We noted in State of Emergency the desperation Obama’s campaign finds itself in as it sinks in the polls.
We further noted in State of Emergency that the Obama campaign worked for weeks on a major foreign policy speech which blew up in their faces. The speech was a mess. As the speech unraveled and American flags were burned in Pakistan, martial law almost declared in Pakistan at least in part because of Obama’s statements and Obama supporters abandoned him for the experienced Hillary, Obama, once again, began to lie.
All Americans must know that the political situation in Pakistan is precarious. Pakistan is a necessary ally in the region and the current tensions inflamed by Obama’s inexperienced fumbling in foreign policy do not help and have already hurt us.
On Wednesday, General Musharraf canceled a long-planned trip to Kabul to serve as a co-chair of a three-day assembly of tribal elders and political leaders with Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai. The news fueled speculation that an emergency decree was imminent.
President Musharraf seized power in 1999. He is not the ideal ally. However, at the very least, Musharraf is not an American enemy with a nuclear arsenal at his disposal in a pivotal area of the world.
Following the 9/11 attacks, Musharraf opted to pledge his allegiance to the U.S.-led war on terror, committing his troops to root out terrorists in the mountainous shared border with Afghanistan. Since then, Washington has doled out about $1 billion a year to his military, the New York Times reported in the spring. The results have not been impressive.
Politically, Musharraf is a secular moderate, which Washington would clearly prefer over an Islamist. The bulk of the Pakistani electorate agrees, except they want Musharraf out too, after several broken pledges to disentangle himself from the military and a rather desperate plan to keep himself in power for another term.
On the other side of the embattled general are the Islamists who want Pakistan to be run according to Sharia law. The last few months have been bloody, as the president-general fends off attacks from all sides.
So, having delivered a bomb of a speech with dangerous ramifications and bad immediate consequences and confronted by other Democratic candidates at the AFL-CIO debate, Obama lied, repeatedly.
SEN. CLINTON: Well, you know, Keith, this is George Bush’s war. He rushed us to war, he has mismanaged the war. But these are our sons and daughters who are serving in this war, and I had to think very long and hard because clearly I do not want to do anything that undercuts our support for them. But finally I just concluded that the only way to get a message to the Republicans and to George Bush was to vote against the supplemental funding. And it isn’t an easy vote, and you could actually argue it either way. Those of us who were in the Senate, I think all acted sincerely and out of good faith trying to figure out what was best for our country.
But at the end of the day, I have concluded, we’ve got to force George Bush to begin to end the war that he took America into and save our young men and women and bring them home. (Cheers, applause.)
MR. OLBERMANN: Senator Clinton, thank you.
Senator Dodd, last week you have said that Senator Obama, quoting you, “His assertions about foreign and military affairs have been, frankly, confusing and confused”; you added, “He should not be making unwise categorical statements about military options.” What, in your opinion has been confusing?
SEN. DODD: Well, let me say on these matters here, I’ve spent 26 years on the Foreign Relations Committee dealing with these matters here on almost every major foreign policy debate; words mean things. We’ve got to be very careful about language that’s used in terms of the danger and harm it can do to our nation.
My view was when you raise — issues are being raised about Pakistan, understand that while General Musharraf is no Thomas Jefferson, he may be the only thing that stands between us and having an Islamic fundamentalist state in that country. And so what I’d like to see him change — the reality is if we lose him, then what we face is an alternative that could be a lot worse for our country.
I think it’s highly responsible — or irresponsible for people who are running for the presidency and seek that office to suggest we may be willing unilaterally to invade a nation here who we’re trying to get to be more cooperative with us in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
So my views — and I say this respectfully to my friend from Illinois here — I think it was wrong to say what he did in that matter. I think it’s important for us to be very careful about the language we use, make it clear that if this United States is going to build the relationships around the world, we’re going to have to do so with allies, in some cases allies that we may not particularly like.
MR. OLBERMANN: Senator Dodd, thank you.
SEN. OBAMA: First —
MR. OLBERMANN: Senator Obama — yes, you’ve taken some hits here from us, so yours is the last word on this subject.
SEN. OBAMA: Well, look, I find it amusing that those who helped to authorize and engineer the biggest foreign policy disaster in our generation are now criticizing me for making sure that we are on the right battlefield and not the wrong battlefield in the war against terrorism. (Cheers, applause.)
