Thursday, July 29, 2004

It's good to see the Pakis got their Bush campaign donation in, as scripted. Americans can now look forward to Osama doing the perp walk in October. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for killing or capturing terrorists. But shouldn't this pressure to bring in a high-value target have been brought to bear sooner, rather than later? Did we have to wait until the Democratic convention? Maybe if Bush had pressured the Pakis more on this earlier, this guy could have been brought in 2 years ago. It's reminiscent of the timing of the release of hostages held in Tehran on Reagan's inauguration.

A man who is willing to play these sorts of games for domestic political gain should not be running the war on terrorism.


Jeffrey Hill said...

Prepare to groan, Dude:

The president is not playing games. It would be one thing if Bush sat on his duff for three years and just now started putting pressure on Musharraf to go after al Qaeda just in time for the election. But that’s not the case. In one of his more praiseworthy diplomatic efforts, Bush has managed to turn Pakistan into one of our better allies, despite the fact that it was one of the only nations to support the Taliban. It’s not easy for Musharraf to operate along the Afghan border where tribal lords are sympathetic to al Qaeda, but because of our steady pressure, he is increasingly doing so. And we haven’t sold the farm in return (I’m thinking of Bush’s refusal to sell Masharraf F-16s in 2003 in return for his cooperation – a principled and firm stance). After 9/11, Bush had Musharraf’s balls in a vice. If he squeezed them too tight in 2002, Musharraf could have either turned against us or his power would have become too unstable. Both of those situations would have been dreadfully bad for us. I think Bush’s deft handling of Musharraf is to be commended. Whether Kerry has it in him to do the same is a huge question mark.

Forgive me if I don’t swallow what a few Pakistani officials say regarding the election. I’m sure Bush would like to get bin Laden before November – but I’m not convinced it is driving the operation which has been going on for five months. Now if we’ve had bin Laden for months, ready to announce it in October, then that could be considered a game.

Dude said...

I would like to have seen Osama killed or captured not in time for this November, but rather, in November of 2001. But we relied on the warlords, not our own troops to do the Tora Bora operation.

Jeffrey Hill said...

You're right. We made some big mistakes at Tora Bora.