Day by Day

01 August 2007

On to Pakistan....

Senator Barack Obama has said that, as President, he would invade Pakistan if that government will not do more to deal with terrorists. His foreign policy vision is already the talk of many.

Isn't this the same logic precipitating our action into Iraq? Is the left radically changing their views? Are some nations more sovreign than others? I mean we had asked the (then) government to comply with UN mandates. They failed to do so, we had an active military action under constant attack in the northern and southern no-fly zones. Thus we acted multi-laterally in removing the non-compliant government.

Am I missing some moral equivalency? We did the same thing in Afghanistan (the good invasion). I mean are there bad guys out there who deserve military action or not? Is simple diplomacy enough?

UPDATE: Read the comment by Mud Shark. I would also like to invite our dear readers to post their top five foreign policy concerns (for the purposes of this discussion, free trade and immigration will NOT be a foreign policy concern). In addition, I would invite the readers to post their top five solutions - and any references to candidates who seem to be aligned with their views.


BostonMaggie said...

I'm sorry you can not appreciate Obama's nuanced foreign policy.

Have you met his chief advisor?

Major John said...

This is what happens when you take a short-time Illinois legislator and vote him into "The World's Greatest Deliberative Body" for a short jaunt (and then flatter him into running for CinC). Grah!

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I am understanding your position. You think the Jr Senator from IL. is incorrect to say we should invade an ally who has nukes, is under severe internal political pressure while transitioning a country from the 1600's into the industrial age. and that the US, with clear UN support, legal backing, and in a state of war (Gulf War I was still in effect...only a cease fire...and that document was violated daily) who had attempted to assisnate a former president, was (censored for national security content)! and had the demonstrated capacity to use chemical weapons, was wrong to exercise it's self protective options? I am really stunned you do not see the connection!
It is so simple! It goes back to everything he and the LW DEMS support and decry. GW WANTED to destroy Sadam. Hussain Barak Obama Wants to establish an Islamic Jihad against the USA.
Mud Shark

Citizen Deux said...

Shark! Glad to see you surface once in a while! I will be in your neck of the woods in the 2nd week of SEP for some AT/FP schooling.

sonicfrog said...

Bagels. That's my solution to everything... Bagels.

sonicfrog said...

OK. Sorry about that. I was in the middle of breakfast.

While I disagree with Obama's solution of an unprovoked, preventative, illegal, immoral war (thanks libs and Chomsky for the meme), I do appreciate that his professed war-mongering diatribe has brought the nations attention to Pakistan.

Seriously, Pakistan has been a great concern to me in the last several years, even superseding Iran. It is safe to assume that elements within the Musharif govt. (if not the man himself) are unofficially aiding and abetting the al-qaeda elements within the country. Of all the enemies and semi-allies we have in the middle east, that country, for the obvious atomic reason, would be the most dangerous should its current government fall to the islamic radicals.

I just lost my train of thought... Bagels!!!

sonicfrog said...

Whoops. I'll probably get kicked off CD's blog for even mentioning the name Noam!!!

Anonymous said...


1. The alignment of Department of State global organization with the DoD. The mismatch currently prevents unity of effort and negates any potential synergy.
2. The soft power war between the USA and Europe. We are under attack and we refuse to act. Most do not even know we are being drug through economic knot hole after knot hole.
3. China. We ARE at war. The repeated (censored for national security) under scores this. The previous Presidents policies have aided them and they are poised to make our lives much more difficult. The inability of the US to develop a coherent soft power approach (see item 1) is exacerbating the problem. Also note that China has a population problem, a MALE population problem. The historic method of dealing with this issue has been rather simple. War. Just a thought.
4. Saudi Arabia. The primary source of funds for our current enemy and intellectual center for his recruitment. The solution to this, though simple, will be difficult to execute. Cozy up to Russia and route the oil out of the Persian Gulf. The issue is not US oil, its our "allies". Japan gets a much higher percentage of it's oil from SA than we do.
5. The southern continents (South America and Africa) The race is on between Europe and China to dominate these areas. Africa is the new breeding ground for the Islamists; South America is where they are getting increasing amounts of money (read drugs). We have not yet entered the race (see note 1) in a cogent fashion and our delays WILL result in national threats in 10-20 years. The LONG term solution is close engagement at all levels and not simple labor exploitation.
Semper Fi!

Citizen Deux said...

Noam is definitely not on my Christmas list, or Hannakuh or Kwanza or Samhain for that matter! However, Pakistan is a much more stable regime than Iran. Consider their arch rivalry with India. Despite actually engaging in a shooting war, their diatribe rarely devolves into the type of apocolyptic rhetoric we have from Ahmagonnajihad.

Citizen Deux said...

