September 8, 2008

Wasn't this Obama's idea?

The missile launch in North Waziristan comes amid a wave of stepped-up attacks by U.S. forces in Pakistan's border areas near Afghanistan. The strike Monday marked the fifth cross-border incursion by U.S. forces in about a week.
Meanwhile, John McCain searches for imaginary "Gates of Hell"

9 comments:

Clutch said...

Wow, the US has invaded and occupied Pakistan!

William Tyroler said...

Obama's idea? Not quite: his inspired idea was "that as president he would be prepared to order U.S. troops into that country unilaterally."

Clutch, so quick to sever "occupation" from "invasion" in the prior thread now severs "troops" from missiles. (Repeating the same mis-reading of Obama's quoted remark he or she made before.) Not that I expect reading comprehension from clutch.

Nothing to worry about, though. A few desultory, Clintonesque missile lobs may not get the job done. If not, we may put boots on the ground to invade (and, yes occupy) a portion of a nuclear power in order to squelch the Pashtun. And then, there will be much teeth-gnashing about Bushitler and neo-colonialism, not so much about how this was Obama's brainchild. Quite possibly, too, clutch will then see how very quickly events can spiral out of control.

(And no, clutch, I won't respond to whatever you post; the exchange on the last thread was as silly as it gets.)

William Tyroler said...

I do wonder, though (without intending in any way, shape or form to engage in further discussion of whether Obama's threat to invade yet another 'Stan was a mere gaffe or major diplo-blunder: take note, clutch) ...

What do Obama supporters think about these missile strikes? Good idea or bad? Something they'd want President Obama to do?

illusory tenant said...

I can't say I'm exactly an Obama supporter, but I'm even less of a Taliban supporter, and it doesn't bother me much if the U.S. (or Canada, for that matter) goes after some of its more virulent leaders.

Although targeting religious schools probably won't capture many local hearts and minds. But, apparently that's where they set up shop, so what can you do.

Clutch said...

Ah, William.

his inspired idea was "that as president he would be prepared to order U.S. troops into that country unilaterally."

As the pronoun "he" would indicate to most literate readers of English, this is not a quote from Obama.

An actual quote from Obama would be an excellent way to determine what Obama actually said.

For example: "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."

I can't speak to the question of how this got sloppily summarized in the reporter's words at which you stopped reading, but it's quite clear that the threat would be satisfied by nothing more than "desultory Clintonesque missile lobs". It's barely conceivable, I suppose, that reporters' summaries aren't always perfectly accurate, and that you should actually learn what was actually said before cluelessly pontificating about misreadings.

In the meantime, though, I've learned not to expect an apology and retraction for such shoddy and obviously erroneous accusations.

William Tyroler said...

it doesn't bother me much if the U.S. (or Canada, for that matter) goes after some of its more virulent leaders.

Excellent analysis! Added benefit: pithy. (As usual, from iT.)

Clutch, at long last, sort of stumbles onto something, sort of, which is Obama's tendency to put his foot in his mouth. "Gaffes," they call it, clutch, at least when it's something innocuous like asserting that you've visited all 57 states. Threatening to invade another country, when you don't really mean it, is a whole other order of "gaffe," though. And that ("invasion") is exactly the way the mainstream media construed it:

In a strikingly bold speech about terrorism Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Sen. Barack Obama called not only for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, but a redeployment of troops into Afghanistan and even Pakistan — with or without the permission of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

As I've hinted before, if clutch had employed rudimentary research skills he would have discovered that technically Obama may well have threatned an "incursion" rather than "invasion." To which I'd say, that's an awfully fine hair to split when you're bellowing about a nuclearized country.

No matter. If, as clutch now suggests (taking a self-defeating tack), no one used a direct quote, then whatever words Obama used ineluctably led the mainstream media to conclude that he indeed threatened to put troops in Pakistan. And if that is not what he meant (which is apparently what clutch thinks), then the problem is that his vaunted rhetorical skills may leave something to desire after all.

