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More fallout from the Obama/Pakistan remark
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, August 07, 2007

In a nation where George Bush's name is invoked as an integral part of of the act of spitting, Germany isn't at all impressed with Brack Obama's latest political gaffe. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, noted the remark and had this to say in a short editorial comment:
Whoever takes Obama’s remark seriously will soon begin to start brooding, especially because Pakistan and its president are indispensable to wear down the terrorists. For sure, Musharraf has made mistakes and various maneuverings, but to pull the domestic political rug out from under him would further deteriorate the situation. The world that is now keenly looking forward to the end of President Bush’s administration will find out that— if a Democrat succeeds him—there are certain continuities across U.S. party lines. Unilateralism is not Bush’s invention.
It never has been, but Democrats have sure spent a lot of time and effort trying to make that claim.

As Ulf Gartzke points out:
In Germany, a country where Bush’s personal approval ratings have long been in the single digits and where the Democrats are widely seen as the forces of good (back in 2004, polls indicated a German preference for John Kerry by a margin of 85-90 percent), a more differentiated assessment of U.S. politics is certainly welcome news. And so Obama's blunt attempt to re-gain vital national security ground after losing out to Hillary Clinton in the recent Democratic debate has backfired in the States and abroad. As another Democratic candidate for the presidency, Joe Biden, said at a National Press Club luncheon last Wednesday, "The way to deal with it is not to announce it, but to do it."
While many Obama supporters are attempting to claim that the incident has been overblown, the opposite is actually true. That wasn't an off-the-cuff remark made on the stump that his campaign can claim was misunderstood or taken out of context. It came in a prepared address and it show's Obama's lack of experience in foreign affairs. He was striving for a tough look. Instead he ended up scaring our allies. That, at least in my book, equals "not ready for prime time" for Obama.
 
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BUT, what does Obama care? What do you call the man who graduated last in Medical School? Doctor. What do you call the neophyte empty suit that is elected POTUS? Mr President, alternatively Jimmuh Carter. Whilst I don’t think Obama is ever going to be POTUS, if on the odd chance he does become POTUS, well Pakistan and the BRD are just going to have to learn to live with it.

Bottom-Line: Obama and his supporters could care less what the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung or the Islamabad Times Picayuane thinks or says....only that he get 270-plus Electoral Votes. (Please note I don’t think this a good thing, but good or bad it is.)
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Not that I like Obama, but just a few days after his comments come reports that Pakistan is re-arresting terrorists and is launching attacks against terrorist bases.

Maybe these events were already in the works, or maybe Pakistan figured that if even the left was focusing on Pakistan as a problem, then they needed to do something more than they’ve been doing to stay in our good graces.

We shouldn’t care so much about Musharaff. What we ought to care about is whether Pakistan is aiding those who wish us harm, or whether they are helping get rid of them. If we can get cooperation by sucking up to them, as Bush prefers to do, fine. But if it takes pissing - and scaring - them a bit, that’s fine by me as well. Better to have Pakistan pissed at us but doing what we want than liking us and doing nothing.

Again, I doubt that was what Obama had in mind. He probably did speak without thinking things through. but it is hard to argue that, at least right now, Pakistan is doing things we like. And if Obama had anything to do with that, good for him.
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
Not ready for prime time? But he served in the Illinois legislature! And he’s so sincere and handsome. And he wants to change Washington!
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
The world that is now keenly looking forward to the end of President Bush’s administration will find out that— if a Democrat succeeds him—there are certain continuities across U.S. party lines. Unilateralism is not Bush’s invention.
The world is going to be deeply shocked, because even a Pres. Hillary (shudder) won’t govern as far to the left as European elite would like to see. I look forward with amusement to their dismay.
In Germany, a country where Bush’s personal approval ratings have long been in the single digits
Thank god Bush isn’t running for Fuhrer!

The Europeans sure seem to have an overstated sense of their own importance, don’t they?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Unilateralism is not Bush’s invention.

It never has been, but Democrats have sure spent a lot of time and effort trying to make that claim.
And WAS it unlilateral? The involvement of other nations would seem to preclude the charge to those who are being honest.

Further, is all unilateralism evil, or even equal?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
The thing that throws me for a loop is that the remarks were stupid not only in a foreign policy sense, but also seemingly in terms of Presidential politics. I mean, Obama is locked in a tight race with Hillary for the nomination right now. It’s too soon to start moving back to the center, if that’s what this was all about.

The conventional wisdom is that Hillary’s strength is in the Clinton machine and the institutional support. I thought Obama’s advantage was that the nutroots don’t like Hillary, since she hasn’t towed their line on Iraq. With this speech, though, Obama might as well have given the bird to the nutroots.

