much-anticipated show of air power sometime before the end of the year will not come in Iran, but a little further east?

Whatever the case, something must be done soon to ebb the flow. AQ's overall plan is to wage a long war, which stretches western resolve and drains our treasuries, something western economies can't withstand forever.

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