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Obama comes out swinging - US missile strikes in Pakistan

  1. Jan 23, 2009 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/01/23/missiles-pakistan.html
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2009 #2
    What is your opinion on this matter?
     
  4. Jan 23, 2009 #3

    BobG

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    I presume they mean UAVs (usually Predators) instead of spy planes. Those have been going on for some time and there's no reason to stop them as long as Pakistan is a base for fighters coming into Afghanistan.

    It's probably more accurate to say Obama hasn't changed US policy in this regard rather than implying he's taking some new action.
     
  5. Jan 23, 2009 #4
    Are we at war with Pakistan?
     
  6. Jan 23, 2009 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    As stated in the article linked, it is a continuation of the existing policy - allegedly a backroom agreement between the US and Pakistan.

    My opinion? I think I understand how Obama thinks. If he elected to continue these attacks, then I would probably make the same call. But no matter how one feels about it, the Obama haters have lost yet another piece of ammunition - the claim that he's weak. It was a rather bold move and it certainly makes a strong statement to launch an attack on his third full day in office.
     
  7. Jan 23, 2009 #6
    Uh, no we are not.
     
  8. Jan 23, 2009 #7

    russ_watters

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    Could you provide evidence to support the implied claim that Obama ordered the strike or even merely signed off on someone else's request? If there is an existing policy/ROE in place, Obama might not have necessarily even known about it ahead of time. He's a busy man right now - there is no way to know if he even made a decision on the policy yet. Heck, it could have been on his to-do list for this week!

    I'm not saying he didn't, but I'll need support for the claim that he did.

    It is way too early to determine whether he will be weak or strong on defense.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2009
  9. Jan 23, 2009 #8

    chemisttree

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    I believe that during the election Obama had something to say about pursuing terrorists inside the borders of Pakistan. Just what "ammunition" are your referring to? Where in the record have you seen that an "Obama hater" suggested that he would not pursue terrorists inside the borders of Pakistan?
     
  10. Jan 23, 2009 #9

    Art

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    If Obama is to continue the policy of missile strikes against an ally's sovereign territory he should insist the military double check the addresses of their targets first.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7847423.stm
     
  11. Jan 23, 2009 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    Russ, do you think a military strike can be made without the approval of the President? It was reported that Obama was briefed on the policy earlier this week, which he clearly didn't revoke. The policy requires the approval of the President, but he doesn't have to be informed ahead of a strike if it is a time critical target. As yet the print stories haven't caught up, but I will post a link later if no one else does.

    Chemisttree, you are correct in your observation that Obama is doing exactly what he promised, again. But as for your request, that isn't what I said. Please read what has been posted before commenting. I said that it shows he isn't weak - that he isn't afraid to use military power when needed.

    Indeed this has been a favorite worn-out claim for the right against probably every Democratic nominee in my lifetime.

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/1020200/postopinion/opedcolumnists/america_the_weak_134398.htm
     
  12. Jan 23, 2009 #11

    LowlyPion

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    This account says he ordered it.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/24/pakistan-barack-obama-air-strike
     
  13. Jan 23, 2009 #12
    this was the sort of thing I was worried about with his statements regarding the afghanistan situation. I should hope that an intelligent man like Obama would be aware of history and the previous attempts at securing that region.
     
  14. Jan 24, 2009 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    I think this is about actually fighting the enemy who attacked us. Recall that there was very little resistance to Bush's invasion of Afghanistan. The only criticism that I've heard is that Bush lost focus - the real war on terror was derailed by going into Iraq.
     
  15. Jan 24, 2009 #14
    I don't particularly feel like commenting on the Pakistan issue, but the "Obama comes out swinging" part of this thread's heading attracted my attention.

    It looks like the man is really going for it. Already two controversial issues Dealt With (note the capital letters):

    Obama orders Guantanamo closure

    Obama lifts ban on abortion funds

    It's ridiculous to comment on the man's style less than a week into his (first) term in office but man, it looks promising.
     
  16. Jan 24, 2009 #15
    I didn't vote for him but I'm glad he's got cohonas and isn't the pacifist so many people thought he might be. He seems to acknowledge that we are in a war of idealogies and as THE MAN in charge, isn't going to compromise our position as Americans. (Or Ameericans, depending on your leaning :)

    As a conservative, I'm not disappointed in him regarding his position regarding defending our ideals. Basically, calling an enemy an enemy. He isn't wishy-washy in that respect so far. I've always been on the fence on the Gitmo deal. But if he has a plan on how to put down those responsible for 9-11, then I don't care how he goes about it.
     
  17. Jan 24, 2009 #16

    russ_watters

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    Absolutely! It is a bad idea for a President to have complete tactical control over a war (see: Vietnam). And most don't - they just don't have time to be a general (why have generals at all, if the President is going to play one?). Obama is certainly smart enough to know he can't micromanage a war.
    Right. And you want to give him credit for not revoking a policy three days after taking office (with one day lost to the inauguration). He's a busy man and policy changes take time. It took Clinton about 10 months to bungle Somalia, lose his nerve, and pull our troops out. Obama certainly can't be judged on one action that he may or may not have even ordered. We have no idea at all what he has planned for Afghanistan moving forward. From the quote you linked:
    I'll reserve my judgement - positive or negative - until he's had a chance to prove himself. The idea that you can know in two days how he's going to deal with terrorism is just plain silly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  18. Jan 24, 2009 #17

    russ_watters

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    That's very odd - it includes no quotes from the President of his press secretary to back that up. Did they just assume (as Ivan did) that he must directly order every military strike? And their subtraction is wrong: Tuesday noon to Friday noon is 3 days, not 4. And since Obama did no actual Presidenting on Tuesday, the strike was carried out roughly two days after he started work.
     
  19. Jan 24, 2009 #18

    Gokul43201

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    I think they did. As far as I am aware, Robert Gibbs (Press Sec) specifically refused to answer any questions about the missile strike during the presser on Friday. I guess/hope we will get a clearer picture next week.
     
  20. Jan 24, 2009 #19

    OmCheeto

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    I'm not surprised:

    Although growing up in Hawaii may have given him a soft external appearance, his years in Chicago politics probably toughened him up on the inside. With the popularity of the president at the moment, and America's historical willingness to follow a popular president into troubled waters, al Qaeda might want to consider unclenching it's collective fist in the near future.

    expletives regarding my support of Prez O kicking the excrement out of lowly pond scum removed. My apologies to Ivan and those of us who see pond scum as a viable alternative energy source, and therefore should not have been used as a measure of the lowness of a group who claim to belong to the human race.
     
  21. Jan 24, 2009 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    Uh, the last time I checked we were not at war with Pakistan. No operation like this can proceed without the approval of the President. Obama had to give his blessing to either the general operation or this specific strike. If he had wanted it stopped, it would have been stopped.
     
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