Here is some idle speculation: Obama does have a lot of cash and savvy operatives. Maybe their private analyses are telling them that the nutroots support will not help them enough to clinch the nomination, and will hurt them in the general election, so they have decided to attack Hillary from the right on some issues.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Again, I doubt that was what Obama had in mind. He probably did speak without thinking things through.
He was not only speaking from a prepared transcript, but his team actually gave the transcript to reporters before the speech, so that he didn’t get misquoted.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
He was not only speaking from a prepared transcript, but his team actually gave the transcript to reporters before the speech, so that he didn’t get misquoted.
Bet THAT practice stops...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
So, an article in a German paper is enough support a position to say, "Germany isn’t at all impressed with Brack Obama’s latest political gaffe. "

If the NYT prints something, can I quote it and say, "America feels this way..."?

Nah, I didn’t think so.

The White House has said they will pursue terrorists in Pakistan, preferably with Pakistan’s approval, but if they don’t get Pakistan’s approval, they will pursue terrorists in Pakistan.

Some folks here have called this "nuance". Apparently the nuance was lost on Pakistan, they had the identical reaction to Obama’s comments as they had the to the Administration official’s comments.

For the 10th time on this subject...

Obama’s comments
“I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges,” Obama said, but added, “if we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”
Tony Snow
"We always maintain the option of striking actionable targets, but we also realize that Pakistan is a sovereign government and a very important player in the war on terror."
Frances Townsend
There is no question. The president’s made perfectly clear if we had actionable targets anywhere in the world, putting aside whether it was Pakistan or anyplace else, we would pursue those targets.
Pakistan’s responses to three people, two in the administration, and one in the opposition party, have been the same, calling any suggestions of unilateral action in Pakistant irresponsible.

Obama did the adminstration a favor by reiterating the defacto position of the current US government, and realistically, any new government, that we prefer to act together, but we will act unilaterally if we Pakistan does not cooperate.

I am trying to be an objective observer on this, and being that I have no intention of supporting Obama, and would prefer that he dropped like a rock in the polls, I have no horse in this particular race.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Eric asks about a comment from the German paper:
"Unilateralism is not Bush’s invention."

And WAS it unlilateral?
If it’s Iraq the German editorial refers to, that was a case that was thoroughly processed through the world community’s collective security apparatus (The UN Security Counsel) over twelve years.

UNSC resolution 1441 is unambiguous in declaring Iraq in "continuing material breach" of its obligations under the 1991 cease fire and equally unambiguous in re-endorsing the authorization to use force in resolution 678. The Iraqis are given "by this resolution" (not by another future resolution a "final opportunity" (not a next to final opportunity) to comply. Failure to comply completely and immediately triggers "further material breach" at the moment that Blix reports any incident of failure to comply. "Serious consequences" are promised. Serious consequences were administered by the U.S. as a Member State (of the UN) along with other Member States.

The program for the Left is to insist that the U.S. "go to the UN." When the U.S. goes to the UN, the Left then ignores that the U.S. went to the UN.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
The program for the Left is to insist that the U.S. "go to the UN." When the U.S. goes to the UN, the Left then ignores that the U.S. went to the UN.
Nonsense, if Bush had intended to launch punitive strikes, or sought to destroy terrorists inside Iraq, very few on the American left would have serious objections, some political grandstanding ala Kosovo era Republicans would be about it.

Invasion, occupation, and nation building, are the most invasive a nation can possibly get (aside from nuking the country), to compare this to unilateral action for pinpoint raids in Pakistan is just... well... just like you.


Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
"it show’s Obama’s lack of experience in foreign affairs."

And also that of his advisors and confidants.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Sarcastic writes:
Invasion, occupation, and nation building, are the most invasive a nation can possibly get (aside from nuking the country), to compare this to unilateral action for pinpoint raids in Pakistan is just... well... just like you.
I wasn’t making any such comparison. I was addressing Eric’s question "Was it unilateral?" regarding the German paper’s mention of George Bush’s "unilateralism." And I wrote that if by that the paper meant Iraq, that, no, there was nothing unilateral about it. See my response for the rest of it, and learn to read.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
And I wrote that if by that the paper meant Iraq, that, no, there was nothing unilateral about it. See my response for the rest of it, and learn to read.
And Martin, that was precisely my point for raising the question in the first place. As I’ve been pointing out in other threads this morning, a lot of this kind of thing comes down to a matter of perception. Perception is precisely why the Beauchamp article was written and printed. Perception is exactly why The left cannot possibly withstand positive news coming out of our efforts in Iraq, because the perception will change. And, perception is precisely why the part of the article that I questioned was written the way it was.


 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
In a nation where George Bush’s name is invoked as an integral part of of the act of spitting, Germany isn’t at all impressed with Brack Obama’s latest political gaffe.
Possibly, but the staunchly conservative Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung is hardly evidence of that. When I lived there in the late 1980s, President Reagan was every bit as loathed as Bush is today, if not more so; I seriously doubt any modern poll would show today’s Germans trusting Vladimir Putin more than George W. Bush, yet that is exactly what the polls showed back then between Gorbachev and Reagan. But FAZ loved Reagan, and while I haven’t followed the paper in recent years, I’d be surprised if they were anti-Bush.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/

 
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