The problem for clutch is, though, that Obama's subsequent attempt to explain himself in the aftermath only made matters worse:

"I never called for an invasion of Pakistan or Afghanistan" he said. Obama said that what he actually said was that if there were "actionable intelligence reports" showing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, U.S. troops should enter the country and try to capture bin Laden and al Qaeda terrorists -- an entry only if "the Pakistani government was unable or unwilling" to do so.

So, it turns out he did threaten to put troops in Pakistan. I suppose he didn't mean to say that he planned to "occupy" Pakistan, and it's OK then.

Clutch said...

You know, William, IT seems to think fairly highly of you. And that goes some way with me, because I think highly of him. I do want to find the glimmer of gold among the dross. But in spite of my best efforts, you really are becoming completely incoherent on this.

if clutch had employed rudimentary research skills he would have discovered that technically Obama may well have threatned an "incursion" rather than "invasion."

Which is exactly what I've said all along. And I knew this not because I read an ABC News Blog, but because I read -- and quoted, at length -- exactly what Obama said. That's how I knew what he said, you see. I read it. Quoted it for you, twice. Linked you to it.

While you fulminated, fumbled, and fumed.

In what Bizarro World is it an optional or extra step, still less a lazy, sneaky, or mistaken step, to actually consult what someone actually said, before launching into one hysterical screed after another on the topic?

You seem deeply offended that I was right -- like it was dirty pool, somehow, or "lawyerly" to actually have known what I was talking about, and to have debunked your silliness with incontrovertible fact. And now your offense takes the weird form of a triumphant declaration of what I told you all along.

Me: Obama did not say he would invade and occupy Pakistan.

You: Sure he did! Here's a quote from someone else altogether in which Obama doesn't say that.

Me: Um. No, really. Read what Obama said. It's not hard.

You: Ha, dumbass! Obama did not say he would invade and occupy Pakistan! Some guy even said he didn't! Why don't you do some research? Also, 57 states something something.

The only irony missing from your descent into this version of the Chewbacca Defense was yet another insistence that the discussion has gotten silly...

ChenZhen said...

This has brought up before by a few myself and others (since it isn't the first time the Post has reported that we're already bombing Pakistan), in light of McCain stating that it was the "confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate" to suggest such a thing. The response on the apparent disconnect that I've gotten from one blogger in particular is in line with what Biden said at the time: "The way to deal with it is not to announce it, but to do it,". The paradox, of course, is that as a candidate for president, one can't actually do something like this, but if someone wanted to become president, it would make sense to detail what one would do (like a position on taxes, health care, or anything else). So this becomes the meme against Obama(as head-scratchingly silly as it might appear): Saying it is more dangerous than actually doing it without saying it.

William Tyroler said...

Chenzen raises an interesting point: So this becomes the meme against Obama(as head-scratchingly silly as it might appear): Saying it is more dangerous than actually doing it without saying it. But this poses a problem for Obama supporters which is, how sure are you that Obama's prosecution of war against jihadis would be all that different in the end from Bush's? (It's a rhetorical question, by the way.)

Clutch: here's how we got to the present point, 13 or so short hours ago. I indicated that Obama threatened to order troops into Pakistan (11:26 a.m.). You suggested, in so many words, that I was wrong, that it's quite clear that [Obama meant] the threat would be satisfied by nothing more than "desultory Clintonesque missile lobs." (12:23 p.m.) Some hours later you say that my suggestion that Obama's threat might be in the nature of "incursion" rather than invasion "is exactly what I've said all along ... I knew what he said, you see. I read it." This is why further discussion is pointless. An incursion requires troops crossing a border -- the very thing I alleged and you denied. It was "clear" to you that Obama meant missile lobs rather than troops -- until you caught my reference to incursion, and then incursion became what you had argued all along. This is where I get off the merry-go-round.

One final thought, though, and then no more from me. Whether Obama's proposal amounted to an incursion or an invasion would be seen by the Pakistanis, whose sovereignty would be compromised whatever the label, as a very sterile lawyer's debate. None of this will be troubling if one doesn't think the presence of hostile infidel Crusader troops in a sovereign and nuclearized Muslim power has any chance of spiraling out of control. Label it "incursion" and the problem goes away, right?