In reading the New York Times this morning, Bush has given the go ahead into invading Pakistan. The article reports, “President Bush secretly approved orders in July that for the first time allow American Special Operations forces to carry out ground assaults inside Pakistan without the prior approval of the Pakistani government” First of all, here Bush goes again invading another country.
The administration has said that they will notify the Pakistani government of these raids to combat Al Qaeda and the Taliban, but they will not ask for permission. While it does concern me whether or not congress has any say in this matter, the article reports, “Some senior Congressional officials have received briefings on the new authorities. A spokeswoman for Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who leads the Armed Services Committee, declined to comment.”
Now this passage jumped out at me, "The new orders reflect concern about safe havens for Al Qaeda and the Taliban inside Pakistan, as well as an American view that Pakistan lacks the will and ability to combat militants." How long have we been in Iraq now? We have been there since 2003 and with an military force stretched to the limit: Do we have the ability now to confront these militants in another country? This could have been done five years ago when Operation Shock and Awe commenced where we targeted the wrong people. Now the Bush administration is going after these militants? What took you so long, President Bush?
In targeting this region does President Bush agree more with Senator Barack Obama who said this in his acceptance speech of John McCain, “I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell, but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.”
Also is this part of the Bush Doctrine for a preemptive strike on any nation he believes harbors terrorists? This is what Todd Gitlin wrote of the Bush Doctrine in a Mother Jones piece back in February of 2003, "the Bush doctrine -- is a romantic justification for easy recourse to war whenever and wherever an American president chooses." Again, doesn't congress have a say in this matter?
Now we all know that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction to counter our attack, so it was alarming to read, "Pakistan’s top army officer said Wednesday that his forces would not tolerate American incursions like the one that took place last week and that the army would defend the country’s sovereignty “at all costs.” Pakistan does have that ability since they have nuclear weapons. Is this Bush's gift to all of us as he leaves office in a few short months? I asked before if we have the ability to confront these militants: What happens if the new president of Pakistan who is not as friendly to us as Musharaff was uses his military force against the United States?
While the article states that the Pakistani government gave permission for limited intervention, it did not give permission for each mission.
This article does state that raids are only, "stoking anti-Americanism in the tribal areas" But, what is striking is this comment coming from Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington when he said, "Unilateral action by the American forces does not help the war against terror because it only enrages public opinion,” Will the citizens of Pakistan call upon their new president to counter these attacks within their country?
Getting back to what Senator Obama said of McCain and where he mentioned Osama bin Laden by name: Will the Bush administration pull a rabbit out of a hat where he will find bin Laden just in time for our presidential elections to help John McCain? If that is the case Bush was not putting ‘Country First’ by allowing so many years to go by before invading Pakistan where some think bin Laden is hiding out. If that is truly the case, we should not reward the Republicans as we go to the polls especially when over 4,000 soldiers have died in Iraq.
That article also stated where, “the new president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, who supports more aggressive action by his army against the militants but cannot risk being viewed as an American lap dog, as was his predecessor, Pervez Musharraf.” You would have thought if we had such a great relationship with Musharaff, he could have assisted us with the capture of bin Laden years ago if bin Laden is truly hiding out within Pakistan.
On this most somber day, Bush should have fulfilled his mission to capture bin Laden “Dead or alive” and not years later if that is what my gut is telling me of why he is choosing this military action now. I can opine that because I have not trusted the judgment and leadership coming from President Bush and his supporters for years now. Time after time, they have let the American people down. I do suppose there are many like me who are tired and angry of presidents such as Bush stoking up anti-Americanism not only in Pakistan, but around the world.
On September 14th, 2001 when Bush made his first visit to Ground Zero he wrapped his arms around a firefighter, shouted into a bullhorn and said, "I can here you! I can here you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people -- and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!" The question should be put towards Bush if his plan is to go in and capture Osama bin Laden: What took you so long? As Sarah Palin stated of that bridge to no where, “Thanks but no thanks” we should all be saying to McCain and the Republicans on Election Day, “Thanks but no thanks”
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