And, Chris, respectfully — and you and I are close friends — but the fact is you obviously didn’t read my speech. Because what I said was that we have to refocus, get out of Iraq, make certain that we are helping Pakistan deal with the problem of al Qaeda in the hills between Afghanistan and Pakistan. But, Chris, if we have actionable intelligence on al Qaeda operatives, including bin Laden, and President Musharraf cannot act, then we should. Now, I think that’s just common sense. I don’t know about you, but for us to authorize — (cheers, applause) — (inaudible) —
MR. OLBERMANN: Senator —
SEN. OBAMA: — where the people who attacked 3,000 Americans were not present — which you authorized — and then to suggest that somehow we should not focus on the folks that did attack 3,000 Americans —
MR. OLBERMANN: Senator Obama, we’re well over — we’re well over time. (Cheers, applause.)
Senator Clinton, I must ask for your — Senator Clinton — Senator Clinton, give me your response to this. We’re going to — I’m going to give you both a chance here, but, Senator Clinton, please give me your response to what we’re hearing tonight.
SEN. CLINTON: Well, I do not believe people running for president should engage in hypotheticals. And it may well be that the strategy we have to pursue on the basis of actionable intelligence — but remember, we’ve had some real difficult experiences with actionable intelligence — might lead to a certain action.
But I think it is a very big mistake to telegraph that and to destabilize the Musharraf regime, which is fighting for its life against the Islamic extremists who are in bed with al Qaeda and Taliban. And remember, Pakistan has nuclear weapons. The last thing we want is to have al Qaeda-like followers in charge of Pakistan and having access to nuclear weapons.
So you can think big, but remember, you shouldn’t always say everything you think if you’re running for president, because it has consequences across the world. And we don’t need that right now. (Chorus of boos.)
MR. OLBERMANN: Senator Dodd — I owe Senator Dodd a response. Your name was invoked in several of these answers. Please take 30 seconds here.
SEN. DODD: Well, I just want to say, look — and Barack, you know, I’ve certainly said, look, I made a mistake in that vote in 2002. I don’t deny that. But when you make a mistake, as you run on something like this, I think if I had the courage, I made a mistake on the vote in 2002; if you’re making a mistake today, you ought to stand up and say so.
It was a mistake, in my view, to suggest somehow that going in unilaterally here into Pakistan was somehow in our interest. That, I think, is dangerous. And I don’t retreat from that at all.
SEN. OBAMA: Keith, I’m sorry, but —
MR. OLBERMANN: Go ahead.
SEN. OBAMA: — this came to me, and so let me just be clear about this.
MR. OLBERMANN: All right, Senator Obama, 30 seconds, and then I have to stop this.
SEN. OBAMA: I did not say that we would immediately go in unilaterally. What I said was that we have to work with Musharraf, because the biggest threat to American security right now are in the northwest provinces of Pakistan and that we should continue to give him military aid contingent on him doing something about that.
But the fact of the matter is that when we don’t talk to the American people — we’re debating the most important foreign policy issues that we face, and the American people have a right to know. It is not just Washington insiders that — (cheers, applause) — are part of the debate that has to take place with respect to how we’re going to shift our foreign policy. This is a seminal question.
MR. OLBERMANN: Gentlemen, I have to end this segment here because we are —
SEN. OBAMA: It’s a fundamental question.
MR. OLBERMANN: Please, everyone. We have standing by — and in this case it is meant literally — the questions from the AFL-CIO audience, who are stepping to the microphone. And they will be giving you their questions when we rejoin you from Soldier Field after this.
First of all Obama changed the words of his speech while accusing Senator Dodd of not having read the speech. In his speech Obama threatened Pakistan by saying if Musharraf “won’t act” we will. This was the Bush equivalent of ‘you are either with us or against us.’ Obama then, changed his words from “won’t act” to “cannot act” (see the transcript above) and has the audacity to insult Senator Dodd and accuse Dodd of either not having read Obama’s bomb of a speech or of mistating what Obama was saying. In other words, Obama the liar, was calling Senator Dodd a liar.
Obama then accused Senator Clinton of trying to somehow silence a discussion with the American people when what she was actually saying was that Obama should watch his mouth because as a presidential candidate his words can harm the United States. The American flag burnings in Pakistan and the threats of martial law in Pakistan are ample proof that Senator Clinton was correct.
Senator Clinton is not suggesting Obama should not discuss issues. Frankly, the more Obama opens his mouth on issues the more he hurts himself and his chances to win the nomination. The problem is that when, as a presidential candidate, Obama opens his mouth he hurts the United States people too. Us.
The collapsing Obama campaign in a DefCom 5 State of Emergency is putting us all in a state of danger.