Thoughts on the great powers in 50 years? Will it be China / the EU and a yet to be named SA country (Brazil - unlikely!)? Shark, the Chinese continue to ignore their peasantry, at their peril - any thought on this?

Anonymous said...

50 Years: *THE* World powers: Not in order.
1. USA; We have been counted out before but the US economy is HUGE! The technology base is uniformly spread across every aspect of our society, and the basic nature of "Americans" is still scrappy (we LOVE to compete). The Governmental system is still self correcting (if a bit slow for the A.D.D. society), and generally speaking, there isn’t anything better out there.
2. The EU: IF they don't devolve into civil war they will be players. They are slowly beginning to run into the same issues the USA ran into. Only for them it is much worse. The surrender of one's sovereignty is difficult. In the USA we have a much more forward looking mind set than in Europe. The EU nations are much more focused on the past. And, in my opinion, there will be a transitional time when some member countries will decide they want to opt out of the Union. Perhaps even to form a separate Confederation in order to maintain their sovereign rights to manage internal and external commerce and taxation. Though, if trends continue on their current path, the caliphate will declare victory in Europe and THEN things will get very interesting. A review of Muslim birth rates and the accepted multi-cultural societal structures in Europe can only spell the current EU's doom. Civil/Cultural war will be rampant. IF the EU can overcome these issues, World power status. If not, I think they will remain interesting also-rans.
3. Korea: Unification after Kim's death. Economic power house already. Add the North's resources and BAM! Major Player.
4. Japan: A resurgent Korea and stronger China will FORCE Japan to rearm. These folks, LOATH each other. Unless you have spent some time with them, you can not fully understand this. They would sell each others souls in a heart beat. Japan's Navy could probably take down China's in an afternoon. But quantity has a quality all its own. Japan is already positioning it self to rearm. Its initial forays into armed deployments has begun. Watch the multi-national fight over the Spratley islands for indicators and warnings. They remain FIERCELY nationalistic and are rivaled only by the Koreans in the area of homogeneity. They are the GROUP THINK KINGS!
5. China: There are so many ifs here I am reticent to put them on the list, but: IF they can drag their population out of the stone age and subsistence farming. IF they can educate their population without a haves vs. have-nots civil war. IF they can keep their nationalism in check and not provoke a catastrophic war with their neighbors and the USA (Japan, Taiwan, Korea, India, Thailand, etc. etc.) IF Islam does not take root and create a civil war. IF the Southwest does not revolt. IF the Northeast does not revolt. Then, I think they will be true powers. Right now they have money, people, and resources. They lack a uniform technology base, uniform basic education, and an involved population. As the education levels rise, the population will DEMAND a more active voice. Additionally, the traditionalists, though thinned dramatically during the cultural revolution WILL make themselves felt as their country moves towards industrial/imperialism. And yes they WILL get imperial. Every nation does. Its like the terrible twos. All WE can do is try to influence without appearing imperial ourselves (hard to do when every military HQ has a map of the world displaying the areas of responsibility for each of the military governors, err, I mean regional combatant commanders. China sees this, measures it against its long history of European (and yes, US) intervention, and it maneuvers to prevent it from ever happening again.
Semper Fi!

John said...

Regarding Obama: I seem to recall a Democrat President and Congress concocting attacks in a place called the Gulf of Tonkin... Actually, I am young enough not to have to have suffered through the degredation of the 60's. But I got my share in the 90's, when another Democrat Pres ignored the soveriegnty of whatever country (Sudan, Somalia, Serbia, Afghanistan, who did I forget?) seemed to be in the way at the time.

Bottom line is, like the other two Dems mentioned above, Obama has the double peril of being clueless on the issues and being surrounded by folks who are also clueless, and see US Military power as just another thing they can flail around with in an effort to do what they "feel" is right without consulting experts or caring about the results, as long as they "did something".

Citizen Deux said...

Clinton's policy with regard to the military was to treat it like a 911 service - with nary a thought to what was necessary to maintain it during non-emergency times. To be fair, those days did seem like a new period with declining threats and endless economic opportunity.

BostonMaggie said...

Concur with-Mud Shark on 2,3, and 4. However, if he has listed them in order of importance, I would put the "European soft power" problem last.

For me it's -

1. Saudi Arabia
2. China
3. Niger River Delta
4. The enemies of Israel (saving myself a little typing)
5. European Union

The answer to all these problems is a combination of educating Americans on the realities of these dangers (not scare - educate); build the military whether for "show of force" purposes or actual boots on the ground; growing the intelligence community (fostering 1st hand knowledge & encouraging those in that community to learn Mandarin, Arabic and Persian) and going "green" we need to depend less on foreign sources of energy.