Forget last week’s silly back and forth over whether it is naive or not to meet with foreign badguys. Barack Obama makes news today with a speech on terrorism that included the far more substantive declaration that he would take military action against al-Qaeda in Pakistan without the consent of the Musharraf government. A key quote:
As President, I would make the hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditional, and I would make our conditions clear: Pakistan must make substantial progress in closing down the training camps, evicting foreign fighters, and preventing the Taliban from using Pakistan as a staging area for attacks in Afghanistan.
I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But 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.
That’s tougher than anything we have seen from the Bush Administration–which is not necessarily a good thing, as far as the liberal blogophere is concerned.
Over at Mydd, Jerome Armstrong writes that it is “basically, a continuation of the Bush doctrine of unilateral pre-emptive attacks in the mid-east, with Obama adding Pakistan to the list.”
So how do you think this is going to go over? Does it suggest that a Commander-in-Chief Obama will be resolute or rash?